William Clark Gable (February 1, 1901 – November 16, 1960) was an American film actor, often referred to as "The King of Hollywood". He had roles in more than 60 motion pictures in multiple genres during a career that lasted 37 years, three decades of which was as a leading man. Gable died of a heart attack; his final on-screen appearance was of an aging cowboy in The Misfits, released posthumously in 1961.
Gable won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (1934), co-starring Claudette Colbert. He was again nominated for the award for his roles as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), and as Rhett Butler opposite Vivien Leigh's Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).
Gable was one of the most consistent box-office performers in history, appearing on Quigley Publishing's annual Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll sixteen times. He was named the seventh-greatest male movie star of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute.
William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901, in Cadiz, Ohio, to William Henry Gable (1870–1948), an oil-well driller, and his wife Adeline. When he was ten months old, his mother died, and his father married again one year later.
Gable's stepmother raised the tall, shy child with a loud voice to be well-dressed and well-groomed. She played the piano and gave him lessons at home. He later took up brass instruments. Gable was mechanically inclined and loved to repair cars with his father, who insisted that he engage in masculine activities such as hunting and hard physical work. Gable also loved literature; he would recite Shakespeare among trusted company, particularly the sonnets.
Gable was inspired to become an actor after seeing the play The Bird of Paradise at age 17, but unable to make a start in acting until turning 21.
After some odd jobs, Gable moved to Portland where he obtained a day job with Pacific Telephone and started receiving dramatic lessons in the evening.
Gable's acting coach, Josephine Dillon, a theater manager in Portland, paid to have his teeth fixed and his hair styled. She guided him in building up his chronically undernourished body, and taught him better body control and posture. He slowly managed to lower his naturally high-pitched voice, his speech habits improved, and his facial expressions became more natural and convincing. After a long period of her training, Dillon considered Gable ready to attempt a film career.
Gable and Dillon traveled to Hollywood in 1924. Dillon became his manager and also his wife; she was 17 years his senior. He changed his stage name from W. C. Gable to Clark Gable. However, he was not offered any major film roles, so he returned to the stage. During the 1927–28 theater season, he became a local matinee idol. He then moved to New York City, where Dillon sought work for him on Broadway.
Gable and Dillon separated, filing for divorce in March 1929. In April 1930, a few days after Gable's divorce became final, he married Texas socialite Maria Franklin Prentiss Lucas Langham. After moving to California, they were married again in 1931, possibly due to differences in state legal requirements.
Gable auditioned for the second male lead in the Warner Bros. gangster drama Little Caesar (1931), but failed.
"His ears are too big and he looks like an ape", said the studio executive Darryl F. Zanuck about Gable.
In 1930 he was signed by MGM's Irving Thalberg for $650 per week. He hired the well-connected Minna Wallis, a sister of producer Hal Wallis, as his agent, whose clients included actresses Claudette Colbert, Myrna Loy and Norma Shearer.
Gable's arrival in Hollywood occurred when MGM was looking to expand its stable of male stars, and he fit the bill. MGM's publicity manager Howard Strickling started developing Gable's studio image with Screenland magazine playing up his "lumberjack-in-evening-clothes" persona.
To increasing popularity, MGM frequently paired him with well-established female stars.
Joan Crawford asked for him as her co-star in Dance, Fools, Dance (1931). This was his first starring role.The electricity of the pair was recognized by studio executive Louis B. Mayer, who would put them in seven more films.
Gable achieved star status very quickly. After A Free Soul (1931), Gable never played any supporting role again. And his "unshaven love-making" with braless Jean Harlow in Red Dust made him MGM's most important romantic leading man.
A popular combination on-screen and off, Gable and Harlow made six films together in five years. Their final film together was Saratoga (1937), a bigger hit than their previous collaborations. Harlow died during its production.
In 1934, Gable was not Frank Capra's first choice to play the lead role of newspaper reporter Peter Warne in the romantic comedy It Happened One Night (1934) opposite Claudette Colbert playing a spoiled heiress, but Columbia wanted him and had paid handsomely for it.
