Mildred Coles

Mildred Coles2

Pretty looking, demure Mildred Coles was just a student when the big, fat doors of Hollywood were opened to her, and the whole world seemed to be at her feet. Yep, that is what it looks like when you are 19, have just signed a contract and were expected to make tons of movies opposite well known stars of the day. Sadly, even this success story (and it is a success story, not many girl get to this step!) did not warrant a continuation, and by the mid 1940s, she was down to low budget movies and westerns, and in the end, retirement before the age of 30.

EARLY LIFE:

Mildred Blanche Coles was born on July 18, 1920, in Los Angeles, California, to Thomas R. Coles and Josephine Elizabeth Warrick. Her Ohio born father was a vice president of a company and her Illinois born mother a housewife. She was their only child.

Mildred grew up in Van Nuys and attended Van Nuys High School. She was nicknamed Milly by her parents, and, despite growing up in a well off homestead, helped her mother around the house, washing dishes and cooking.

Mildred attended Occidental Colledge in Los Angeles, and there she was noticed by a Paramount talent scout, who signed her in 1938 and thus her movie career started.

CAREER:

Mildred had a few uncredited roles when she first came to Hollywood, and in pretty high flying movies at that: Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever, the absolute classic The Women, where she played a debutante, and 5th Ave Girl, a charming movie with Ginger Rogers.

As a part of the publicity gag, Mildred changed her name, briefly, to Gloria Carter, and appeared as the character with the same name in Our Neighbors – The Carters. This could be a forgotten movie, as it had no reviews on IMDB, and there is not even a summary written for it. I could only find Music with cues for the picture released in 1939 (you have it on the Internet Archive).

MildredColes3From then on, Mildred got up on the Hollywood ladder, slowly but surely. She appeared, uncredited, in Ladies Must Live, a bubbly but ultimately moronic B romance movie for Warner Bros, alongside Wayne Morris and Rosemary Lane. The next was Money and the Woman, a crime programmer (shorter than 60 mins), with Jeffery Lynn (an actor I admire) and Brenda Marshall in the leads. The plot is a bit above average, showing how you can steal money from the bank without staging a heist of a gun robbery. Still, is levels out to a standard programmer fare in the end.

No Time for Comedy  still had her in the uncredited tier, but it was a step up. This is no B movie, but it’s not easy to appraise it. The plot concerns a comedy writer trying to “mature” and try and write a tragedy, with tragic results. As one reviewer nicely put, it’s a uneasy mix of drama and comedy, a tricky meta genre Hollywood likes to do even today. It’s notoriously hard to pull off, and while not completely off the mark, the movie isn’t as successful as it would like in the balancing act. The cast is superb – Jimmy Stewart, Rosalind Russell, Charles Ruggles, Genevive Tobin, and are the real reason to watch this movie.

Mildred’s next venture into the uncredited territory is A Dispatch from Reuter’s, a biopic showing the life of Julius Reuter, who created the first world wide information system. The man strength of the movie is Edward G. Robinson in the lead role – like in most of his movie work, he’s magnificent and almost impossible to outshine. While not completely accurate (what do you expect from Hollywood biopics?), it’s a well made movie, moving at a brisk pace and with superb editing. The rest of the cast is very solid: Gene Lockhart, Otto Kruger, Nigel Bruce, Albert Bassermann and Edna Best. Eddie Albert, an actor I adore, who plays Robinsons’s assistant, has the most thankless role int he movie.

Santa Fe Trail  is a famous Errol Flynn western. I dislike westerns and am hardy the one to judge them, so I’ll just skip this one. I like Errol and find it hard to imagine him as a cowboy, but hey, he made several highly popular westerns in the 1940s, so he must have made something right!  She made a short comedy reel, March On, Marines, with Dennis Morgan, the singing Irishman of the 1940s. It’s a typical saccharine, over idealized portrayal of marine life. She made an appearance in Cliff Edwards and His Buckaroos, and was uncredited int he superb Gary Cooper movie, Meet John Doe, perhaps the best movie she appeared in.

