After he completed work on Gone With the Wind, Clark Gable returned to work life at MGM and to home life with the love-of-his-life Carole Lombard. The idyllic happiness of Hollywood’s golden couple was shattered when the Japanese bombs found their targets at Pearl Harbor.
A dyed-in-the-wool patriot, Lombard helped in the war effort by traveling to her home state of Indiana in 1942 on a bond-selling tour. In Indianapolis alone, Lombard sold over $2 million in defense bonds.
She was on her way home to Gable on January 16, 1942, when, a few minutes after taking off from Las Vegas, her plan smashed into Mount Potosi. Everyone on board, including 33-year-old Lombard, her mother and MGM’s staff publicist Otto Winkler, was killed.
News of the crash stunned Hollywood, prompting an outpouring of grief and remembrance:
And Clark Gable’s life was altered forever.
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).