It Happened One Night is the real Gable. He was never able to play that kind of character except in that one film. They had him playing these big, huff-and-puff -man lovers, but he was not that kind of guy. He was a down-to-earth guy, he loved everything, he got down with the common people. He didn't want to play those big lover parts; he just wanted to play Clark Gable, the way he was in It Happened One Night, and it's too bad they didn't let him keep up with that."
It Happened One Night became the first movie to sweep all five of the major Academy Awards, with Gable winning for Best Actor and Colbert for Best Actress. The movie was credited with inventing a new genre: the screwball comedy, and its leading man Gable responsible for men's underwear sales plummeting because he didn't wear an undershirt in the movie.
It Happened One Night made Gable a bigger star than ever. From 1934 until 1942, when World War II interrupted his movie career, Gable was near the top of the box office money-makers lists.
Despite his reluctance to play the role, Gable is best known for his Oscar-nominated performance in the Academy Award-winning best picture Gone with the Wind (1939). His then wife Carole Lombard may have been the first to suggest that he play Rhett Butler (and she play Scarlett) when she bought him a copy of the best-seller, which he refused to read.
Butler's last line in Gone with the Wind, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn", is one of the most famous lines in movie history.
Years later, Gable said that whenever his career would start to fade, a re-release of Gone with the Wind would soon revive his popularity, and he continued as a top leading actor for the rest of his life.
On a personal level, Gone with the Wind also means great happiness for Gable.
Gable settled his divorce from his second wife Rhea Langham with his salary from Gone with the Wind on March 7, 1939.
On March 29, during a production break of the movie, Gable married Hollywood star Carole Lombard (1908–1942)in Kingman, Arizona and honeymooned in room 1201 of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel.
They met while filming 1932's No Man of Her Own, when Lombard was still married to actor William Powell, but their romance did not take off until 1936 after they met at a party again. They were soon inseparable, with fan magazines and tabloids citing them as an official couple.
Gable thrived being around Lombard's youthful, charming, and frank personality, once stating:
"You can trust that little screwball with your life or your hopes or your weaknesses, and she wouldn't even know how to think about letting you down."
They purchased a ranch previously owned by director Raoul Walsh in Encino, California, for $50,000 making it their home. The couple, who lovingly referred to each other as "Ma and Pa", owned a menagerie of animals and raised chickens and horses there.
With the bombing of Pearl Harbor many Hollywood stars joined the war effort, some such as James Stewart signing up for active duty. Carole Lombard sent a telegram to President Roosevelt on behalf of Gable expressing his interest in doing so, but F.D.R. thought the 41-year-old actor could best serve by increased patriotic roles in movies and bond drives, which Lombard herself tirelessly began.
On January 16, 1942, Lombard was a passenger on Transcontinental and Western Air Flight 3 with her mother and press agent Otto Winkler. She had just finished her 57th movie, To Be or Not to Be, and was on her way home from a successful war bond selling tour when the flight's DC-3 airliner crashed into Potosi Mountain near Las Vegas, Nevada, killing all 22 passengers aboard, including 15 servicemen en route to training in California.
Gable flew to the crash site to claim the bodies of his wife, mother-in-law, and Winkler, who had been the best man at Gable and Lombard's wedding.
Afterwards, Gable returned to their Encino ranch and carried out her funeral wishes as she had requested in her will.
A month later, he returned to the studio to work with Lana Turner in their second movie together, Somewhere I'll Find You, playing a war correspondent who travels to the Pacific theatre and get caught up in a Japanese attack.
Having lost 20 pounds since the tragedy, Gable evidently was emotionally and physically devastated, but Turner stated that Gable remained a "consummate professional" for the duration of filming.
After the death of Carole Lombard, Gable acted in 27 more films, and remarried twice more. "But he was never the same", according to Esther Williams. "He had been devastated by Carole's death."
On August 12, 1942, following Lombard's death and completion of the film Somewhere I'll Find You, Gable joined the United States Army, under the Army Air Forces.