Mildred finally caught her moment of fame in Play Girl, a Kay Francis comedy. Make no mistake, Kay was way past her prime in 1941, and her movies were not top moneymakers, this one being no exception. The plot, as it goes is, as taken from a reviewer on IMDB: “An aging “gold-digger” Grace (Kay Francis), realizes that she’s too old (over 30) to hoodwink vain older men. She takes on a destitute nineteen-year-old Ellen (Mildred Coles), and grooms her to be her successor.” The movie gives some subtle hints of the dark side of “high class call girl” living, but it’s a light comedy at it’s very heart. Kay overshadows just about everybody else, including Mildred. Let’s be fair, as the ingenue, Mildred has a much drier, less interesting and meaty role than Kay. This is always the case where there are female dual roles in movies. Yet, it was a good start for Mildred, and she had something to look forward to.

MildredColes6Whatever you can say about the movie, Mildred was never uncredited again, a feast in itself in Hollywood, where one day you are the king, and the other day a pauper. Maybe her way was started. Her next leading role was in Here Comes Happiness.  The plot is a copy-paste of “It happened one night”, with a rich heiress trying to wiggle out of the gilded cage she lives in and enjoy her life at the normal middle class level (without her intended knowing she is a heiress, of course!). It’s a typical slow moving, gentle movie of the time Hollywood rarely makes anymore – no surprises, no big names, simple plot based on misunderstandings. MIldred is good enough, and so is her leading man, Edward Norris.

Hurry, Charlie, Hurry is a Leon Erroll vehicle all the way. Like in most of his movies, Errol tries to escape form his wife, telling her he is going there and there and doing this and that, but in fact going the totally opposite and way and doing something totally different. This time, he tells her he meeting with the Vice-President but goes on a fishing trip. He befriends some Native Americans and the fun starts when they come to visit him. Mildred plays the long suffering wife here, but, make no mistake, it’s Errol’s movie and Mildred is little more than a nice set piece.

After such a let down, Mildred got slightly bigger fish to fry. Lady Scarface is an interesting movie, if nothing than for the role of gender in its plot. Lady Scarface is, of course, a woman, played by the delicious Judith Anderson, and a hard core mob boss, who hold court with an iron fist over her group of petty criminals. Women rule in this picture, and man are mostly useless – as exemplified by the feeble tries of the male police officers to nab Lady Scarface. While it’s not a very good movie, with a thin plot and B movie values, it is Judith Anderson that makes it a worthwhile experience.

Mildred took up comedy afterwards, quite a change from her previous fare. Scattergood Meets Broadway is a mediocre, little seen comedy with Guy Kibbee in the leading role. Sleepytime Gal is a typical Judy Canova movie – if you like her brand of humor, than this is definitely a above average movie for you, if not, don’t watch it. Judy always played the same variation her her screen persona, but she sure had charisma and could hold together even the weakest of plots (this movie is not particular exception).

So This Is Washington is a typical wartime production of the early 1940s. The main plot concerns the contract of small town America and the big town America, and yet, it reached a nice conclusion of unity and how it’s not that important where you come from. It’s a nice, breezy and semi funny movie, and it takes some knowledge of the times to truly enjoy it. Chester Lauck and Norris Guff as the two leads, are a passable comedy duo, the predecessors of the two man comedy duo still prevalent today (just watch Dumb and Dumber!). Mildred plays a secretary, but it’s not big role, as she’s showed behind the spotlight held by the two main stars.

MildredColes5What was once a promising career was slowly melting by this time, and Mildred started going (GASP!) westerns. I said it lots of times, and I’m gonna say it even more – for most actresses, this is the sure way to movie work rock bottom. Same here. Already her first, Song of the Drifter  is a an completely unknown musical western. The rest of the westerns Mildred made are: Oklahoma BadlandsMarshal of AmarilloBack Trail and Desperadoes of Dodge City. I have no patience to even try to pretend I’m interested in them, so excuse me for the lack of info 🙂 .

