Clark Gable ♦ Greta Garbo ♦ Bill Gaston ♦ Gentlemen of the Press ♦ Katharine Edwina Gibbs ♦ Katherine Clinton-Gibbs ♦ Joe Gibbs ♦ Girls About Town ♦ Give Me Your Heart ♦ The Golden Arrow ♦ Samuel Goldwyn ♦ Gone With the Wind ♦ Goodbye My Fancy ♦ The Goose and the Gander ♦ Edmund Goulding ♦ Cary Grant ♦ D.W. Griffith ♦ Sidney Guilaroff ♦ Guilty Hands
Gable, Clark. Husband of Kay’s close friend Carole Lombard. Kay, Carole, and Gable enjoyed spending time away from Hollywood together with whoever happened to be Kay’s lover at the time. When Lombard died, Kay attended the funeral but lost touch with Gable after.
Garbo, Greta. Kay’s alluring but distant mystique was often compared to that of Garbo’s and also Marlene Dietrich. According to Kay, Garbo was her favorite movie star. “I am quite sure if I should ever meet Greta Garbo I would be speechless with admiration and unable to utter a syllable. I adore her as much as any fan and I don’t suppose I shall ever be able to look upon her as just another human being who eats and sleeps and works just as all the stars in pictures do.” (PL)
Kay DID eventually meet Garbo in April 1942 at a dinner party held by Basil and Ouida Rathbone.
Storm at Daybreak was a Greta Garbo reject.
Gaston, Bill (11/12/1896-08/30/70). Kay’s second husband. The two were married on November 19, 1925. The marriage was doomed from the beginning, as that same night Kay noted in her diary, “Married to BG, my God!” Gaston lived and worked in the Boston area, and was Assistant District Attorney of Suffolk County in Massachusetts when he married Kay. Their marriage was a secret that few knew of, most likely because of his family’s well-known background and Kay’s sketchy past.
According to a friend, Gaston was “a very good-looking bastard” (PL). When Kay started working for Stuart Walker in 1926, she started sleeping around with fellow costars, while Gaston was doing the same with women from the Boston area. They divorced on September 1, 1927.
The two remained friendly after. When Kay hit it big, he asked her to marry him again at least once and at least as late as 1934. She declined.
(Note: In BF O’Brien states that Gaston died on August 30, while in PL Kear & Rossman state he died on August 15.)
Photos of Gaston
(Click for a larger view.)
Gentlemen of the Press. Paramount, 1929. Produced by Monta Bell. Directed by Millard Webb. Stars Walter Huston and, in her film debut, Kay Francis (she’s credited as Katherine Francis on film). Based on the play by Ward Morehouse. The original title was News. The film was surprisingly based off of Arthur James Pegler, a coworker of Morehouse in the mid-1920s on the Tribune staff.
According to one writer, “Kay was the thirteenth girl tested for the screen role in Gentlemen of the Press after twelve blondes had been tried out” (PL). Despite the Morehouse story where they discovered Kay at Tony’s, Kay herself insisted it was boyfriend John Meehan who got her the job. On December 11, 1928 he gave her a tour of the Paramount Astoria Studio in Queens, and set up a screen test for her on December 13.
Of her test for the film, Kay said, “I had a bad cold and when they told me to come to the studio they said they wouldn’t have to test my voice. But when I got there they decided to test it anyway. Walter [Huston] told me about it in the commissary. I ran up to the dressing room and gargled for an hour. Then I are a box of throat lozenges and stepped in front of the camera. It sounded very bad to me, but when the studio people saw it they said it was fine. They hadn’t heard a low voice like mine before, they said. I never told anyone about the cold.”
Gibbs, Katherine Clinton. Kay’s mother (see the Clinton, Katherine entry).
Gibbs, Joseph. Kay’s father. A hotel manager who disappeared quickly from Kay and her mother’s lives quickly after Kay was born. The family moved around extensively before they moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, which is where Katherine probably left Joe around 1906. There was some communication between them until around 1907/1908 when Kay saw him for the last time in New York.
On January 20, 1919 he died in St. Louis. Kay never heard of the news, and lives the rest of her life not knowing whatever happened to her father. He was survived by his new wife, Minnie, and their two daughters, four-year-old Virginia and five-year-old Helen, Kay’s half-sisters. The Homer Masonic Lodge pays for his $15 funeral and burial.