In June 1944, Gable was promoted to major. While he hoped for another combat assignment, he had been placed on inactive duty and on June 12, 1944, his discharge papers were signed by Captain (later U.S. president) Ronald Reagan.
In 1949, Gable married Sylvia Ashley, a British model and actress previously married to Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. The relationship was profoundly unsuccessful; they divorced in 1952.
Gable’s most popular hit since his return MGM after the war was Mogambo (1953), directed by John Ford, a somewhat sanitized and more action-oriented remake of Gable's hit pre-Code film Red Dust, with Jean Harlow. The reports of an affair between Gable and one of his co stars Grace Kelly helped ticket sales as the film finished No. 7 at the box office, grossing 8.2 million for the year.
Despite the positive critical and public response to Mogambo, Gable became increasingly unhappy with what he considered mediocre roles offered by MGM, while the studio regarded his salary as excessive. After His last film at MGM Betrayed (1954), Gable did not renew his contract.
In 1955, Gable ranked 10th at the box office, the last time he was in the top ten.
That same year, Gable married fifth wife Kay Spreckels (née Kathleen Williams). Gable became stepfather to her son Bunker Spreckels, who went on to live a notorious celebrity lifestyle in the late 1960s and early 1970s surfing scene, ultimately leading to his early death in 1977.
Gable also formed Russ-Field-Gabco in 1955, a production company with Jane Russell and her husband Bob Waterfield, and they produced The King and Four Queens (1956), Gable's only time as producer.
In the 50s, Gable started to receive television offers, but rejected them outright. At 57, His contracts began including a clause that his filming and work days ended at 5 p.m.
And his most noted film in the decade was It Started in Naples (1960) with Sophia Loren. The film was written and directed by Melville Shavelson and it mainly showed the beauty of Loren and the Italian island Capri. It was a box-office success and was nominated for an Academy Award for art direction and two Golden Globes, one for picture and Loren for actress in a leading role. Filmed mostly on location in Italy, it was Gable's last film released in color.
On February 8, 1960, Gable received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in motion pictures, located at 1608 Vine Street.
Gable's last film was The Misfits (1961), with a script by Arthur Miller and directed by John Huston. Miller wrote the screenplay for his wife Marilyn Monroe who co starred with Gable together with Montgomery Clift.
He was as masculine as any man I've ever known, and as much a little boy as a grown man could be – it was this combination that had such a devastating effect on women."
On November 6, 1960, Gable was sent to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, where doctors found that he had suffered a heart attack. Newspaper reports the following day listed his condition as satisfactory. By the morning of November 16, he seemed to be improving, but he died that evening at the age of 59 from a second heart attack caused by an arterial blood clot. Medical staff did not perform CPR for fear that the procedure would rupture Gable's heart, and a defibrillator was not available.
In an interview with Louella Parsons published soon after Gable's death about speculation on his physically demanding role in The Misfits, Kay Gable said, "It wasn't the physical exertion that killed him. It was the horrible tension, the eternal waiting, waiting, waiting. He waited around forever, for everybody. He'd get so angry that he'd just go ahead and do anything to keep occupied.”
Gable is interred in the Great Mausoleum, Memorial Terrace, at Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park next to Carole Lombard and her mother. An honor guard and pallbearers Spencer Tracy and James Stewart were in attendance.
On March 20, 1961, Kay Gable gave birth to Gable's only son, John Clark Gable, at the same hospital in which her husband had died four months earlier. Marilyn Monroe attended his son's baptism.
Gable was a great, great guy, and certainly one of the great stars of all times, if not the greatest. I think that I sincerely doubt that there will ever be another like Clark Gable; he was one of a kind."
Clark Gable has been married 5 times and throughout his film career, Gable had affairs with various actresses, including Joan Crawford, Marion Davies, Lana Turner, Nancy Davis (later Ronald Reagan's wife Nancy Reagan) and Loretta Young with whom he has a daughter.
