Gable, Clark (1901-1960)

Gable, Clark 1

[Gable starred in many Hollywood films, including Gone With the Wind (as Rhett Butler), but he was a relative unknown when director Lewis Milestone tried to cast him forThe Front Page:]

The cast was the best we could get. I originally wanted Jimmy Cagney to play Hildy Johnson. Zanuck agreed, but Howard Hughes wouldn't accept him -- he considered Cagney "a little runt": this was before Cagney had made his mark in Public Enemy.

Then I had a chance to get Clark Gable for the part but Howard Hughes rejected him too, saying "That man's ears make him look like a taxi-cab with both doors open."

Gilbert, Sir William Schwenck (1836-1911)

Gilbert, Sir William Schwenck 1

William Schwenck Gilbert, half of the Gilbert & Sullivan team, had a terrible temper. He lived in London at a time when there were two kinds of public transportation. There were carriages with two wheels called hansom cabs, because they had been designed by one Joseph [sic] Hansom, and carriages with four wheels that were called four-wheelers.

One time Gilbert was standing outside the entrance of a hotel when a portly gentleman came out and, mistaking him for a doorman, said, "My good man, call me a carriage."

At which Gilbert scowled and said, "You're a four-wheeler."

The man said, "What do you mean, fellow?"

And Gilbert replied, "Well, you asked me to call you a carriage, and I couldn't very well call you hansom."

A similar story is told about Joseph Choate.

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Revised November 11, 1998