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Clark Gable 1


Clark Gable Quotes
(on his acting and about himself)


Clark Gable (1934 photo by Clarence S. Bull for MGM)


“I’m just a lucky slob from Ohio who happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

“The only reason they come to see me is that I know that life is great, and they know I know it.”

“I worked like a son of a bitch to learn a few tricks and I fight like a steer to avoid getting stuck with parts I can’t play.”

“I’m no actor and I never have been. What people see on the screen is me.”

“Every picture I make, every experience of my private life, every lesson I learn are the keys to my future. And I have faith in it.”

“I bring to a role everything I am, was and hope to be.”

“I have been in show business for 12 years. They have known me in Hollywood but two. Yet as picture-making goes, two years is a long time. Nevertheless, my advice has never been asked about a part in a picture. I found out I was going into “Susan Lenox” in Del Monte. Read it in a paper. When I walked on the set one day, they told me I was going to play “Red Dust” in place of John Gilbert. I have never been consulted as to what part I would like to play. I am paid not to think.” [In 1932]

“This ‘King’ stuff is pure bullshit. I eat and sleep and go to the bathroom just like everybody else. There’s no special light that shines inside me and makes me a star. I’m just a lucky slob from Ohio. I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and I had a lot of smart guys helping me – that’s all.” (Clark Gable’s comments on his being selected “King of Hollywood” in a poll of entertainment readers in 1938)

“I don’t believe I’m king of anything, but I know why they like to think I am. I’m not much of an actor, but I’m not bad unless it’s one of those things outside my comprehension. I work hard. I’m no Adonis, and I’m as American as the telephone poles I used to climb to make a living. So men don’t get sore if their women folks like me on the screen. I’m one of them, they know it, so it’s a compliment to them. They see me broke, in trouble, scared of things that go bump in the night, but I come out fighting. They see me making love to Jean Harlow or Claudette Colbert and they say, ‘If he can do it, I can do it,’ and figure it’ll be fun to go home and to make love to their wives.”

“The things a man has to have are hope and confidence in himself against odds, and sometimes he needs somebody, his pal or his mother or his wife or God, to give him that confidence. He’s got to have some inner standards worth fighting for or there won’t be any way to bring him into conflict. And he must be ready to choose death before dishonor without making too much song and dance about it. That’s all there is to it.”

“My days of playing the dashing lover are over. I’m no longer believable in those parts. There has been considerable talk about older guys wooing and winning leading ladies half their age. I don’t think the public likes it, and I don’t care for it myself. It’s not realistic. Actresses that I started out with like Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck have long since quit playing glamor girls and sweet young things. Now it’s time I acted my age. Let’s be honest. It’s a character role, and I’ll be playing more of them. There’s a risk involved, of course. I have no idea if I can attain the success as a character actor as I did playing the dashing young lover, but it’s a chance I have to take. Not everybody is able to do it.” [in 1958]

“I hate a liar. Maybe because I’m such a good one myself, heh? Anyway, to find someone has told an out-and-out lie puts him on the other side of the fence from me for all time.”

“I don’t want a lot of strangers looking down at my wrinkles and my big fat belly when I’m dead.”

“When I die, don’t let them make a circus out of it.”

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