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Best Of The Loretta Young Show: Season 3 &... As aired on NBC, on Sunday nights from 1953 to 1961, The Loretta Young Show... more info $24.98was $24.98 Buy Now

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Also Known As: Gretchen Michaela Young Died: August 11, 2000
Born: January 6, 1913 Cause of Death: ovarian cancer
Birth Place: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

After the rigors of a convent education interrupted her nascent career (she had broken into film as a bit player at the age of three), Loretta Young resurfaced at age 14 to play a supporting role in "Naughty But Nice" (1927), netting herself a contract with First National (the precursor of Warner Brothers).By the mid-30s Young, having made a strategic switch to the Fox lot, had blossomed into one of Hollywood's more prominent leading ladies, capably adorning dozens of (mostly mediocre) productions. With her prominent cheekbones, limpid-pool eyes and Joan Crawford-style mouth, Young was often utilized for her stylish beauty and ladylike screen personality rather than the acting talent suggested by "Platinum Blonde" (1931), "Midnight Mary", "Man's Castle" and "Zoo in Budapest" (all 1933, and an excellent showcase triple bill for Young). Young, however, did enjoy the very occasional meaty, charming, or relatively offbeat role, as in "The Story of Alexander Graham Bell" (1939) and Orson Welles' "The Stranger" (1946).Young's career reached its peak during the late 40s in such carefully mounted and entertaining vehicles as the fantasy "The Bishop's Wife" (1947), "The Farmer's Daughter" (1947), which...

After the rigors of a convent education interrupted her nascent career (she had broken into film as a bit player at the age of three), Loretta Young resurfaced at age 14 to play a supporting role in "Naughty But Nice" (1927), netting herself a contract with First National (the precursor of Warner Brothers).

By the mid-30s Young, having made a strategic switch to the Fox lot, had blossomed into one of Hollywood's more prominent leading ladies, capably adorning dozens of (mostly mediocre) productions. With her prominent cheekbones, limpid-pool eyes and Joan Crawford-style mouth, Young was often utilized for her stylish beauty and ladylike screen personality rather than the acting talent suggested by "Platinum Blonde" (1931), "Midnight Mary", "Man's Castle" and "Zoo in Budapest" (all 1933, and an excellent showcase triple bill for Young). Young, however, did enjoy the very occasional meaty, charming, or relatively offbeat role, as in "The Story of Alexander Graham Bell" (1939) and Orson Welles' "The Stranger" (1946).

Young's career reached its peak during the late 40s in such carefully mounted and entertaining vehicles as the fantasy "The Bishop's Wife" (1947), "The Farmer's Daughter" (1947), which unexpectedly won her an Oscar, the surprisingly gritty "Rachel and the Stranger" (1948) and the syrupy but likable "Come to the Stable" (1949), for which she netted a second Best Actress Academy Award nomination. Her subsequent vehicles, however, did not sustain the momentum; "Cause for Alarm" (1951) was a very interesting film noir, but films like "Half Angel" (1952) were too flimsy to be very entertaining.

By 1954 Young had abandoned the screen in favor of a successful second career as the centerpiece of TV's long-running anthology series "The Loretta Young Show" (1954-63). Clad in expensive floor-length gowns, Young would sweep grandly onto the set to introduce each installment of her series, many of which she also acted in. Reflecting her childhood training, she would close each episode with a quotation from the Bible which commented on the drama which had just transpired. After the show went off the air, Young completely retired from performing, not returning to the spotlight until her roles a quarter of a century later in two NBC TV-movies, "Christmas Eve" (1986) and "Lady in a Corner" (1989).

