Oregon Movies, A to Z

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Primordial Clark

October 2nd, 2008 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · 1920's, Lillypadder, Side Notes

During the winter of 1923, Mark Rothko came back home to Portland from the East Coast, after dropping out of Yale. While here, he studied acting with a local acting company, The Red Lantern Players. William Clark Gable (above) was in his class.

Josephine Dillon, their teacher, was a trained actress with a college education (Stanford, ‘08). She took an interest in Gable, and guided him toward his first roles in Hollywood.

No record of her opinion of Rothko’s acting talent.

Also studying with Dillon at this time: Portland born and raised James Beard.

Josephine Dillon became Mrs. Clark Gable in 1924. She was 37. He was 23. In 1930, they divorced.

Clark Gable became King Of Hollywood, which position he held from 1934 (It Happened One Night) to 1961 (The Misfits).

Mark Rothko shook the acting dust from his shoes, returned to New York, and began seriously studying painting.

James Beard took a brief theatrical tour of Europe, then moved to New York where he supported himself as a caterer, which career path eventually led to writing, teaching, and changing the way America eats.

One acting class, three mega stars. The rest is history.

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