Robert Young & Loretta Young
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"The House of Rothchild"
Original Vintage Photo by
Kenneth Alexander -1936 20th Century Pictures

Vintage Original 11" x 14" Photo (Not a copy!!)


Biography for
Loretta Young

Height:  5' 6"

Mini biography
Sweet, sweeter, sweetest. No combination of terms better describes the screen persona of lovely Loretta Young.

When Gretchen Young was 3 years old, her mother moved with Gretchen and her sisters to Hollywood, where she established a boardinghouse. Gretchen was appearing on screen as a child extra by the time she was 4, joining her elder sisters, Polly Ann Young and Elizabeth Jane Young (later and better known as Sally Blane), as child players. Gretchen would later absent herself from the screen to attend convent school but returned at age 14 with a bit appearance in the 'Colleen Moore' vehicle "Naughty But Nice." (See related Trivia.) Gretchen Young became known as Loretta Young and let her blond hair revert to its natural brown. With her blue eyes, satin complexion and exquisite face, she succeeded in short order to be graduated from bit player to ingenue, thence to leading lady. Headlines erupted in 1930 when the actor Grant Withers, who was previously married and nine years her senior, eloped to Yuma, Arizona, with the 17-year-old Loretta. (They had both appeared in the 1930 Warner Bros. production "The Second Floor Mystery.") The marriage was annulled in 1931, the same year in which the pair would again co-appear on screen, in a film called, ironically enough, "Too Young to Marry." Loretta Young has always shown an elegant sort of beauty in her films, many of which were rather pedestrian fare. Yet she could act if called upon, as witness her performance in "The Farmer's Daughter" or in "Come to the Stable." She retired from films in 1953 and began a second, equally successful career. "The Loretta Young Show," a half-hour drama anthology series which ran on NBC-TV from September 1953 to September 1961, and which in its first season was called "A Letter to Loretta," featured Miss Young as hostess and frequently as lead actress. Although she is most remembered for her stunning gowns and swirling entrances, over the broadcast's eight-year run Miss Young also showed again that she could act. She won Emmy awards (for Best Actress in a Dramatic Series) in 1954, 1956 and 1958.


Mini biography
A&E's biography recently summed up Loretta Young this way, "She remains a symbol of beauty, serenity, and grace. But behind the glamor and stardom is a woman of substance whose true beauty lies in her dedication to her family, her faith, and her quest to live life with a purpose." That statement, in a nutshell, summed up Loretta who entered the world in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 6, 1913. Here parents separated when Loretta was just three years old. It was then that her mother moved the rest of the family to Southern California. Mrs. Young's brother-in-law was an assistant director and managed to get the young Loretta a small role in the film, THE ONLY WAY in 1917. Actually the role consisted nothing more than a small, weeping child lying on an operating table. Later that year she appeared in another small role in THE PRIMROSE RING. It was this film that starred Mae Murray who was taken with the little Loretta. She even wished to adopt her, but Mrs. Young said no. Loretta did wind up staying with the Murray's for a year and a half. She would not be in another film again until 1921 when she had a brief scene in THE SHEIK. During that period she and her sisters were educated in parochial schools. Afterwards she went back to helping her mother run the boarding house Mrs. Young started when they had first moved west. In 1927, Loretta came back to the silver screen in a small part in NAUGHTY, BUT NICE. She was all of fourteen, but anxious to get started in a film career for real. As Denise Laverne in 1928's THE MAGNIFICENT FLIRT, she began to shape any character she had with total dedication. It was the first of many outstanding roles for her. Later in the year she received second billing in THE HEAD MAN. Loretta continued to toil in many roles as the twenties turned into the thirties. She was appearing anywhere from six to nine films per year. Her two older sisters were also involved in the acting profession, but they weren't making near the films their younger sister was. Loretta's career overtook theirs early on. It seemed that Loretta's natural beauty was a distinct advantage for her. By the mid 1930's Loretta had switched studios leaving First National and going over to rival Fox studios. She had worked for Fox before, but only on a loan out basis from First National. It was at Fox that Loretta became one of the premiere leading ladies of Hollywood. In 1938, Loretta starred in KENTUCKY as Sally Goodwin. The film was an outstanding success. Although she was not nominated for an award, her co-star, Walter Brennan, won for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Peter Goodwin. It was only a matter of time before Loretta would get the accolades she so deserved. By the time the forties dawned, Loretta was still churning out quality films. Newcomers were now hitting the big screen, but Loretta's star never dimmed. She was still one of the most beautiful ladies in the film world. Loretta, finally, was given her due when she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER (1947) a tale of a farm girl who rises through the ranks and becomes a Congresswoman. The film was a smash and the one for which she is best remembered. With the win she had reached the pinnacle of her career. But she was not finished yet. That same year, she starred in the delightful fantasy, THE BISHOP'S WIFE with David Niven and Cary Grant. It was a hit then as well as today. It continues to be a staple of television during the Christmas season. In 1949, Loretta starred in the well-received film, MOTHER IS A FRESHMAN with Van Johnson and Rudy Vallee as well in COME TO THE STABLE. It was this latter film which garnered her a second Oscar nomination. Unfortunately, she lost to the great Olivia de Havilland for her film, THE HEIRESS. In 1953, Loretta filmed IT HAPPENS EVERY THURSDAY. It was to be her final performance on the big screen. She had plans on entering the relative new medium of television. That year she started her TV series, "The Loretta Young Show". The show was absolutely fabulous garnering Loretta with three Emmy Awards. After that series long run, she took a hiatus for a short while, returning in 1962 with "The New Loretta Young Show". It didn't do as well as the first series and flopped. Then for the next 24 years she didn't appear in any entertainment medium. Her final fling before the cameras was with a made for TV film called LADY IN THE CORNER. Today Loretta is living a quiet retirement in Palm Springs, California. She has every right to take pride with her part in the history of motion pictures and how she has made the world a little brighter for fans around the world.


