Clark Gable Authograph Study

By Al Wittnebert

He was known as the "King of Hollywood". Men admired him and women loved him. He was actor Clark Gable and he was the Tom Cruise of the 1930's & 40's. Born William Clark Gable on February 1, 1901, Gable won a contract with MGM in 1930 and became their biggest money earner for the next twenty years. He appeared in scores of movies with a who's who of leading ladies in Hollywood at that time.

Winning an Academy Award for his performance in 1934's "It Happened One Night" Gable was able to pick and choose his co-stars, directors and film projects. He went on to earn another Academy Award nomination for his work in 1935's "Mutiny on the Bounty" his personal favorite. In 1939 he was courted by David O Selznik to play Rhett Butler in the screen classic "Gone With the Wind". He was once again nominated loosing out to Robert Donet.

Gable served in World War II as a Captain in the Army Air Forces where he flew a number of combat missions in Europe and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war Gable left MGM and went on to be an independent contract player earning praise for a number of roles. His last was in 1960 in Arthur Miller's "The Misfits" with Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift.

He died later that year from a massive heart attack at age 59.

Autographically Clark Gable's signature is highly sought after by collectors and can usually be found in the checks he signed given out to fans by his widow Kay Gable.

The checks and contracts are easy to authenticate since Gable made sure he signed these items using no proxies.

This being said Gable's signature has been discussed many times over the years because of his use of two different G's in his last name. The G's varied from and open capitol G to a number 9 looking G. The open G was used on his checks contracts and letters. Those signatures found in autograph albums and photos usually are the number 9 looking G.

The open G version (left), and The Number 9 Version (on the right)

I suppose one could say the two signatures types mirror Gable's personality or persona. One side being the celebrity, and the other side his personal and private life.

During his reign as Box Office King Gable received thousands of fan letters. The responsibility for answering these letters fell to those secretaries from the MGM Studios. Between secretarial signed and pre-printed photos, Gable fans were happy to receive even these from their idol.

Here are examples of Secretarial signatures of Gable

Buying a genuine Clark Gable autograph can be a bit tricky unless you purchase from a professional autograph dealer like those in the UACC Registered dealer program.

Clark Gable is a must have for every entertainment themed autograph collection.