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People Top 5
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- November 14, 1988
- Vol. 30
- No. 20
John Gable, Who Never Knew His Dashing Dad, Shows Off the King's Grandson—the New Clark Gable!
Clark Gable's slick hair, sword-thin mustache and pleasantly smirky smile sent millions of women into orbit during his 35-year career. Sadly, "the King" did not live to see his only child. John Clark Gable, 27, was born to Clark's fifth wife, the late socialite Kay Spreckels, four months after the actor's death. They didn't call him Clark, Kay once said, because "Pa [Clark] thought that name was a handicap for a child." Clark James is the first son of John and his wife, Tracy, a 26-year-old hairdresser, who decided to carry on the nom de screen.
John, who lives in Malibu, was brought up in heavily protected seclusion after a kidnapping threat when he was about a year old. He shares his father's passion for adventuring—this week he's competing in the grueling Baja 1000 off-road race in Mexico—and has just landed his first movie part, a lead in Bitter Duel, a Western that films in January. Fatherhood fits comfortably into this schedule. "I feed Clark, rock him to sleep and sing to him," he says proudly. Not activities one readily thinks of doing with the original Clark, but John notes that even a given name is not a given. "Clark is a good name," says the new father, "but he can always call himself C.J."
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