Her first husband was actor Grant Withers, her second was producer-writer Thomas Lewis and her third was fashion designer Jean Louis. In 1994 Young's daughter Judy Lewis wrote a book in which she revealed she had been fathered outside of wedlock by Clark Gable and that for years she had been led to believe that she had been adopted by Young.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Legends in Light (1995) Voice Over
2.
 Lady in a Corner (1989) Grace Guthrie
3.
 Christmas Eve (1986) Amanda Kingsley
4.
 Going Hollywood: The War Years (1983) Herself (Archival Footage)
5.
 It Happens Every Thursday (1953) Jane MacAvoy
6.
 Paula (1952) Paula Rogers
7.
 Because of You (1952) Christine Carroll Kimberly, also known as "Marvy"
8.
 Half Angel (1951) Nora Gilpin
9.
 Cause for Alarm! (1951) Ellen Jones
10.
 Key to the City (1950) Clarissa Standish
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved to Hollywood at age three; began to appear in films as an extra and in bit roles
:
Between ages three and eight, made uncredited appearances in several silent films
:
While attending convent school, was not allowed to appear in films
1927:
Film acting debut at age 14, in "Naughty But Nice"; director Mervyn LeRoy originally wanted sister Polly Ann but she was unavailable; Gretchen (later dubbed Loretta), asked for, and got, the job
:
"Naughty But Nice" led to contract with First National; changed name to Loretta Young
1929:
Made singing debut in "The Show of Shows"
1931:
Was featured in "Platinum Blonde", directed by Frank Capra
1934:
Signed with Fox when Daryl F Zanuck moved from Warner Bros.
:
Had dispute with Zanuck and was briefly blacklisted until Harry Cohn signed her with Columbia Pictures; eventually made peace with Zanuck
1935:
Starred opposite Clark Gable in "The Call of the Wild"; the stars engaged in a love affair that resulted in Young's pregnancy and the birth of daughter Judy
1938:
Appeared in "Kentucky"
1939:
Acted alongside her three sisters in the biopic "The Story of Alexander Graham Bell"
1940:
When contract with Fox expired, worked freelance
1941:
Played an actress who wants to retire but whose playwright husband doesn't want her to in "Bedtime Story"
1946:
Cast as the unsuspecting newlywed wife of a refugee Nazi war criminal in "The Stranger", directed by and starring Orson Welles
1947:
Starred in the title role of the fantasy "The Bishop's Wife"
1947:
Had perhaps best-known screen role as a Swedish woman who runs for Congress in "The Farmer's Daughter"; won Best Actress Academy Award
1948:
Offered fine turn as the indentured servant wife of a farmer in "Rachel and the Stranger", co-starring Robert Mitchum and William Holden
1949:
Earned second Oscar nomination for "Come to the Stable", playing a nun out to establish a children's hospital
1953:
Last feature film, "It Happens Every Thursday"
1954:
Began starring in own TV show; "The Loretta Young Show" ended its run on NBC in 1961, and for its last season (1962-1963) aired on CBS; awarded three Emmy Awards
1963:
"Retired" from acting; devoted time and energies to Catholic charities
1972:
Won suit against NBC for unlawful syndication of her TV shows; award $600,000
1986:
Returned to acting after a 23-year retirement to perform the leading role in the TV-movie, "Christmas Eve" (NBC)
1989:
Final acting role, the NBC TV-movie "Lady in a Corner"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Immaculate Heart College: Los Angeles , California -
Ramona Convent: Alhambra , California -

Notes

While there are claims that Young was the first Oscar-winning actress to also win an Emmy, that is untrue. Helen Hayes holds that distinction.

About working in "Old Hollywood", Loretta Young told The New York Times (March 30, 1995): "We were all under contract to studios, which took good care of of you; even told you who you could and couldn't go out with. Now, at the time we thought that was a terrible thing, but actually it was not."

Young collaborated with Edward J Funk on an as yet unpublished biography that took some five years to complete.

"I've always been very susceptible to men, and some of them [her co-stars] were gorgeous. I was reared with women and understand everything about them. And I love them in spite of themselves. Men, I don't know anything about really." --Young quoted in The New York Times, March 30, 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Grant Withers. Actor. Eloped in 1930; marriage annulled in 1931.
companion:
Spencer Tracy. Actor. Worked with Young in Frank Borzage's "Man's Castle" (1933); couple fell in love but both were Catholic and Tracy was unable to divorce his wife.
companion:
Clark Gable. Actor. Worked together in "The Call of the Wild" (1935); Young became pregnant with daughter Judy Lewis, gave birth to child and later claimed she was adopted.
husband:
Thomas Lewis. Producer, screenwriter. Second husband; married in 1940; produced Young's TV series; divorced in 1969; died in 1988.
husband:
Jean Louis. Designer. Married from August 10, 1993 until his death on April 20, 1997; born on October 5, 1907.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

sister:
Polly Ann Young. Actor. Born on October 25, 1908; died on January 21, 1997.
sister:
Sally Blane. Actor. Born on July 11, 1910; died on August 27, 1997.
brother:
John Lindley. Born on October 7, 1914 died on December 2, 1997.
half-sister:
Georgiana Young. Born on September 30, 1923; married actor Ricardo Montalban.
daughter:
Judy Lewis. Psychotherapist, former actor. Born c. 1936; father, Clark Gable; was led to believe that she was adopted by Young until she was an adult; reportedly Young refused to confirm the story even to her daughter.
son:
Christopher Lewis. Producer. Born on August 1, 1944; father, Thomas Lewis.
son:
Peter Charles Lewis. Songwriter, guitarist. Born on July 15, 1945; father, Thomas Lewis.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Things I Had to Learn"
"Loretta Young: An Extraordinary Life"
"Uncommon Knowledge"
"Forever Young: The Life, Loves and Enduring Faith of a Hollywood Legend"
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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