On Thursday, February 1, 1940, Clark Gable blew out 39 candles on his birthday cake. Maybe the wish he wished for on that natal-day anniversary was a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind.
The acting performances had been stellar in 1939, a time that would later be called Hollywood’s Golden Year, including:
- Robert Donat had portrayed school teacher and headmaster Charles Edward Chipping, fondly known as “Mr. Chips,” in Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
- Laurence Olivier had portrayed the haunted Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights.
- Mickey Rooney had portrayed the talented singer and musician Mickey Moran who wanted only to put on a show in Babes in Arms.
- James Stewart had portrayed naïve, idealistic Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
Gable knew that the Academy Award nominations would be announced on Monday, February 12. What the insecure actor didn’t know was whether or not his name would be included in the Best Actor category.
Happy 75th Anniversary, Gone With the Wind!
Special 75th Anniversary Offer for Gone With the Wind fans: free personally inscribed, autographed bookplate for readers of The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book. Details here: http://paulinebartel.com/blog/?p=1793
Blog Bio: Pauline Bartel is the author of The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book (2nd edition) and an expert on the film and its history. Visit the website (www.paulinebartel.com/resources/books/books-available) for further information. Follow her on Twitter @PaulineBartel and “like” her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheCompleteGWTWTriviaBook).