After a long and colorful courtship, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard came under heavy pressure from MGM boss Louis B. Mayer to “regularize” their relationship. Gable’s divorce from his second wife Ria Langham (from whom he had been separated since 1935) was finally granted at a hearing on March 8th.
On the same day Lombard told columnist Louella Parsons that she and Gable would be married soon. But, in characteristically salty fashion, she was determined that the nuptials would not be turned into a “fucking circus”. Publicist Otto Winkler chose the First Methodist-Episcopal Church in Kingman, Arizona, southeast of Los Angeles. Gable, on a two day furlough from Gone With the Wind, had to hide in the rumble seat of Winkler’s blue De Soto coupe when they stopped for gas; Lombard, in pigtails, jeans and no make-up passed for an ordinary traveler.