In between the westerns, Mildred squeezed some B (maybe C) level movies that she is best remembered for today. Bob and Sally is her crowning achievement. But is it a good thing? No, I don’t think so. This story is similar to the story of Thelma White, an actress remembered today only because she acted in a exploitation movie int he 1940s (in her case, Reefer Madness). Yes, unlike many other talented actress, she is remembered, but is that remembrance good? Let’s get back to Bob and Sally. Here is a brief synopses of the movie I found on this page:

The problem of young girls who embark on sexual relations without advice from their parents, who are too embarrassed; one has a still born baby after syphilis; the other an abortion and nearly dies.

Yep, you do the math. Is it a master piece with a compelling story great performances and good production values? I don’t think so. Should Mildred, not a wholly untalented actress, and certainly a nice looking girl, be remembered for? It’s hard to say, and depends on hos highly one values “notoriety”. At least she is remembered today (even that is open to discussion, ask a normal classic movie fan if he knows who Mildred Coles is and wait for the answer!)

MildredColes7A better movie (IMHO) and a much better fit for Mildred was Blonde Ice, a low budget thriller wholly elevated to a new level due to the great performance by the leading lady, Leslie Brooks. The plot deals with a lady who murders her way up the social scale. No, she can’t truly parallel the great Jean Gillies in Decoy, a another movie by the same director, Jack Bernhard (boy, did he like his women fatal!), but she more than holds her own. The movie is not as good as Decoy at any measure, but as I said, it holds it’s own in the story and acting department. Interesting to note that Leslie Brooks married Russ Vincent, the man who plays a sleazy blackmailer in the movie.

Mildred’s last movie, Bungalow 13, is another little known crime caper. The lead is played by George Sander’s brother Tom Conway, sadly always seen in his career a “poor man’s George Sanders” (playing charming but rough detectives). The plot is typical of the genre, and features detective Christopher Adams, who chases a precious antique jade lion through the Mexican cafes, auto courts, and the seamy side of Los Angeles. Heard that one before? A hundred times for sure! For the fans of 1940s crime movies it’s a treat, for others not even worth watching.

Mildred knew that, by this time, there was little chance of her getting to first base, and gave up her career not long after.

PRIVATE LIFE:

When Mildred entered Hollywood in 1938, she was almost married, and thus, no big scandals nor romance items for her. Well, who was her intended?

ca. 1940 --- Actress Mildred Coles Wearing a Swimsuit --- Image by © John Springer Collection/CORBIS

ca. 1940 — Actress Mildred Coles Wearing a Swimsuit — Image by © John Springer Collection/CORBIS

Mildred married attorney John Rodney Frost on June 18, 1939, at not yet 19 years old. Frost was born in October 9, 1913 to Winter R Frost and Faith Orton in Utah. He graduated from Freemont High School in Los Angeles, received his A.B. degree from U.C.L.A., and graduated from U.S.C. Law School. He managed a campus milk route to pull himself through college.

In 1940, Frost became a Douglas Aircraft Co. wage and salary administrator negotiating with unions, and spent much of his time in Washington.

Mildred was mostly in the papers due to her (soaring then failing) career. I do know that she had a appendectomy in 1941. The Frosts had four children: Josephine Faith Frost, born on May 14, 1942, Susan Elizabeth Frost, born on October 21, 1944, Jacqueline May Frost, born on March 5, 1949, and Sally Anne Frost, born on September 6, 1950. After the birth of her third daughter, Mildred effectively retired from movies to take care of her family.

The Frosts divorced on January 27, 1979, in San Diego, California. Frost died on December 4, 1985 in California.

Mildred remarried to a Mr. Call sometimes in the 1980s.

Mildred Call died on August 31, 1995, in Paradise, Butte County, California.

