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Clark Gable and Carole Lombard's Love Ended with the Actress's Death — inside Their Tragic Love Story

Bettina Dizon
Apr 06, 2020
09:30 A.M.

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard were successful in their own careers and were madly in love before experiencing challenges that led up to the actress' death.

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Often times, celebrities go through several relationships before finding the person whom they are truly meant to be with.

Clark Gable went through several marriages before finding his one true pairing, but even then, fate had other plans that took away his wife from him.

Gable was a Hollywood legend, known not only for his several films but also for his womanizing stints. However, his infidelities stopped after marrying Carole Lombard.

Clark Gable playing cards and smoking a cigar in a publicity still issued for the film "Gone With The Wind," 1939. | Source: Getty Images

Clark Gable playing cards and smoking a cigar in a publicity still issued for the film "Gone With The Wind," 1939. | Source: Getty Images

GABLE AND LOMBARD'S EARLY RELATIONSHIP

The actor and actress met on the set of "No Man of Her Own," where they starred as a couple. Clark was then married to a socialite named Maria Langham, while Lombard was married to actor William Powell.

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The chemistry was present only on-screen as neither showed any romantic interest in each other. "[We] did all kinds of hot love scenes… and I never got any kind of tremble out of him at all," Lombard said.

Four years later, with Lombard's divorce settled, the co-stars reunited at the lavish Mayfair Ball. The two were seen intimate throughout the night before driving off together before the party ended.

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard after their honeymoon, 1939. | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard after their honeymoon, 1939. | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Gable was buried beside Lombard at Forest Lawn Cemetery, California, after his death in 1960 at the age of 59.

In no time, they became inseparable and in love. Lombard changed many things in her life to keep up with her lover's interest.

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Robert Matzen, author of "Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3," explained that the actress adapted her life to his lifestyle to please him.

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard after their elopement, February 10, 1939. | Source: Getty Images

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard after their elopement, February 10, 1939. | Source: Getty Images

The couple kept their relationship quiet until the actor's divorce was finalized. They tied the knot in 1939, during Gable's break from shooting and shortly before his career shot up with the film "Gone With the Wind."

HUSBAND AND WIFE

The newlywed often spent time bonding in nature -- camping, hunting, and hiking. Because of their love for the natural green scene, they built their home on a 20-acre ranch in California, complete with farm animals.

They remained in love and thoughtful, even sending each other silly gifts when apart, but their relationship saw dark times too.

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Clark Gable and Carole Lombard carrying chickens. | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard carrying chickens. | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Lombard wanted to become a mother but faced fertility issues. Despite seeking help from specialists, no solution was given, and she experienced several miscarriages.

Gable was accused of infidelity with his co-star Lara Turner, which later turned into an assumption that indirectly caused the actress' death.

LOMBARD'S DEATH

In 1942, Lombard died in a tragic plane crash from her tour to sell war bonds, where she raised over $2 million in bonds.

Clark Gable and his race horse in Beverly Hills, December 29, 1935. | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Clark Gable and his race horse in Beverly Hills, December 29, 1935. | Source: Wikimedia Commons

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Gable's pride and excitement to see his wife turned into pure agony and sorrow. He flew to Nevada and hiked to see the wreckage himself, despite authorities restricting him. Author Michelle Morgan said:

"Search and rescue found a hair clip that Gable had given her for Christmas, with a few strands of her blonde hair still attached."

Clark Gable in 1954. | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Clark Gable in 1954. | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Gable spiraled down a dark hole in grief and immense pain. "It's like Clark aged ten years in one weekend. He lost his drive to be a movie star and started drinking a lot more," Matzen said.

He joined the Army Air Force soon after and didn't mind if he lived or died. Later, he married Kay Williams, his fifth wife, in 1955. Although he sometimes projected happiness, there was always something missing.

At the end, the love between Gable and Lombard still showed. Gable was buried beside Lombard at Forest Lawn Cemetery, California, after his death in 1960 at the age of 59.

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