The Gotta Have Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction Spring 2022
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2022
Just before his sensational, breakout performance on Broadway, young Clark Gable pours out his heart to his estranged father. The letter signed “Clark Gable is ” 8 pages, on blind-stamped “The Shelton – New York” 7 x 10” 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 part: “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…… 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……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……” Gable continues by proposing a potential business plan with his father if he’s able to hit it big on stage. He pleads with his father to begin writing every week.

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. Mint condition. Comes with a Gotta Have Rock & Roll Certificate of Authenticity.

Originates from sale in 2013 at Profiles in History for $29,492
Clark Gable 1928 Handwritten & Signed Letter to His Father Regarding His Early Career
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Minimum Bid: $25,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0
Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000
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