He was kept strictly in the bullpen, in case the big star got out of of line, or so the story goes. But we doubt Clark Gable was ever concerned about being replaced by John Carroll (scowling above).

His career is an interesting one, nonetheless.

Born Julian LaFaye in New Orleans, he started making movies in 1929. A large and significant hiatus came during World War II when Carroll served in the Air Force, and was severely injured with a broken back in one crash. His second wife, Lucille, was a casting director at MGM.

Off-screen he was considered something of a playboy, an adventurer pal of Erroll Flynn’s who pursued drag racing and studied opera.

In the Marx Brothers’ 1940 comedy Go West, he pursues the hand of Eve (Diana Lewis) to uncertain results. He was sometimes cast in ethnic roles (1937’s Zorro Rides Again and 1935’s Hi Gaucho) perhaps because of that tell-tale pencil moustache.

He appears shoulder to shoulder with John Wayne in 1942’s Flying Tigers. Watch for him along with Lana Turner, William Powell and Greer Garson (in cameo appearances) in 1943’s The Youngest Profession. Carroll died in 1979, at the age of 72.

But no question, Clark Gable he wasn’t.

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