Clark Gable

Born Feb. 1, 1901, in Cadiz, Ohio, Clark Gable dropped out of school at age 16 and joined a stock theatre company at 17. In 1924, he found work as a movie extra in Hollywood but eventually moved to New York, where he was spotted on Broadway and given a screen test at MGM.

Gable became popular with his role in Red Dust (1932) and, shortly thereafter, won a Best Actor Oscar for It Happened One Night (1934). He received another Oscar nomination the following year for Mutiny on the Bounty. By the time he won the role of Rhett Butler in 1939's Gone with the Wind (for which he received a third Best Actor Oscar nomination), he was the undisputed King of Hollywood.

After wife Carole Lombard's death in 1942, Gable joined the Air Force and was decorated for his combat missions. He died of a heart attack in 1960, immediately after the strenuous filming of The Misfits (1961) with Marilyn Monroe.