During the filming of The Call of the Wild in early 1935, the film's lead actress, Loretta Young, became pregnant with Gable's child. Their daughter Judy Lewis was born on November 6, 1935 in Venice, California. Young hid her pregnancy in an elaborate scheme and nineteen months after the baby's birth she claimed to have adopted the baby. Most in Hollywood (and some in the general public) believed Gable was Lewis's father because of their strong resemblance and the timing of her birth.
Loretta Young died on August 12, 2000. Her autobiography, published posthumously, confirmed that Gable was indeed Judy Lewis's father.
He was a king wherever he went. He earned the title. He walked like one, he behaved like one, and he was the most masculine man that I have ever met in my life. Gable had balls."
Carole Lombard (born Jane Alice Peters; October 6, 1908 – January 16, 1942) was an American actress, particularly noted for her energetic, often off-beat roles in screwball comedies.
She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in My Man Godfrey (1936). After marrying Clark Gable, "The King of Hollywood", Lombard and Gable became the supercouple of Hollywood. After making To Be or Not to Be (1942) with her favorite director Ernst Lubitsch, Lombard's career was cut short when she died at the age of 33 aboard TWA Flight 3, which crashed while returning from a war bond tour. Today, she is remembered as one of the definitive actresses of the screwball comedy genre and American comedy, and as an icon of American cinema.
In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Lombard 23rd on its list of the greatest female stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema.
Lombard was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908. Christened with the name Jane Alice Peters, she was the third child and only daughter of Frederic Christian Peters (1875–1935) and Elizabeth Jayne Peters (1876–1942). Lombard's parents both descended from wealthy families and her early years were lived in comfort. The marriage between her parents was strained, however, and in October 1914, her mother took the children and moved to Los Angeles.
Although the couple did not divorce, the separation was permanent. Her father's continued financial support allowed the family to live without worry.
The young Lombard was passionately involved in sports and enjoyed watching movies. At Virgil Junior High School, she participated in tennis, volleyball, and swimming, and won trophies for her achievements in athletics. At the age of 12, this hobby unexpectedly landed Lombard her first screen role. With the encouragement of her mother, Lombard happily took a small role in the melodrama A Perfect Crime (1921).
In October 1924, 16-year-old Lombard was signed to a contract with the Fox Film Corporation. The teenager abandoned her schooling to embark on this new career. From this point, she became "Carol Lombard", the new name taken from a family friend.
The majority of Lombard's appearances with Fox were bit parts in low-budget Westerns and adventure films. But Lombard embraced the flapper lifestyle and became a regular at the Coconut Grove nightclub, where she won several Charleston dance competitions.
In March 1925, Fox gave Lombard a leading role in the drama Marriage in Transit. Her performance was well received, but the studio heads were unconvinced that Lombard was leading lady material, and her one-year contract was not renewed. Lombard signed a contract with Mack Sennett afterwards.
On 9 September 1927, Lombard suffered an accident while out on a date with a young man Harry Cooper whose car crashed into another car; the windshield shattered and shards of glass cut "Lombard’s face from her nose and across her left cheek to her eye." Lombard underwent reconstructive surgery, and faced a long recovery period. For the remainder of her career, Lombard learned to hide the mark with make-up and careful lighting.
In October 1927 Lombard and her mother, Bess, sued Harry Cooper for $35,000 in damages, citing in the lawsuit that "where she formerly was able to earn a salary of $300 monthly as a Sennett girl, she is now unable to obtain employment of any kind." The lawsuit was settled out of court, and Lombard received $3000.
Although Lombard initially had reservations about performing in slapstick comedies, the actress joined his company as one of the "Sennett Bathing Beauties". She appeared in 18 short films (all as Lillian Smith in the Smith Family series) between September 1927 and March 1929, and greatly enjoyed her time at the studio. It gave Lombard her first experiences in comedy and provided valuable training for her future work in the genre.
Paramount Pictures recruited Lombard and signed her to a $350-per-week contract. For the film Fast and Loose (1930) Paramount mistakenly credited the actress as "Carole Lombard". She decided she liked this spelling and it became her permanent screen name.
Lombard appeared in five films released during 1931, two of them, Man of the World and Ladies Man, both featured William Powell, Paramount's top male star.