 

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Kathleen Fitz

KathleenFitz

After researching Kathleen Fitz, I can honestly say I am much impressed by this woman. While she did not have a big Hollywood career, she was a rich and varied life in other areas, some of them much more important than Tinsel Town. Smart and capable, Kathleen tailored her own destiny, was a tireless worked dedicated to her craft and later a devoted wife and mother.

EARLY LIFE:

Kathleen Adkisson Fitz was born on August 7, 1908 in Texas, to Theophilus Fitz and Mineola Adkisson. Her mother was previously married and gave birth to Kathleen’s older half brother, Joshua Westmoreland, in 1900.

Kathleen was brought up in a artistic and progressive family: her father, Theophilus, was a trained musician and held the spot of dean of music at the Colorado College of Education. As a result, Kathleen grew up in Denver, and was involved in music and the arts from her earliest years. In the late 1910s, the family moved to Los Angeles.

Kathleen was a serious, career minded woman with a strong strike for the academics. After attending high school in Los Angeles, she graduated from Leland Stanford University (where she regularly appeared in the college plays, including  “A kiss for Cinderella” in 1927, and was in the Alpha Phi sorority), and got her M.A. degree from University of Wisconsin. She was also very close to her family – in 1930, they still lived together in Los Angeles with Joshua’s wife and small daughter.

In the early 1930s, Kathleen worked at the University of Wisconsin on her pHD, at the department of education. She was very active in the drama department, staring in several shows: “Cyrano de Bergerac“, “The insect comedy” and “Pygmalion” (as Eliza Doolittle). Soon, her love for the theatricals overshadowed her devotion to her doctoral thesis, and she left it all behind to go and study in the famed Pasadena Community Playhouse. This paved her way to Hollywood in 1933.

CAREER:

Kathleen only made one movie in Hollywood, Eight Girls in a Boat in 1934. Now, here is a film you can see in two ways: the first way, as an excuse to show off eight of well-developed ingenues in shorts, tight blouses and bathing suits. This automatically means the movie is a shallow albeit fun exploitation of young. On the other hand, one can see it a a drama dealing with a “quite commonplace theme of illicit motherhood with considerable delicacy and tact” (taken from this review here). However you choose to look at it, there is no denying that Dorothy Wilson was an actress of great warmth and gentleness that never amounted to much (maybe I can do a profile of her sometime in the future). It’s hard to say why, as she was not shunned in the uncredited tier as most of the girls were – she actually had her share of leading roles. Ah, the fickleness of Hollywood!

After her movie career ended, Kathleen remained very active in the theater. She was a partner of Norman Bel Geddes, noted stage designer and father of future actress Barbara Bel Geddes. She appeared in his production of Iron Men in the mid 1930s.

Soon, Kathleen moved East to play the daughter of Walter Huston in “Dodsworth”, and decided to stay in New York. She appeared in a myriad of plays like “Three man on a horse”, “Boy meets girls” and “Brother rat”. In 1938, toured all around the States with the play “Yes my darling daughter”.

In 1939, she returned to the West Coast, and started doing dramatic serials. Soon, she was a cast member of NBC’s “One Man’s Family” and contiued to work in the medium.

PRIVATE LIFE:

The first think I noticed about Kathleen that she was not a typical starlet. Let’s face it, starlets are a staple of Hollywood from the late 1900s to today – their appearance varies, but the modus opeandi is always the same. Young, fresh and typically armed with little more than beauty, they don’t dream of any great artistic achievements, bu want the fame and fortune. Kathleen was a serious, mature woman when she entered Hollywood, 26 years old. She was not a sexpot nor a dancer, never worked as a chorine, and ideologically was a dedicated actress. Accordingly, she never made any scandalous splashes in the papers.

Kathleen was quite popular while in college. In 1929, she was the girlfriend of Charley Paddock, a Olympic sprinter who held the record for the 100 yard dash at the time. Later that year, she was often seen with the slightly younger student, William “Erny” Lusby. Lusby actually took one of her classes and was so enchanted the two continued to see each other after the classes were over.

