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The Quick 10: 10 Facts About Clark Gable

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So, if you've stuck with me and the Quick 10s all week, you're in on the Clark Gable joke. Otherwise, here's what happened: Monday's post about martini preferences just happened to include the preference of the character Clark Gable played in the movie Teacher's Pet - turn a bottle of vermouth upside down to wet the cork, then run the damp cork around the rim of a martini glass and fill it with gin. No big deal.

Tuesday, to celebrate Veterans Day, we looked at 10 celebrities who left their fame to go serve the country. Guess who did that? Clark Gable. I thought it was funny that I randomly mentioned Clark Gable two days in a row (or maybe I have Clark Gable on the brain?) and decided to work him into the Q10s for the rest of the week. Now, Wednesday and Thursday may have been a stretch, but I did it. So, to finish out the week (and the joke), today's Q10 is all about Rhett Butler himself. Happy Friday "“ see you next week, when we return to our regularly-scheduled, un-Clark Gable-related posts.

1. He was accidentally listed as a female on his birth certificate.

2. His mom died of a brain tumor when he was less than a year old.

3. When he was first in Hollywood (1924), he went by W.C. Gable (his full name was William Clark Gable). By 1925, he had changed it to Clark Gable.

4. He had almost a full set of dentures when he was only 32.

Because of a bad gum infection in 1933, he had to have most of his teeth removed and replaced by dentures, which caused him to suffer from halitosis. During the filming of Gone with the Wind, Vivien Leigh complained about how foul the stench was... but they got along really well other than that.

5. He was a bit obsessed with cleanliness. He showered several times a day and never took a bath because he was disgusted by the thought of sitting in dirty water. He also had his sheets changed every single day.

6. He had an affair with Loretta Young while they were making The Call of the Wild. It resulted in a daughter, Judy Lewis. Loretta disappeared for a while to have the baby and denied that it was Gable's - she said she had adopted. It wasn't much of a secret, though - Judy grew up looking exactly like him (big ears and all) and the ruse was blown, even though Loretta Young didn't admit it until well after Judy was an adult. Judy actually had surgery at the age of seven to make her ears less prominent. In a strange coincidence, Gable and Young's daughter was very good friends with Cammie King, the girl who played Bonnie Blue in Gone with the Wind

7. He won an Academy Award for his role in It Happened One Night, but gave it away to a little kid who thought it was pretty. He figured winning it was more important than owning it. The Oscar was given back to Clark Gable's widow after he died in 1960.

shirt8. Clark Gable single-handedly made the sales of men's undershirts drop"¦ maybe. During It Happened One Night, he takes off his shirt and has nothing on underneath "“ keep in mind, this was a time when men always wore undershirts. Supposedly, the fad swept the nation and men's undershirts collected dust at the stores. Snopes classifies it as an unverified story, but it's interesting nonetheless.
9.He was so angry that his co-star Hattie McDaniel wasn't allowed to attend the premiere of Gone with the Wind, he was planning on boycotting it. He only ended up going because Hattie convinced him that it was OK. They were good friends and he enjoyed pranking her on the set of the movie - he once slipped alcohol into the teapot she was supposed to pour herself a drink out of; she didn't realize he had made the switch until she tasted it.
10. His movie Red Dust with Jean Harlow and Mary Astor from 1932 was remade in 1951 as Mogambo with Grace Kelly and Ava Gardner. He played the same role in both movies.

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While you’re browsing the ice cream aisle, you may find yourself wondering, “What’s so French about French vanilla?” The name may sound a little fancier than just plain ol’ “vanilla,” but it has nothing to do with the origin of the vanilla itself. (Vanilla is a tropical plant that grows near the equator.)

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But everyone already knew to trust the French with their dairy products, right?

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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