Lombard had been a fan of the actor before they met, attracted to his good looks and debonair screen persona, and they were soon in a relationship. Despite their disparate personalities, Lombard married Powell on 6 June 1931, at her Beverly Hills home.
Lombards' marriage to Powell increased her fame. But the marriage was not a success. In August 1933, Lombard and Powell divorced after 26 months of marriage, although they remained very good friends until the end of Lombard's life.
The year 1934 marked a high point in Lombard's career. She began with Wesley Ruggles's musical drama Bolero, where George Raft and she showcased their dancing skills in an extravagantly staged performance to Maurice Ravel's "Boléro". Bolero was favorably received, while her next film, the musical comedy We're Not Dressing with Bing Crosby, was a box-office hit.
Lombard was then recruited by the director Howard Hawks, a second cousin, to star in his screwball comedy film Twentieth Century which proved a watershed in her career and made her a major star.
Lombard's success continued as she was recruited by Universal Studios to star in the screwball comedy My Man Godfrey (1936). William Powell, who was playing the eponymous Godfrey, insisted on her being cast as the female lead Irene, a zany heiress who employs a "forgotten man" as the family butler. My Man Godfrey was released to great acclaim and was a box office hit. It received six nominations at the 9th Academy Awards, including Lombard for Best Actress. Biographers cite it as her finest performance,
By 1937, Lombard was one of Hollywood's most popular actresses, and also the highest-paid star in Hollywood following the deal which Myron Selznick negotiated with Paramount that brought her $450,000, more than five times the salary of the U.S. President.
True Confession was the last film Lombard made on her Paramount contract, and she remained an independent performer for the rest of her career.
In 1932, Lombard was cast as the wife of a con artist in No Man of Her Own. Her co-star for the picture was Clark Gable, who was rapidly becoming one of Hollywood's top stars. The film was a critical and commercial success.
It was the only picture that Gable and Lombard made together. There was no romantic interest at this time, however.
Four years after their teaming on No Man of Her Own, the pair had reunited at a Hollywood party and began a romance early in 1936. Gable was separated from his wife, Rhea Langham, but she did not want to grant him a divorce. As his relationship with Lombard became serious, Langham eventually agreed to a settlement worth half a million dollars. The divorce was finalized in March 1939, and Gable and Lombard eloped to Kingman, Arizona on 29 March.
The couple, both lovers of the outdoors, bought a 20-acre ranch in Encino, California, where they kept barnyard animals and enjoyed hunting trips. Almost immediately, Lombard wanted to start a family, but her attempts failed; after two miscarriages and numerous trips to fertility specialists, she was unable to have children. In early 1938, Lombard officially joined the Baháʼí Faith, of which her mother had been a member since 1922.
While continuing with a slower work-rate, Lombard decided to move away from comedies and return to dramatic roles as she was eager to win an Academy Award. But after a few failed attempt, she returned to comedy.
Through her agent, Lombard heard of Ernst Lubitsch's upcoming film: To Be or Not to Be (1942), a dark comedy that satirized the Nazi takeover of Poland.
The actress had long wanted to work with Lubitsch, her favorite comedy director, Lombard accepted the role of actress Maria Tura, despite it being a smaller part than she was used to. Filming took place in the fall of 1941, and was reportedly one of the happiest experiences of Lombard's career. That was Carole Lombard's last film.
When the U.S. entered World War II at the end of 1941, Lombard traveled to her home state of Indiana for a war bond rally with her mother, Bess Peters, and Clark Gable's press agent, Otto Winkler. Lombard raised more than $2 million in defense bonds in a single evening. Her party had initially been scheduled to return to Los Angeles by train, but Lombard was eager to reach home more quickly and wanted to travel by air. Her mother and Winkler were afraid of flying and insisted that the group follow their original travel plans. Lombard suggested that they flip a coin; they agreed, and Lombard won the toss.
In the early morning hours of January 16, 1942, Lombard, her mother and Winkler boarded a Transcontinental and Western Air Douglas DST (Douglas Sleeper Transport) aircraft to return to California.