In 1936, Kathleen enjoyed a hot and steamy relationship with Stephen Fuld, who worked in the B casting at Columbia. Fuld was born in 1908 in New York, and their was a serious that almost led to the altar. They broke up for unknown reasons in mid 1937. Fuld died in 1942, serving in the US army during WW2.

Renown actor Eddie Albert became Kathleen’s beau in mid 1940. They turned serious pretty soon, and were spotted at various places in Los Angeles. Sadly, after a long courtship, they broke up in late 1941. I love Eddie Albert (he’s a riot in Roman Holiday. I’d rather choose him than Gregory Peck any day, and I love Gregory Peck, so you can imagine how delicious he is there 🙂 ) and somehow think he and Kathleen would have been a great pair! Eddie went on to marry the alluring actress Margo in 1945.

By that time, her parents were divorced, her father went on to live in Missouri as a lodger, and her mother was living with her.

Kathleen married Christopher William Hartsough on March 7, 1942. After the wedding, they went to Pensacola where Christopher joined the United States Navy Medical Corps. Christopher was born on February 18, 1908 to Christopher W. Hartsough and Mae Miller. He studied medicine and worked as a doctor before the war.

Kathleen gave up acting to devote herself to raising a family. The couple settled in San Diego, California.

Their daughter and only child, Kathleen Hartsough, was born on January 28, 1947.

Christopher Hartsough died on 23 October 1956 in Durham, South Carolina. Kathleen never remarried, and moved to Washington state at some point.

Kathleen Hartsough died on April 22, 1998, in King, Washington.

Suzanne Dadolle

SuzanneDadolle5

Suzanne Dadolle’s story starts like a romance novel. A beautiful girl meets a charming movie star. They fall in love, spend many weeks together and enjoy a stunning courtship. Yet, unlike most romance novels, it ends on a bitter note. Well, that happens when you romance Clark Gable in the 1950s!

EARLY LIFE:

Suzanne Dadolle D’Abadie was born in 1926 in Turkey. She grew up in Algiers (then a French colony) where she spend the early years of WW2. In 1944 she returned to Paris, was enrolled as a Wave in the French Navy and was soon promoted to a member of the personal entourage of general Charles De Gaulle, the future president of France.

After the war was over, Suzanne chose to work in the hostess industry. For a season, she worked as a hostess at the Deauville Casino and then returned to Paris and started modeling full time. In 1951, she wen to the United States to demonstrate French luxurious products and dresses under the patronage of Frank Burd, a hosiery firm executive. The article, dating from 1951, described her as a “ice cool blonde”, very diplomatic in her approach to people. Of New York, she said: “I love it here. I feel, for some reason, safe. This is a beautiful city, and any time of day you can see the blue sky, and your nylon lingerie, it is superb”.

CAREER:

Suzanne appeared in only one movie, and she was a mature woman by that time, not a youthful starlet. The movie is a fashion plate movie (you expected something else?) . The name: A New Kind of LoveExcept Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, a stunning Hollywood couple if there ever was one, we have Thelma Ritter, Eva Gabor and George Tobias. Add to this impressive roaster of actors a solid script, great jazz music and some snazzy wardrobe, and you get a above average viewing experience. No, it’s not a masterpiece like Citizen Kane or Gone with the wind, but it certainly holds its own.

Suzanne never made another movie again (what a shame!)

PRIVATE LIFE

Now comes the meaty part of Suzanne’s life. Her affair with Clark Gable. I have to admit, the more I read about Clark and his affairs, my opinion of the man plummeted. I still think he was a good man and devoted fiend, and he sure did not treat his women nicely.

