Gable reveals he gave wife $145,000 cash
That Clark Gable, for years a contender for Mister America screen popularity honors, drew only a paltry $108,000 for his celluloid sex appeal in 1936 is indicated in negotiations that came to light today between the caveman star and his estranged wife, Rhea Gable.
Mrs. Gable is battling through her attorney, Mendel Silberberg, for a heftier sliver of the cash the movies are pouring into Clark’s coffers. Silberberg is conferring with Edward R. Young, representing Gable.
Both sides believe they will reach an agreement in time to permit the Gable divorce suit to go into court about May 15. Gable cited figures to show that up to now he has parted with $145,000 in order to reach an amicable settlement and go on his way a carefree bachelor. He claims to have given his wife two trust funds, one of $50,000 and another of $25,000, besides $15,000 in cash. In addition, she collected half his film salary for 1936, amounting, according to the figures, to $54,000. Gable is understood to be objecting vigorously to handing over a larger share of his earnings.
The beetle-browed star moved out of his palatial West Los Angeles home several months ago and is holding bachelor hall in a suite at the Beverly Wilshire. At the moment, the Gable-Carole Lombard romance appears to be wheeling along on twelve cylinders.
Clark and Carole went to Marion Davies’ birthday party for W.R. Hearst together and their circus costumes were theatrical.
“Clark’s my twin brother,” Miss Lombard cracked.
- May 7, 1937 – Daily News
Clark Gable Soon Free To Marry Again
Ah, there girls! It looks as though Clark Gable – for years a contender for the Mister America screen popularity honors – will soon be free to wed again!
Wait there, now! Don’t bother getting into line. It looks, also, as though he has already chosen the lady who will be the next Mrs. Gable – none other than blonder and beauteous Carole Lombard. Their romance is wheeling right along on all twelve cylinders.
If no further legal snags clutter up Gable’s path, the Gable divorce suit, prophesied for five years, will soon be history. Money has been the root of the delay.
Back in 1932 it was said that Rhea Langham Lucas Gable was holding out for $1,800 a week alimony, which would have made quite a hole in Clark’s then $2,500 a week paycheck. Rhea – 11 years the actor’s senior – made no move to divorce Clark.
Instead, she phoned Josephine Dillon, the first Mrs. Gable, and demanded her predecessor resume her maiden name and stop calling herself Mrs. Clark Gable. She even threatened legal action.
“I’m going to keep using my married name,” retorted Josephine, who married Clark in 1923 and divorced him in 1931.
The day after that divorce was granted Rhea became Mrs. Gable in a civil ceremony at Santa Ana, Cal. In November 1935, Mrs. G 2d admitted that she and Clark were separated.
“Temperament,” she said.
“Career,” said the first Mrs. Gable. She added:
“At the time of our divorce in 1931, Clark told me frankly that he wanted to marry the present Mrs. Gable because she could do more for him financially.”
If that was true, something happened to upset his plans. For in June 1936, when Clark first took his marital troubles to court, he said that during the previous September had made a settlement of $145,000 cash on his second wife. (As the mother of two children by a former husband, she could find plenty of use for that sum).
But, said Clark, “she refused to be bound by the agreement.”
Since that time there have been frequent meetings of opposing attorneys to decide whether Mrs. Gable should get a heftier slice of the cash the movies are pouring into Clark’s coffers.
- May 16, 1937 – Daily News