After refueling in Las Vegas, the airplane crashed near the 8,300-foot (2,530 m) level of Potosi Mountain shortly after taking off. All 22 aboard, including Lombard, her mother, and 15 U.S. Army soldiers, were killed instantly. Lombard was 33 years old.
Lombard's funeral was on January 21 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. She was interred beside her mother under the name of Carole Lombard Gable.
Lombard's final film, To Be or Not to Be was in post-production at the time of her death. The film's producers decided to cut part of the film in which Lombard's character asks, "What can happen on a plane?" out of respect for the circumstances surrounding her death.
At the time of her death, Lombard had been scheduled to star in the film They All Kissed the Bride; she was replaced by Joan Crawford who donated all of her salary for the film to the Red Cross, which had helped extensively in the recovery of bodies from the air crash. Shortly after Lombard's death, Gable, who was devastated by his loss, joined the United States Army Air Forces.
Gable settled his claim against the airline for $10. He did not want to repeat his grief in court.
Despite remarrying twice following her death, Gable was interred beside Carole Lombard when he died in 1960.
Lombard's Fort Wayne childhood home has been designated a historic landmark. The city named the nearby bridge over the St. Mary's River the Carole Lombard Memorial Bridge.
In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Lombard 23rd on its list of the 25 greatest American female screen legends of classic Hollywood cinema, and she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6930 Hollywood Blvd.
Profile Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer (28 August 1899 – 26 August 1978) was a French-American actor who appeared in more than 80 films between 1920 and 1976. After receiving an education in drama, Boyer started on the stage, but he found his success in American films during the 1930s. His memorable performances were among the era's most highly praised, in romantic dramas such as The Garden of Allah (1936), Algiers (1938), and Love Affair (1939), as well as the mystery-thriller Gaslight (1944). He received four Oscar nominations for Best Actor.
Charles Boyer, né le 28 août 1899 à Figeac, Lot et mort le 26 août 1978 à Phoenix, Arizona, est un acteur franco-américain. Après avoir débuté sa carrière en France, il devient l'un des acteurs français les plus célèbres à Hollywood durant les années 1930 et 1940. Se montrant aussi à l'aise dans les mélodrames, Le Jardin d'Allah (1936), Casbah (1938) et Elle et lui (1939), que dans les thrillers, Hantise (1944), il est nommé à quatre reprises à l'oscar du meilleur acteur.
Biographie Charles Boyer
Fils unique, Charles Boyer naît prématurément le 28 août 1899, boulevard Labernade à Figeac. Son père, Maurice Boyer tient un commerce familial de moissonneuses-batteuses, fourneaux de cuisine et faucheuses et sa mère, Louise, est mère au foyer. Dès son plus jeune âge, il a l'habitude de s'installer sur le comptoir où il récite des poésies ou des tirades pour amuser les clients. En 1909, son père décède brutalement. Peu de temps après, il assiste pour la première fois à une pièce de théâtre, Samson, dans laquelle se produit le comédien Lucien Guitry. Impressionné par son talent, il fait alors le vœu de devenir acteur, au grand désarroi de sa mère.
En 1914, la guerre éclate. Au cours de ces années noires, Figeac accueille des soldats convalescents. Pour les distraire, Charles Boyer crée et joue des spectacles. En 1917, à 19 ans, il part à Paris et s'inscrit à la Sorbonne.
Après avoir suivi le conservatoire, Charles Boyer commence sa carrière par le théâtre. Mais c'est au cinéma, en France, notamment grâce à Marcel L'Herbier, puis à Hollywood, qu'il connaît ses plus grands succès comme « jeune premier » au cours des années 1920 et 1930.
En 1934, il épouse une jeune actrice britannique, Pat Paterson, rencontrée quelques semaines plus tôt lors d'une soirée entre deux tournages de Caravane.
En 1938, il décroche le fameux rôle de Pépé le Moko, le voleur en fuite dans Casbah, un remake en langue anglaise du film français Pépé le Moko avec Jean Gabin, son grand rival.
Durant les années 1930 et 1950, il est une grande vedette et les studios se l'arrachent.