SuzanneDadolle6Lets start from the beginning. We all know the basics: Clark Gable was a real life Rhett Butler (whom he played so masterfully in Gone with the wind). Women adored him. He was married twice to older women, but constantly strayed. He liked his ladies to be blonde, athletic but feminine and sophisticated. He enjoyed steamy affairs with Joan Crawford and Loretta Young (who bore him a daughter, out of wedlock). Yet, the firts wife who truly stood toe to toe with Clark was his third, comedienne Carole Lombard. Sadly, she died in January 1942 in an airplace accident. He never truly got over this tragedy. He went into active military duty, serving in the air force. After he returned to Hollywood in 1945, he dated up a storm with a large number of women. Terribly lonely and with a drinking problem, he impulsively married in Lady Sylvia Ahsley in 1949. Despite a short period of happiness, the marriage was a fiasco. In May 1952, Clark sailed on the to Europe, not planning to return until December 1953.

Suzanne met Clark on a cocktail party in September 1951 (as she later claimed). Now this is some sketchy information, as he was not in Europe at that time, and the only chance of this really happeneing was that she was in the States back then. Suzanne was for sure in the States in January 1951, but in September? Have no idea. But, for appearances sake, let’s believe it. They re-met when he came to Paris in May 1952. He had a month off before starting a new picture. She was an Elsa Schiaparelli model at the time. He fell in love with her at first sight and asked her out right away. The early stages of courtship started. So, how did Clark woo Suzanne?

He plunked down $3,000 for a Schiaparelli – designed evening gown which Suzanne was modeling for the famous Parisian designer in her celebrated salon in Paris. Glamorous Susie got the gown, Clark got the kick out of surprising her with it. How can a girl resist such advances? It was easy to see why Clark fell for Suzanne. Tall, willowy and chic, she was a true haute cuture mannequin. As I already wrote, Clark had a strong preference in women: blonde, high born, sophisticated, but with a wild side. Suzanne fit this model, physically, to a Tee – however, like his former wife, Sylvia Ashely, she was a lover of jewelry and a fashion plate in real life. That was not such a good combo (Clark was notoriously tight fisted when others were concerned).

What followed were magical months where Suzanne and Clark lived the Parissiene life to the fullest.  I quote this great site about Clark Gable, Dear Mr. Gable: “They cruised around Paris, dined alfresco at cafes, drank wine, walked arm in arm down the street like tourists”. Suzanne introduced him tot he lively nightlife of the capital, but also tried to work on cultural upbringing -she took him to the opera, museums and recitals. The also boated around the Seine frequently, like any other couple in love. In mid June, he had to move to London to start filming a movie with Gene Tierney.

SuzanneDadolle8Clark got himself a sports car, one of a kind Jaguar, while in England, and had fun driving it around. He got on splendidly with Gene Tierney, his co-star, but did not forget Suzanne- he went down to Paris almost every free weekend he had to meet with her again. They spend Bastille Day together, dancing on the streets, drinking wine, shouting with the crowds in the cafes, and going for onion soup the morning after. Clark returned to France on September 20, bringing his Jaguar with him. He and Suzanne started a slow descent to Rome by car, crossing Switzerland. They stayed for three weeks at the exclusive Villa d’Este on the lake Como, where he played golf and she took it easy, sunbathing and swimming. They finally got to Rome and spend a few days there as carefree tourists. Sadly, Sam Zimbalist called Clark in the middle of their idyllic sojourn, and he had to fly to Nairobi on October 31 to start filming Mogambo. Suzanne was left to return to Paris alone.

The pair made headlines for the first time in the US in November 1952, after they separated for the time being. They were spotted together in a restaurant in Rome. Since Clark was away in Africa filming, no further news were given of them for a long time. While I have no idea what Suzanne was doing during that time, Clark was romancing Grace Kelly on set. Grace fell hard for Clark, but he did not return the sentiment – he was there to see her off on May 19, 1953, when she boarded the plane from London to New York. Clark returned to Paris right away, and continued to tour European sights with his old friends, the Menascos, and Suzanne. They visited Switzerland, France and Italy (especially Florence), and often stopped at small towns to soak up the atmosphere.

