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Free virtual tour at Clark Gable Museum

VIRTUAL TOUR — The Clark Gable Museum in Cadiz will offer a free virtual tour in celebration of the late actor’s 120th birthday. The event is set for 10 a.m. Monday.

CADIZ — In celebration of the late actor’s 120th birthday, the Clark Gable Museum will hold a free virtual tour of the establishment along with its annual in-person event.

Each year the museum pays tribute to William Clark Gable, who was born on Feb. 1, 1901, in Cadiz, with a birthday celebration and tour of the facility for the public. This year, the annual bash will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through video conference and inside the museum, located at 128 Charleston St.

The Clark Gable Foundation has been celebrating the birthday of the King of Hollywood since the early 1980s and continued to do so once it opened the museum in 1999. The museum, dedicated in Gable’s honor, is actually a reconstruction of the home where Gable was born, situated on the same property.

It contains memorabilia and displays of several of his personal items, including his boyhood sled and a classic 1954 Cadillac.

Gable became a star of stage and screen, but not before getting off to a rough start. His mother died when he was 7 months old, and he lived with his aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania until he turned 2. His father, an oilfield worker, brought him back to Ohio to raise him. Gable quit school at 16, went to work in an Akron tire factory and was bitten by the acting bug after seeing a play.

Throughout the 1920s and ’30s, Gable rose to stardom, popular for his rugged good looks and physical dominance. He eventually starred in blockbuster hits such as “It Happened One Night,” “Mutiny on the Bounty” and “Call of the Wild.” His most famous role was that of Rhett Butler in “Gone With The Wind.”

In November 1960 after filming “The Misfits” opposite Marilyn Monroe, he had a heart attack and died later that month. Although he already had an adult daughter and a grandchild as a result of an affair with Loretta Young in his early career, he never had the opportunity to meet his son, John Clark Gable, who was born in March 1961.

Mike Cope, president of the Clark Gable Foundation, said he will be conducting the virtual tour along with Sal St. George, owner of St. George Living History Productions.

“This year we were contacted by a producer out of New York who does virtual tours of Hollywood movie stars’ homes. So this year we’ll be doing a Zoom meeting, and I’ll be giving a tour of the museum through his production company,” Cope said.

St. George travels around the country providing viewers with a virtual look at celebrities’ homes, he said.

The virtual tour will allow those who prefer to remain at home amid the coronavirus pandemic to view the museum and celebrate from the comfort of their own home, Cope said. Hundreds of people already have registered to participate in the virtual tour, he added.

“We’re hoping that people will join us. If they can’t come physically, they’ll join in on the virtual tour,” he said.

Those who wish to attend the event in person may do so and will be provided with cake, refreshments, music and a tour of the museum.

“It’s a celebration and to send a happy birthday to Gable,” he said.

Masks are required to enter the event and social distancing will be practiced, Cope said.

The in-person and virtual tours are free to the public. For information or to register for the virtual tour, visit salstgeorge.com.

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