IMDb mini-biography by
Denny Jackson

Mini biography
Gretchen Young was born on January 6, 1913 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was the daughter of Gladys Royal Young and John Earl Young. When she was around 4 her family minus her father moved to California and into the home of Gladys sister. Loretta's father moved to be with them. Later Gladys found him with the maid and told him to get out. His children never saw him alive again. The family moved to a boarding house that Gladys ran. Around that time also she and her cousin went to live with an actress the called Aunt Mazi and these girls who had lived a poor life lived the life of a movie star's daughters. After a year they both went back to their biological mothers. When Loretta was 10 her mother got married again to one of her boarders George Belzer and they had daughter Georgianna two years later. At the age of 14 Loretta answered the phone and the person at the other line who was looking for her sister Polly Ann hired her. Gretchen was under contract, had braces put on her teeth and had her name changed to Loretta. In 1930 Loretta got married to her costar Grant Withers. They eloped to Arizona were the legal age to get married was 16 Loretta was just 17. Less than a year later they got divorced. In 1935 she was considered to be a very successful actress when she made Call of the Wild with a King, Clark Gable. After one night they had made a baby. Because of the strick moralty clauses in their contract and the fact that Clark was married they could not tell anybody, except her mother, Gladys Royal Belzer. Mother and daughter went to Europe during Loretta's pregnancy and she delivered a healthy baby girl on November 6, 1935 in a house that nobody knew about, but family. Her daughter was brought up thinking that Loretta had adopted her, and did not know Clark Gable was her father until after she had had a child herself. In 1940 Loretta got married again to businessman Thomas Lewis. Even though now her daughter is called Judy Lewis, Tom never adopted her. Four years after they got married Loretta had Christopher Paul Lewis. About a year later Loretta had Peter Charles. Loretta continued to make movies until the early 1950's when she decided to go into television. She was very popular for about eight years and then the show went off the air. In 1960 she tried a new show with a new concept, but that did not work. By that time Loretta was a grandmother. Judy had gotten married about three years before and had a baby girl in 1959. Loretta and Tomm Lewis divorced in the early 1960's. Loretta enjoyed retirement. Sleeping late, visting her son Chris and daughter in law Linda. She had traveled alot. She and her friend Josie Wayne, John's first ex-wife, traveled to India and saw the Taj Mahal. In 1990 she became a great-grandmother when her granddaughter (Judy's daughter) had a boy. Loretta died in 2000 of ovarian cancer.


IMDb mini-biography by

Jean Louis (I) (1993 - 20 April 1997) (his death)
'Tom Lewis' (1940 - 1969) (divorced); 2 sons, 1 adopted daughter
Grant Withers (1930 - 1931) (divorced)



Mother of director Christopher Lewis (I).

Miss Young's return to the screen following convent school came about rather fortuitously. A casting call was sent out by the producers of "Naughty But Nice" for Polly Ann Young. Answering the telephone, the young Gretchen replied that her sister was unavailable and wondered if she herself might substitute. And so she did. It was merely a bit part, but it led to a movie contract and eventual stardom for Loretta Young.

Cast members in the 1939 film "The Story of Alexander Graham Bell" included not only Loretta Young but, portraying her character's sisters, her real-life, actress sisters as well: Polly Ann Young and Sally Blane. Further, portraying the fourth on-screen sister was a fourth real-life sister, Georgiana Young, although the latter was not a professional actress. (Years later, Georgiana, whom Loretta dubbed "Georgie," would appear occasionally on Loretta's TV show.)

