‘The Misfits’ Was Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable’s Final Film

Marilyn Monroe is an iconic celebrity actress who, even though she died at a tragically young age more than five decades ago, continues to fascinate the world to this day.

Clark Gable was her contemporary in many ways, an actor who had risen to fame in the ’30s, starring in movies like Gone With the Wind. Both performers had experienced immeasurable tragedy in their personal lives, and both had the distinction of working together only one time — in the 1961 Western film, The Misfits.

Ultimately, it would prove to be the final time that either star acted in a big screen project. 

Marilyn Monroe was a blonde bombshell actress

Marilyn Monroe acting out a movie scene.
Marilyn Monroe | Mondadori via Getty Images

RELATED: Why Did Marilyn Monroe Divorce All 3 of Her Husbands?

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jean Mortensen, raised in a series of foster homes, and married when she was only 16 years old. She entered into a modeling career after being spotted by a photographer, which eventually led to a film contract.

Mortensen changed her name to the more movie-star worthy name of Marilyn Monroe, but it still took years before the beautiful young starlet was able to make it big in Hollywood.

After she appeared in the movies Niagara and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Monroe became a marketable presence in the entertainment business, and by 1953, she was known as a star. While Monroe became known for a “dumb blonde” persona that was in part cultivated by studio executives, Monroe herself yearned for more serious movie roles.

Her high-profile marriages, to baseball star Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, only served to enhance the public’s interest in her personal life — but by the late ’50s, rumors and tabloid headlines had made Monroe’s life difficult. 

Clark Gable was called the ‘King of Hollywood’

RELATED: Did Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe Have a One-Night Stand?

Clark Gable, on the surface, seemed to be very different from Marilyn Monroe. He started working as an actor in the ’30s, acting in a series of romantic comedies. Gable earned acclaim for his tall stature and handsome looks, and quickly, the young actor became a product of the Old Hollywood studio system. He acted prolifically all throughout the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s, becoming one of the world’s biggest stars.

In spite of the success that he experienced in his career, Gable’s personal life was beset with tragedy. He was married multiple times, with his union to fellow movie star Carol Lombard noted as one of the happiest periods of his life — a period of time that came to a crashing halt when Lombard was killed in a freak plane crash. Although Gable went on to marry again, many believe that the talented actor was never truly the same after Lombard’s death. 

Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable received acclaim for their work in ‘The Misfits’

RELATED: The Complicated, Tragic Story Behind Marilyn Monroe’s Real Name

By 1960, Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable were two of the biggest movie stars in the world. They were both cast in the highly-anticipated film The Misfits, playing two sad people who somehow find solace in each other.

The movie proved to be the last movie effort for both Monroe and Gable. Clark Gable would die of a heart attack only days after filming wrapped, at the age of 59 — The Misfits hit theatres just a few months after his death.

As for Marilyn Monroe, she died in 1962 at the age of 36. Her death is still shrouded in mystery, although many experts believe that Monroe committed suicide.

These days, Monroe and Gable’s legacies live on the work that they committed to the big screen, and in the movie that critics describe as “bleak perfection,” The Misfits