Les plus grandes actrices de son époque sont ses partenaires :
-Bette Davis (L'Étrangère),
-Greta Garbo (Marie Walewska),
-Marlene Dietrich (Le Jardin d'Allah),
-Danielle Darrieux (Mayerling, Madame de...),
-Irene Dunne (Elle et lui),
-Olivia de Havilland (Par la porte d'or),
-Ingrid Bergman (Hantise, Nina),
-Michèle Morgan (Maxime).
Ce rôle d'amoureux malgré lui le suivra toute sa carrière.
« C'était l'élégance et la courtoisie personnifiées ».
Exempté de service militaire (étant orphelin de père), il revient à Figeac en 1939 pour s'engager dans l'armée. Au bout de onze semaines, il est démobilisé par le président du conseil, Edouard Daladier, qui lui demande de retourner aux États-Unis pour convaincre ses amis américains du show-business du bienfondé de cette guerre.
Peu de temps après, il fonde un centre intellectuel à Los Angeles à partir des six cents volumes de sa bibliothèque, la French Research Foundation, qui en 1945 comptait plus de quinze mille livres. Ce don de sa part avait pour mission en période de guerre d'incarner l'esprit français aux États-Unis. Durant la même période, il participe à la création et au financement du « French War Relief Committee » (Comité français de secours de guerre).
Le 13 février 1942, il obtient la citoyenneté américaine. Peu disert sur ce sujet, Charles Boyer explique qu'il ne se sentait plus « en Amérique » mais « d'Amérique ».
Le 22 septembre 1965, son fils unique, Michael Charles Boyer, né en 1944, se suicide accidentellement d'une balle dans la tête en jouant à la roulette russe dans sa chambre à son domicile de Beverly Hills. Charles Boyer se trouve alors à Paris.
Le 26 août 1978, Charles Boyer se suicide à l'aide d'une dose de barbituriques deux jours après le décès de sa femme, l'actrice Pat Paterson, des suites d'un cancer, et deux jours avant de fêter son 79e anniversaire.
Il est enterré au cimetière Holy Cross à Los Angeles.
Biography Charles Boyer
Boyer was born in Figeac, Lot, France, the son of Augustine Louise Durand and Maurice Boyer, a merchant. Boyer (which means "cowherd" in the Occitan language) was a shy, small town boy who discovered the movies and theatre at the age of eleven.
During World War I, Boyer performed comic sketches for soldiers while working as a hospital orderly.
He went to the capital city to finish his education in Sorbonne, but spent most of his time pursuing a theatrical career.
In 1920, his quick memory won him a chance to replace the leading man in a stage production, Aux jardins de Murcie. He was successful. Then he appeared in a play La Bataille and Boyer became a theatre star overnight.
In the 1920s, he not only played a suave and sophisticated ladies' man on the stage but also appeared in several silent films.
Boyer's first film was L'homme du large (1920), directed by Marcel L'Herbier. He focused on theatre work for a number of years, then returned to the screen. With the coming of sound, his deep voice made him a romantic star.
Boyer was first brought to Hollywood by MGM who wanted him to play the Chester Morris part in a French version of The Big House (1930), Révolte dans la prison (1931).
But His first English speaking role was The Magnificent Lie (1931) of Paramount directed by Berthold Viertel.
In early 1934, as production on Charlie Chan Goes To Egypt in which Pat Paterson starred was wrapping, French actor Maurice Chevalier persuaded his lifelong best friend Charles Boyer, to attend a Fox Studios post-New Year dinner party at which Pat Paterson was a guest. In interviews over the years, Boyer declared their meeting to have been a case of love at first sight. The two became engaged after two weeks of courtship and they married within four weeks of the party, on St. Valentine's Day, 14 February 1934, in Yuma, Arizona.
Boyer became an international star with Mayerling (1936), co-starring Danielle Darrieux and directed by Anatole Litvak. Boyer played Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria.
In 1938, he landed his famous role as Pepe le Moko, the thief on the run in Algiers, an English-language remake of the classic French film Pepe le Moko with Jean Gabin, produced by Wanger.