In 1972, Miss Young sued NBC for violating her contract in allowing reruns of "The Loretta Young Show" to be shown, wherein audiences might have ridiculed her gowns and hairstyles, which were by then 10 or even 20 years out of date. The court awarded her more than a half-million dollars.

Had an illegitimate daughter by Clark Gable. For years this was covered up in Hollywood, and was presented as an adoption. The daughter's resemblance to both parents is uncanny.

Loretta Young's third husband was Academy Award winning clothing and costume designer, Jean Louis. He was well known for designing for the stars at Columbia Studios, Universal and in his own salon in Beverly Hills. His most famous creations included the strapless gown for Rita Hayworth in the film, "Gilda," as well as Marilyn Monroe's white sequined gown she wore to sing "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to John F. Kennedy. Jean Louis married Loretta after the death of his first wife, Maggy, who was a personal friend of Loretta for over 50 years.

Loretta Young died at the home of her sister Georgiana Montalban and Georgiana's husband, actor Ricardo Montalban, early morning Saturday 12 August.

In her posthumously published autobiography, she admitted that her "adopted" daughter, Judy Lewis, was her biological daughter by Clark Gable.


Personal quotes

"Every time she 'sins, ' she builds a church. That's why there are so many Catholic churches in Hollywood." - Marlene Dietrich


"Letter to Loretta" (1953) $5,000/week (USA)

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Actress. (b. Jan. 6, 1913, Salt Lake City, as Gretchen Michaela Young.) Radiantly beautiful leading lady of Hollywood's Golden Age, who kept her starring career alive with a long-running TV series, "The Loretta Young Show" (1954-63), for which she won three Emmy Awards. Although she made her film debut at age three in Sweet Kitty Bellairs Loretta-whose sisters Sally Blane and Polly Ann Young were also actresses-spent her childhood getting a convent-school education. At age 15, she decided to tackle show business head on and won a contract at First National (which merged with Warner Bros.), where she played doe-eyed ingenues for the next five years. She followed Warners production chief Darryl F. Zanuck first to his 20th Century Pictures in 1934.

She later had a dispute with Zanuck, who reportedly blackballed her. The only place she could work, at first, was Columbia Pictures, whose boss Harry Cohn didn't care about Zanuck's pronouncements. By the late 1940s she and the Fox chieftain made up and she returned to his studio for several successful films.

Never accused of being a great actress, Young did have great screen presence and that indefinable something known as star quality. In many ways, she gave livelier, more interesting performances in her "little" Warners films of the early 1930s than in her glossier star vehicles of later years-but by then, her loyal following expected a certain kind of entertainment from her and she never disappointed. She won an Academy Award for her performance as the immigrant who makes good in The Farmer's Daughter (1947), and was nominated again for her portrayal of a nun in Come to the Stable (1949). In retrospect, however, one of her most impressive films is Orson Welles' The Stranger (1946), in which she develops a growing wariness about her husband, played by Welles.

Young appeared with her three sisters in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939). She was briefly married to actor Grant Withers; her second husband was producer Tom Lewis, with whom she supervised her long-running TV series.

OTHER FILMS INCLUDE: 1928:Laugh, Clown, Laugh (her first adult role, opposite Lon Chaney); 1929:Forward Pass, The Show of Shows (with sister Sally Blane); 1931:The Devil to Pay, The Ruling Voice, Platinum Blonde (top-billed in a Frank Capra film she did on loan to Columbia, even though the title applies to costar Jean Harlow); 1932:The Hatchet Man, Life Begins, Play Girl, Taxi! (opposite James Cagney), Week-end Marriage 1933:Employees Entrance, Heroes for Sale, Grand Slam, Midnight Mary, Zoo in Budapest, The Life of Jimmy Dolan, Man's Castle 1934:Caravan, House of Rothschild, Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back 1935:Clive of India, Call of the Wild (opposite Clark Gable), The Crusades (for director Cecil B. DeMille),Shanghai 1936:Ladies in Love, Private Number, Ramona 1937:Cafe Metropole, Love Is News, Second Honeymoon, Wife, Doctor and Nurse 1938:Four Men and a Prayer, Kentucky, Suez 1939:Eternally Yours, Wife, Husband and Friend 1940:The Doctor Takes a Wife, He Stayed for Breakfast 1941:Lady From Cheyenne, Bedtime Story, The Men in Her Life 1942:A Night to Remember 1943:China 1944:And Now Tomorrow, Ladies Courageous 1945:Along Came Jones 1947: The Bishop's Wife 1948:The Accused, Rachel and the Stranger 1949:Mother Is a Freshman 1950:Key to the City 1951:Cause for Alarm, Half Angel 1952:Because of You, Paula 1953: It Happens Every Thursday 1986:Christmas Eve (telefilm); 1989:Lady in the Corner (telefilm).


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