Later in May, they were photographed in the Hostarirr Dell Orso,  prestigious night club in Paris. By July, Clark installed hismelf in the Hotel Rapahel in Paris, he and Suzanne going as strong as ever.

Soon, the upper classes of Paris were sure that Gable was going to marry Suzanne – but Dorothy Killgallen, ever the acerbic wit, branded them hopeless romantics and said she very much doubted Clark would do it. It sounded very harsh and much too unkind at the time, when everything was still possible, but sadly, Dorothy knew Clark too well. Indeed, he would never marry Suzanne, and the story ended on a bitter note.

SuzanneDadolle3Clark was not the only one trying to get into Miss Dadolle’s good graces – Aly Khan, the notorious playboy dating Gene Tierney (who was o staring with Clark in the movie Never Let Me Go), was also interested in her. Allegedly Suzanne resisted as long as she could, but gave in after some persuasion, and went on a few dates with the dashing Prince. There was s rumors that Gene Tierney walked out on Aly Khan in Paris when he walked into a cocktail reception at the American Embassy with Suzanne on his arm.

After Clark returned to Paris full time, he introduced Suzanne to Hedda Hopper – both looked stunning as they returned from a Capri holiday. Suzanne affinity for wearing pants during the day and toreador pans for the evening was also noted in the press, calling her a modern day Marlene Dietrich. Louella Parsons called Suzanne one of the prettiest women she had ever seen. In August, they departed for the Medoc house of Alexis Lichine, to escape from the heat and the snoops. It all seemed fine and dandy between the couple.

When they returned to Paris later in the month, Clark started to call her “my future wife.” I can very much see why Suzanne really tough that she had snagged her man. Who calls a woman this and then breaks off with her on the first sight of trouble? In September, there were early reports that Suzanne had accepted Clark’s proposal of marriage, and that it would all be made official in two weeks. In early October, Suzanne gave off the first interviews where she coyly talks about marriage, not denying nor confirming it. She claimed Clark had to wait a bit before getting his final divorce decree, which was not valid information since he was already divorced by that time from Sylvia Ashley.

SuzanneDadolle4As modern screen wrote about Suzanne (the information is double faced, so I’ll leave it to you to make up your mind about it):

An entirely different kind of girl is Suzanne Dadolle. She seems to be the one most in love and most
interested in marriage. She has devoted her time to Clark Gable for over a year, and although he was reserved about her at first, they were later seen together constantly. Toward the end of last summer, you could find them practically any evening, dining out at any of the cafes in Paris along the Champs Elysees.
There are friends who say that Clark intends to make his Suzanne the fifth Mrs.
Gable, that as recently as September he was introducing her to friends in Paris as “my future wife.” Others insist it’s just a fling. “I’ll give you even money,” a friend of his says, “that when Gable shows up in South America for his next picture — that is, if he does show up— he will be still single. I know the guy and I’m telling you that he was burned in his last marriage and he doesn’t want to try it again.”
However, Clark himself said he had absolutely nothing against marriage and that if the right girl came along — “someone sophisticated, attractive, and of course, someone with whom I was in love, I wouldn’t mind getting married one bit.”

Clark was in Amsterdam, Holland, making his last movie for MGM. But, if Suzanne expected Clark to dash from Amsterdam to Paris and make a joint statement, she was to be bitterly disappointed. Clark literary backstabbed her by claiming Suzanne was just after a bit of publicity, saying he was not in love with anybody and that he would certainly not get married any time soon. I have no idea if the two ever met again during the rest of his Europe trip, but Clark soon went back to the US (back to his farm), and Suzanne was left behind in Paris. Yet, rumors stubbornly persisted as to the fact that he would take Suzanne with him and make her his bride early in 1955. No such luck.

