Loretta Young


Actor
Loretta Young

About

Also Known As
Gretchen Young, Gretchen Michaela Young
Birth Place
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Born
January 06, 1913
Died
August 11, 2000
Cause of Death
Ovarian Cancer

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...

Photos & Videos

The Bishop's Wife - Lobby Cards
Rachel and the Stranger - Scene Stills
The Stranger - Lobby Cards

Family & Companions

Grant Withers
Husband
Actor. Eloped in 1930; marriage annulled in 1931.
Spencer Tracy
Companion
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.
Clark Gable
Companion
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.
Thomas Lewis
Husband
Producer, screenwriter. Second husband; married in 1940; produced Young's TV series; divorced in 1969; died in 1988.

Bibliography

"Forever Young: The Life, Loves and Enduring Faith of a Hollywood Legend"
Joan Wester Anderson (2000)
"Uncommon Knowledge"
Judy Lewis (1994)
"The Things I Had to Learn"
Loretta Young (1961)
"Loretta Young: An Extraordinary Life"
Joe Morella and Edward Z Epstein

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."

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 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.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Lady in a Corner (1989)
Going Hollywood: The War Years (1988)
Herself
Christmas Eve (1986)
Amanda Kingsley
It Happens Every Thursday (1953)
Jane MacAvoy
Paula (1952)
Paula Rogers
Because of You (1952)
Christine Carroll Kimberly, also known as "Marvy"
Cause for Alarm! (1951)
Ellen Jones
Half Angel (1951)
Nora Gilpin
Key to the City (1950)
Clarissa Standish
Mother Is a Freshman (1949)
Abby Abbott
Come to the Stable (1949)
Sister Margaret
The Accused (1949)
Wilma Tuttle
The Bishop's Wife (1948)
Julia Brougham
Rachel and the Stranger (1948)
Rachel
The Perfect Marriage (1947)
Maggie Williams
The Farmer's Daughter (1947)
Katrin Holstrom
The Stranger (1946)
Mary Longstreet Rankin
Along Came Jones (1945)
Cherry De Longpre
And Now Tomorrow (1944)
Emily Blair
Ladies Courageous (1944)
Roberta Harper
China (1943)
Carolyn Grant
A Night to Remember (1942)
Nancy Troy
Bedtime Story (1941)
Jane Drake
The Lady from Cheyenne (1941)
Annie [Morgan]
The Men in Her Life (1941)
Lina Varasvina [also known as Polly Varley
He Stayed for Breakfast (1940)
Marianne Duval
The Doctor Takes A Wife (1940)
June Cameron
The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939)
Mrs. [Mabel] Bell
Eternally Yours (1939)
Anita [Halstead]
Wife, Husband and Friend (1939)
Doris Borland
Suez (1938)
Countess Eugenie De Montijo
Four Men and a Prayer (1938)
Lynn [Cherrington]
Kentucky (1938)
Sally Goodwin
Three Blind Mice (1938)
Pamela Charters
Second Honeymoon (1937)
Vicky [Benton]
Love Is News (1937)
Tony Gateson
Wife, Doctor and Nurse (1937)
Ina [Heath]
Love Under Fire (1937)
Myra Cooper
Café Metropole (1937)
Laura Ridgeway
Ladies in Love (1936)
Susie Schmidt
Private Number (1936)
Ellen Neal
Ramona (1936)
Ramona
The Unguarded Hour (1936)
Lady Helen Dearden
The Call of the Wild (1935)
Claire Blake
Clive of India (1935)
Margaret Maskelyne
The Crusades (1935)
Berengaria, Princess of Navarre
Shanghai (1935)
Barbara Howard
Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back (1934)
Lola Field
Caravan (1934)
Countess Wilma
Born to Be Bad (1934)
Letty Strong
The White Parade (1934)
June Arden
The House of Rothschild (1934)
Julie Rothschild
The Devil's in Love (1933)
Margot [LeSesne]
Man's Castle (1933)
Trina
The Life of Jimmy Dolan (1933)
Peggy
Grand Slam (1933)
Marcia [Stanislavsky]
Employee's Entrance (1933)
Madeline [Walters]
Midnight Mary (1933)
Mary [Martin]
She Had to Say Yes (1933)
Florence [Denny]
Zoo in Budapest (1933)
Eve
Heroes for Sale (1933)
Ruth [Holmes]
Play Girl (1932)
Buster Green
Taxi! (1932)
Sue Riley
The Hatchet Man (1932)
Toya San
Life Begins (1932)
Grace Sutton
Week-end Marriage (1932)
Lola Davis
They Call It Sin (1932)
Marion Cullen
Beau Ideal (1931)
Isobel Brandon
I Like Your Nerve (1931)
Diane Forsythe
The Ruling Voice (1931)
Gloria Bannister
The Right of Way (1931)
Rosalie Evantural
Too Young to Marry (1931)
Elaine Bumpsted
Three Girls Lost (1931)
Norene McMann
Big Business Girl (1931)
Claire "Mac" McIntyre
Platinum Blonde (1931)
Gallagher
The Second Floor Mystery (1930)
Marian Ferguson
The Man From Blankley's (1930)
Margery Seaton
Road to Paradise (1930)
Margaret Waring/Mary Brennan
The Truth About Youth (1930)
Phyllis Ericson
Loose Ankles (1930)
Ann Harper
The Devil to Pay (1930)
Dorothy [Hope]
Kismet (1930)
Marsinah
The Squall (1929)
Irma
The Careless Age (1929)
Muriel
Fast Life (1929)
Patricia
The Forward Pass (1929)
Patricia Carlyle
The Girl in the Glass Cage (1929)
Gladys Cosgrove
Scarlet Seas (1929)
Margaret
The Show of Shows (1929)
The Whip Woman (1928)
The girl
The Head Man (1928)
Carol Watts
The Magnificent Flirt (1928)
Denise Laverne, the daughter
Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928)
Simonetta
Her Wild Oat (1927)
Girl playing ping-pong