Though he had virtually no impact in her childhood, Kay’s first memory was of him. “When I see a red sweater I remember running down a road to a white gate and hanging on the gate waiting for my father on Sunday mornings. We were living in Montecito, in California, and he used to ride to town for the paper and then I would put on my red sweater and run out to meet him. That was the first thing I remember about myself. I wasn’t quite four-years-old and we were living on a little ranch and there were a lot of orange trees. I used to sit under the trees and reach up and pick the fruit and sit there eating it. We had a big dog and father had brought home a cat for me. The cat and I used to ride all around the yard on the dog’s back” (PL).
Girls about Town. Paramount, 1931. Directed by George Cukor. Based on a story by Zoe Atkins. The film stars Kay, Lilyan Tashman, and Joel McCrea. Kay and Tashman play gold-diggers, but Kay gives it all up for love with McCrea.
Give Me Your Heart. Warner Bros, 1936. Directed by Archie Mayo. Based on the play “Sweet Aloes” by Jay Mallory. Kay has one of her greatest roles as a mother forced to give up her son to the married man (played by Patric Knowles) she conceived it with and his invalid wife (played by Frieda Inescort). George Brent and Roland Young also star in this emotional film which became one of Kay’s most financially successful movies (see the box office page for figures).
Golden Arrow, The. This 1936 box office bomb was originally offered to Kay, who refused to do it. It was given to Bette Davis as a result.
Goldwyn, Samuel. This legendary producer cast Kay in two of his best films: 1930’s Raffles and 1932’s Cynara. Goldwyn also wanted to cast Kay (who also wanted to participate) in Dodsworth, but Warner Bros. refused to loan her out and the part went to Mary Astor. Kay and Goldwyn frequently socialized, too.
Gone with the Wind. Kay was one of the many actresses considered for the part. She met with David O. Selznick on August 26, 1936 to discuss her casting, and he gave her a copy of the book to read, which she finished doing 3 days later. On August 30 she met with George Cukor who told her he could “see” her as Scarlett. Kay noted of all of this in her diary (PL), but after the August 30 meeting with Cukor, she never mentioned it again. It’s most likely because Selznick became focused on casting Norma Shearer (yes, Shearer, not Bette Davis or Katharine Hepburn) for the part before finally settling for Vivien Leigh.
It’s most likely the reason Cukor could “see” her as Scarlett (as did Selznick) was because both worked with Kay at Paramount when she was playing her manipulative, deceiving, sexy vamp roles. So it does sort-of make sense. (Sort-of…)
Goose and the Gander, The. Warner Bros, 1935. Directed by Alfred E. Green. Stars Kay with George Brent and Genevieve Tobin. Kay plays a woman out to expose her ex-husband’s new bride’s cheating. Considered by many to be one of the best comedies Kay ever made.
Goulding, Edmund. Famous director who Kay had a wild affair with in 1928 which was on-again/off-again and basically just for sex. About Goulding’s strong sexual drive, one writer said, “if there was anything he hadn’t tried, it was because it hadn’t occurred to him” (PL).
On April 23, 1928 Kay indicated in her diary the two had performed some unnamed sex act for the first time. They remained friends for years when the sex ended.
Grant, Cary. (January 18, 1904 – November 29, 1986) Kay’s costar in 1939’s In Name Only. The two became friends during production and remained friends for years after. Actually, Kay spent Thanksgiving 1941 with Grant and his wife. (Note: a year after Kay worked with Grant, she worked with his rumored gay lover, Randolph Scott, in 1940’s When the Daltons Rhode.)
Guilaroff, Sidney. Discovered by Joan Crawford and brought to Hollywood by her to style hair for MGM. He worked with Kay in 1941’s Feminine Touch. Of Kay, Guilaroff Said, “I loved Kay Francis. One of the great movie-going pleasures in the 1930s was Kay. She was exotic, poised, dark, and lovely. I did her hairstyle in a film with my good friend Roz Russell…Kay was a joy to work with. She possessed incredible eyes that were very expressive. She wore hats and turbans with such style and grace. She was very elegant on and off the screen.”
Guilty Hands. MGM, 1931. Directed by Lionel Barrymore and W.S. Van Dyke. Also starring Barrymore, Kay has one of her best early parts in this murder mystery where Barrymore is trying to accuse her of a murder in a mansion on a stormy night he committed himself. The plot is almost a very early version of Clue.