Now, time for a short analysis. What exactly happened? Well, Clark did. Trust me, after seeing Gone with the wind for the first time back in the early 2000s, I adored him. Who didn’t find Rhett Butler exciting? But, the more I grew up and matured, and of course the more I read about Clark, I changed my mind drastically. Yet, he was charming and alluring, but Clark was one difficult personality. I personally could never warm up to his kind of a man: traditional, hard as stone, set in his ways, expecting a woman to bend to him. It was no secret that Carole Lombard did everything to make him happy, expected little in return, and tolerated his extra marital adventures. The more I read about them, the more I asked myself: what did Carole see in him? She was a such a vivacious, charming, unusual woman, she could have had any man she wanted. Behind the Rhett Butler facade, Clark Gable was far from a perfect man. His career came first and even his romances took the back seat to it. Well, to each his own – there is no doubt there were were partners who could be perfectly suited for Clark, but the problem is that he was attracted to strong, high born, independent women who were not the ideal candidates for a man like him. Joan Crawford, a lioness in her private life and career, and a great love of Clark’s, saw this early in the relationship and refused to marry him because of it. All for the best, IMHO – they would have ended up divorced before the years was out. So, let’s be a bit brutal – Clark led Suzanne on, living a highly romanticized, idyllic life for almost a year, and when she wanted something more, he brutally dropped her. While there is a possibility that he told her, point blank, he would never marry her, but she refused to believe him and thought to the last she could change him (ah, common mistake!), I somehow doubt it. The point is, Suzanne was given the sack after a great romance.

SuzanneDadolle1Suzanne lived in a half fantasy world for a time after, hoping that Clark WOULD marry her, even dreaming of Verona, Italy, as the perfect place for that. Yet, when Johnny Meyer, world class cad and Howard Hughes’s right hand man, came to Paris, they had a brief but passionate fling. By Late December, there was no hope for a reconciliation. In January, the papers were abuzz with the news that Suzanne was coming to the US to join Clark. False! With every new interview Clark just cemented what Suzanne must have known by then – he would not marry her. Yet, in June 1954, Suzanne, perhaps hoping against every reason, sailed for the US. She was to stay with Johnny Meyer, her old flame.

Suzanne landed in New York, and did good as a model. Clark allegedly long distanced her and even asked her to visit him in California, but she refused, quite liking it in New York. Then, in December 1954, she finally did go to Los Angeles, to try her hand at TV and continue modeling. She had a uneasy encounter with Kay Spreckles, the former model who would become Clark’s Wife Nr. 5, at the Beverly Hills hotel. Clark was in Hong Kong at the time, filming Soldier of Fortune with Susan Hayward.

Eve after Clark returned, nothing big happened. Taken from this great site (with a good page about Suzanne!!!)

To date, The King and Suzanne have encountered each other only twice. Once on the set at 20th Century Fox where Gable was doing a luncheon scene in a Hong King restaurant with Susan Hayward (late that day he drove Hayward home) and once in La Rue’s restaurant. Gable was dining there with Kay Spreckels when Suzanne came in with contractor Hal Hayes.
Since Hayes used to date Kay, and Gable used to date Dadolle, there might have been some embarrassment. But Kay handled the situation tactfully. She walked over to Hayes’ table and was introduced to Suzanne. Gable nodded pleasantly, and the encounter came off without incident.

Luckily, Suzanne was far from idle while in Los Angeles. She modeled for Orry Kelly and was active romantically. Her newest swain was producer Brynie Foy, and they became serious quickly – the papers reported their matrimonial intentions as early as January 1955. Sadly, the relationship was soon broken, and she went on to date socialite Dick Cowell. In April, she was taken to Nassau by a new ardent admirer, Lord Astor. However, she was soon back with the ever loving Cowell.

In May, she was seen with Irving “Swifty” Lazar. By August 1955, Suzanne was the highest paid model in the US. However, at some point, Suzanne returned to Paris and worked in the fashion magazine industry. She wrote articles for Harper’s Bazaar, among them a guide to traveling in Provance.
Sadly, I have no idea what happened to Suzanne afterwards, or if she is alive today.