Gable was perceived as the archetypal Hollywood supermensch, the kind of man women lusted after and their husbands envied. However, as David Bret reveals in this powerful biography, in the early days of his career Gable was more of a man's man than a ladies man, displaying strong bisexual tendencies - a facet of his complex personality airbrushed out of his story by the conservative Hollywood studios. Indeed, Gable's first two wives, both considerably older than him, were themselves sexually ambiguous. Not surprisingly, Gable was soon taken up by such "Sewing Circle" stars as Jean Harlow, Pauline Frederick and Carole Lombard, the great love of his life. Another revelation in Bret's eye-opening biography relates to Gable's wartime 'heroics', which saw him promoted through the ranks from private to major in less than a year, but were no more than an elaborate publicity stunt. Like an earlier paternity suit, it was an exercise dreamed up by studio chief Louis B Mayer to promote and protect Gable's image.
After ending his affair with the journalist Ben Maddox in 1942, Gable seems to have 'gone straight', from which point Bret moves into more familiar territory, focussing on Gable's "Gone With The Wind" period and on his affairs with Joan Crawford, Ava Gardner and other famous stars, his films, and his marriages. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished material, he pulls no punches when writing about every aspect of this great star's career and personal life, telling his story with candour and panache. This is a classy biography that pulls no punches. It includes sensational new material.
David Bret is one of Brtitain's leading showbusiness biographers, and an authority on the chanson. His many highly successful books include controversial biographies of Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Morrissey, Tallulah Bankhead, Joan Crawford and Maria Callas.