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    Clark Gable early signed, handwritten letter to his dad. Just before his sensational, breakout performance on Broadway, young Clark Gable pours out his heart to his estranged father, from whom he had just received a letter. Autograph letter signed "Clark Gable" 8 pages, on blind-stamped "The Shelton - New York" 7 x 10 in. letterhead stationery, dated only "Sunday Morn" [Fall, 1928]. Written to his father, Will Gable, who had been working in the oilfields of Oklahoma as a roughneck. Clark pens in full: "Dear Dad: Well at last I have heard from the Senior member of the family! There is so much to tell you that I hardly know where to start. I have been married since I last heard from you, but it didn't hold so we've separated. When I look at it now I am surprised it lasted the two years it did, she was twelve years my senior and why I did it is more than I will ever be able to explain. I am telling you this so you will understand what is to follow. We separated just a year ago this month when I was in Houston, Texas, working there in a stock company. In fact I was in Houston all last winter and nearly all of this summer. If I could have been in touch with you then we could very easily have seen each other. Well to get on with the story, when we separated she came on here to N.Y. and was here last winter and this summer. The letter you wrote on May 26th [1928] was delivered to me when I arrived in N.Y. Aug. 1st she had opened it, read it, and didn't have the decency to forward it to me. They gave it to her at the Actor's Equity Ass'n on June 2nd. The only thing that interested her in the least was the inheritance you spoke of, and she immediately wrote Uncle Tom regarding it. He never answered so she dropped the whole thing until I arrived here in August and then she quite casually announced that she had a letter from you to me. I sent two letters Air Mail to San Angelo but they were both returned and that is the whole story. I too have been wanting to get in touch with you for a long time but not even Uncle Frank could give me your address, now that we are in touch with each other again I want it to continue, you must write me every week now so we won't lose each other again. Because you are my Dad and I love you. I have taken up the stage as a means of making a living, and have been successful to a certain extent, although it is a very uncertain game in many ways the compensation is high if you can hit. This is my first year in N.Y. and naturally it is a hard one but I have a wonderful outlook here and I may be able to do something really big. If I should make a hit here in my next show it means that I will be practically independent of anyone. Now Dad, since you are going to California I have a little plan which may be good for both of us, it all depends on how things go here this Winter. You take whatever you can get there this winter and I will try and get some money together here. If I have any luck at all this winter I should have three or four thousand dollars by next May. I will then come out to California next summer and see if we can't start some sort of a little business together, and I will help you during the summer and then get back into N.Y. for the fall season. That would give us both something to rely on in case of a slip up in the show business. Of course that is only a rough outline of my idea but you can see that it is plausible and practical. It may be that things will be hard here this winter and I won't have the money next summer, but it is at least worth trying for. I know Southern California pretty well and I think you will like it very much. If I should make a hit here this winter will try the pictures again next summer and that game is unlimited if you can click. I am sending you a set of pictures tomorrow so you can see what kind of a looking son you have. Nothing to brag about, but at least I am a man like my Dad. Now remember, write to me every week, and I will keep you informed how things are going here. Of course, my plans may be only dreams but there's nothing like trying. Lots of love Dad and don't forget to write every week. Clark". A heartrending letter from Clark Gable to his estranged father. In his youth, Clark followed his dad to the oilfields of Oklahoma and worked the long and laborious hours of a roughneck for a decent wage. But realizing that his first love was the theater, he abruptly quit to pursue his lifelong dream. This was a huge disappointment to his father, who made no bones about his opinion of actors - the stage was for sissies. Clark and his father went for nearly 10 years without seeing each other, and exchanged but precious few letters; this is one of perhaps three or four known to exist during that time period.  At the time this letter was written, Gable had just arrived in New York City after a successful stint with a Houston theater troupe. Within weeks of his arrival in New York, he secured the leading part in a Broadway play, Machinal, opposite the well-respected stage actress Zita Johann. Also about this time, he severed his relationship with his first wife, Josephine Dillon, who had followed him to New York from Hollywood. Twelve years his senior and an acting coach by profession, she was instrumental in teaching him the techniques and nuances of the craft. For the ambitious young Gable, however, theirs was a marriage of necessity. When he secured his part in Machinal, he promptly asked her for a divorce. Her acid reply: "You'd better become the best actor you can, as you will never be a man." Coupled with his father's ridicule of his chosen profession, Gable's subtle supplication in this letter is doubly poignant: "at least I am a man like my Dad." In very fine condition.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2012
    15th Saturday
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