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Going Hollywood: The War Years (1988)
Other

Cast (Special)

Happy Birthday, Hollywood! (1987)

Cast (Short)

How I Play Golf, by Bobby Jones No. 8: 'The Brassie' (1931)
An Intimate Dinner in Celebration of Warner Bros. Silver Jubilee (1930)
Herself

Misc. Crew (Short)

Loretta Young (1962)
Archival Footage

Life Events

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

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.

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"

Photo Collections

The Bishop's Wife - Lobby Cards
The Bishop's Wife - Lobby Cards
Rachel and the Stranger - Scene Stills
Here are some scene stills from RKO's Rachel and the Stranger (1948), starring Loretta Young, William Holden and Robert Mitchum.
The Stranger - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from The Stranger (1946), starring Orson Welles, Loretta Young, and Edward G. Robinson. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Rachel and the Stranger - Lobby Cards
Here are a few lobby cards from RKO's Rachel and the Stranger (1948), starring Loretta Young, Robert Mitchum and William Holden. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Kentucky - Loretta Young Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos of Loretta Young, taken to help publicize Fox's Kentucky (1938). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Laugh, Clown, Laugh - Publicity Stills
Here are a few stills taken to help publicize MGM's Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928), starring Lon Chaney and Loretta Young. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Laugh, Clown, Laugh - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from MGM's Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928), starring Lon Chaney and Loretta Young. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Bishop's Wife - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for The Bishop's Wife (1948), starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Farmer's Daughter - Lobby Cards
Here are a number of Lobby Cards from The Farmer's Daughter (1947), starring Loretta Young, Joseph Cotten, and Ethel Barrymore. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Laugh, Clown, Laugh - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from MGM's Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928), starring Lon Chaney and Loretta Young.
Loretta Young - Publicity Still
Loretta Young - Publicity Still

Videos

Movie Clip

Come To The Stable (1949) - Sisters From France Jumped by director Henry Koster from the idyllic village where they first arrived, the sisters (Loretta Young and Celeste Holm as Margaret and Scolastica), seeking land for their school, appear in the offices of a New England bishop (Basil Ruysdael), received by his aide (Regis Toomey), in Come To The Stable, 1949.
Taxi! (1932) - What About Ellis Island After scenes establishing New York taxi conflict, we meet Matt (James Cagney) with a comical cop and fare (Robert Emmett O'Connor, Hector Sarno), then a shot of Columbus Circle where Pop (Guy Kibbee) tangles with a fixer (David Landau), early in Taxi!, 1932.
Midnight Mary (1933) - A Girl's Gotta Live Loretta Young (title character), awaiting her sentence in a murder trial, is recalling years past via the spines of court record books, including meeting her pal Bunny (Una Merkel) and her future employer-boyfriend, hoodlum Leo (Ricardo Cortez), in Midnight Mary, directed by William A. Wellman.
Employees' Entrance (1933) - All I Want Is You Good clean fun in Warner Bros.’ (First National's) otherwise plenty provocative pre-Code Employees’ Entrance, 1933, as department store middle-manager Wallace Ford, in his first scene, can’t help noticing the knockout new model (Loretta Young), with clever popular song references.
Employees' Entrance (1933) - I Didn't Know You With All Your Clothes On Tough-guy department store exec Anderson (Warren William) has summoned dress-model Polly (Alice White), who touch on their shared history as he dispatches her to entrap his unwitting older rival Ross (Albert Gran), in Employees’ Entrance, 1933.
Employees' Entrance (1933) - Smash Or Be Smashed After a prologue establishing a roughly 50-year history of department store profits, and mentions of a cut-throat executive named Anderson, we meet Warren William, intimidating his chairman (Hale Hamilton), Ross (Albert Gran) et al, in Warner Bros.’ Employees’ Entrance, 1933.
Employees' Entrance (1933) - How Would You Like A Wax Banana? Threatening to fire most everybody (excepting Ruth Donnelly, his assistant), hard-headed department store executive Anderson (Warren William) has a random meet-cute with wannabe employee Madeline (Loretta Young), even if it plays like they might be lovers already, in the steamy pre-Code Employees’ Entrance, 1933.
Stranger, The (1946) - Marx Was A Jew Under-cover Nazi hunter Wilson (Edward G. Robinson), dining with Mary (Loretta Young) and her brothers (Philip Merivale, Richard Long), is just about convinced that her professor husband (writer-director Orson Welles) is no war criminal, in The Stranger, 1946.
Stranger, The (1946) - Foreign Accents Storekeeper Potter (Billy House) with incognito Nazi hunter Wilson (Edward G. Robinson), who uses the suitcase left by Meinke as a pretext to question Mary (Loretta Young), who arrives with her suspect husband "Rankin" (writer-director Orson Welles), in The Stranger, 1946.
Midnight Mary (1933) - Who Might That Lovely Lady Be? We know that knockout lady gambler Mary (Loretta Young) and coat check babe Bunny (Una Merkel) both work for gangsters, so we know something’s up at the casino, as we meet sophisticate Tom (Franchot Tone) and dyspeptic buddy Sam (Andy Devine), in MGM’s Midnight Mary, 1933.
Hatchet Man, The (1932) - Open, Tong War Flag Archaic graphic language but impressive events in the opening of William A. Wellman's San Francisco Tong War drama The Hatchet Man, 1932, starring Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young and J. Carroll Naish.
Hatchet Man, The (1932) - That Old Relic Toya (Loretta Young) and Wong (Edward G. Robinson) are about to get married when signs of an old-fashioned Chinese Tong war break out in San Francisco, in William A. Wellman's The Hatchet Man, 1932.