Boyer was making the movie in Nice when France declared war on Germany in September 1939. Boyer joined the French army.
By November, Boyer was discharged from the army and back in Hollywood as the French government thought he would be of more service making films.
Boyer became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1942.
In 1943, Boyer was awarded an Honorary Oscar Certificate for "progressive cultural achievement" in establishing the French Research Foundation in Los Angeles as a source of reference.
At the end of the year, on 9 December 1943, Charles Boyer's wife Pat Paterson gave birth to their only child, Michael Charles Boyer, in Los Angeles, California.
In contrast to his glamorous image, Boyer began losing his hair early, had a pronounced paunch, and was noticeably shorter than leading ladies like Ingrid Bergman.
In 1948, Boyer was made a chevalier of the French Légion d'honneur. That same year, he made another film with Ingrid Bergman, Arch of Triumph (1948), which failed at the box office, which means Charles Boyer was no longer the box office star he had been.
Boyer went to Broadway, where he made his first appearance in Red Gloves (1948–49), based on Dirty Hands by Jean-Paul Sartre, which went for 113 performances.
In 1951, he appeared on the Broadway stage in one of his most notable roles, that of Don Juan, in a dramatic reading of the third act of George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman, for which he won Broadway's 1951 Special Tony Award.
Boyer also moved into television as one of the pioneering producers and stars of the anthology show Four Star Playhouse (1952–56). It was made by Four Star Productions which would make Boyer and partners David Niven and Dick Powell rich.
Charles Boyer was nominated for the Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic) in the 1963 Broadway production of Lord Pengo, which ran for 175 performances.
Two years later in 1965 his son Michael Charles Boyer killed himself accidentally at age 21 while playing Russian roulettev in his own room, and Boyer was finding it traumatic to continue living in Los Angeles so in March 1970 he decided to relocate to Europe.
Boyer's final performance was in A Matter of Time (1976) with Liza Minnelli and Ingrid Bergman, directed by Vincente Minnelli.
Charles Boyer's movie career had lasted longer than that of other romantic actors, winning him the nickname "the last of the cinema's great lovers.". And an International lover: In addition to French and English, Boyer spoke Italian, German, and Spanish.
During his prime years, Charles Boyer has played opposited the greatest female Hollywood stars such as:
-Claudette Colbert in The Man from Yesterday (1932), Private Worlds (1935), Tovarich (1937);
-Loretta Young in Caravan (1934);
-Marlene Dietrich (The Garden of Allah (1936)/Le Jardin d'Allah);
-Jean Arthur in History Is Made at Night (1937);
-Greta Garbo in Conquest (1937);
-Michèle Morgan in Orage (1938), Maxime (1958);
-Irene Dunne in Love affair(1939), When Tomorrow Comes (1939); Together Again(1944);
-Bette Davis in All This, and Heaven Too (1940);
-Danielle Darrieux in Mayerling, The Earrings of Madame de... /Madame de...(1953);
-Olivia de Havilland and Paulette Goddard in Hold back the Dawn(1941);
-Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight (1944); Arch of Triumph (1948)
-Joan Fontaine in The Constant Nymph (1943);
-Lauren Bacall in Confidential Agent (1945);
-Jennifer Jones in Cluny Brown (1946);
-Sophia Loren in What a Woman!(1956);
-Brigitte Bardot in La Parisienne (1957).
On 24 August 1978, Charles Boyer's wife Pat Paterson died in Phoenix, Arizona of brain cancer.
Two days later, On 26 August 1978, Boyer died by suicide with an overdose of Seconal while at a friend's home in Scottsdale. He was taken to the hospital in Phoenix, where he died. It was just two days before his own 79th birthday,
He was interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California, alongside his wife and son.
In 1966, Boyer recorded a laid-back album called Where Does Love Go. The album consisted of famous love songs sung (or rather spoken) with Boyer's distinctive deep voice and French accent. The record was reportedly Elvis Presley's favorite album for the last 11 years of his life, the one he most listened to.