Trailer

Grand Slam - (Original Trailer) A Russian waiter (Paul Lukas) rides the craze for contract bridge to fame and fortune in the satire Grand Slam (1933).
Employees' Entrance -- (Original Trailer) An unscrupulous department store manager (Warren William) stops at nothing to get what he wants in Employees' Entrance (1933) co-starring Loretta Young.
Hatchet Man, The - (Original Trailer) When he's forced to kill his best friend, a Chinese hit man adopts the man's daughter in The Hatchet Man (1932), a pre-Code melodrama directed by William Wellman and starring Edward G. Robinson.
Heroes For Sale - (Original Trailer) A war hero becomes a "forgotten man" after he loses his job in Heroes For Sale (1933).
Midnight Mary - (Original Trailer) Loretta Young is an abused orphan who sinks into a life of crime in the pre-code drama Midnight Mary (1933).
Bishop's Wife, The - (Original Trailer) Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, stars of the romantic fantasy The Bishop's Wife (1947), introduce the...we'll let them explain.
Big Business Girl - (Original Trailer) A college girl (Loretta Young) uses her brains and her legs to conquer the business world in Big Business Girl (1931).
Unguarded Hour, The -- (Original Trailer) A blackmailer tries to stop a woman from revealing evidence that could save a condemned man in The Unguarded Hour (1936) starring Loretta Young.
Ruling Voice, The - (Original Trailer) A powerful gangster (Walter Huston) goes soft when he meets his grown-up daughter (Loretta Young) in The Ruling Voice (1931).
Along Came Jones -- (Original Trailer) Gary Cooper spoofs his screen image playing a mild-mannered cowboy who is mistaken for a notorious outlaw in Along Came Jones (1945).
Call of the Wild - (Re-release Trailer) Clark Gable heads to Alaska's gold fields and digs up Loretta Young in Call of the Wild (1935).
I Like Your Nerve - (Original Trailer) A bookworm (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) turns himself into a romantic adventurer in Central America. Co-starring Loretta Young.

Promo

Family

Polly Ann Young
Sister
Actor. Born on October 25, 1908; died on January 21, 1997.
Sally Blane
Sister
Actor. Born on July 11, 1910; died on August 27, 1997.
John Lindley
Brother
Born on October 7, 1914 died on December 2, 1997.
Georgiana Young
Half-Sister
Born on September 30, 1923; married actor Ricardo Montalban.
Judy Lewis
Daughter
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.
Christopher Lewis
Son
Producer. Born on August 1, 1944; father, Thomas Lewis.
Peter Charles Lewis
Son
Songwriter, guitarist. Born on July 15, 1945; father, Thomas Lewis.

Companions

Grant Withers
Husband
Actor. Eloped in 1930; marriage annulled in 1931.
Spencer Tracy
Companion
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.
Clark Gable
Companion
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.
Thomas Lewis
Husband
Producer, screenwriter. Second husband; married in 1940; produced Young's TV series; divorced in 1969; died in 1988.
Jean Louis
Husband
Designer. Married from August 10, 1993 until his death on April 20, 1997; born on October 5, 1907.

Bibliography

"Forever Young: The Life, Loves and Enduring Faith of a Hollywood Legend"
Joan Wester Anderson (2000)
"Uncommon Knowledge"
Judy Lewis (1994)
"The Things I Had to Learn"
Loretta Young (1961)
"Loretta Young: An Extraordinary Life"
Joe Morella and Edward Z Epstein

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.