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Loretta Young

Best know for her roles in The Bishop’s Wife, The Farmer’s Daughter and for the Loretta Young television show.



The Primrose Ring

Sirens of the Sea



The Only Way



White and Unmarried

The Sheik



Naughty but Nice

Her Wild Oat



The Whip Woman

Laugh, Clown, Laugh

The Magnificent Flirt

The Head Man

Scarlet Seas



Seven Footprints to Satan

The Squall

The Girl in the Glass Cage

Fast Life

The Careless Age

The Forward Pass

The Show of Shows



Loose Ankles

The Man from Blankley’s

Show Girl in Hollywood

The Second Floor Mystery

Road to Paradise

Warner Bros. Jubilee Dinner


War Nurse

The Truth About Youth

The Devil to Pay!



How I Play Golf, by Bobby Jones No. 8: “The Brassie”

Beau Ideal

The Right of Way

The Stolen Jools

Three Girls Lost

Too Young to Marry

Big Business Girl

I Like Your Nerve

The Ruling Voice

Platinum Blonde





The Hatchet Man


Week-End Marriage

Life Begins

They Call It Sin



Employees’ Entrance

Grand Slam

Zoo in Budapest

The Life of Jimmy Dolan

Heroes for Sale

Midnight Mary

She Had to Say Yes

The Devil’s in Love

Man’s Castle



The House of Rothschild

Born to Be Bad

Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back


The White Parade



Clive of India


The Call of the Wild

The Crusades

Hollywood Extra Girl



The Unguarded Hour

Private Number


Ladies in Love



Love Is News

Café Metropole

Love Under Fire

Wife, Doctor and Nurse



Second Honeymoon



Four Men and a Prayer

Three Blind Mice





Wife, Husband and Friend

The Story of Alexander Graham Bell

Eternally Yours



The Doctor Takes a Wife

He Stayed for Breakfast



The Lady from Cheyenne

The Men in Her Life

Bedtime Story



A Night to Remember




Show Business at War



Ladies Courageous

And Now Tomorrow



Along Came Jones



The Stranger



The Perfect Marriage

The Farmer’s Daughter

The Bishop’s Wife



Rachel and the Stranger



The Accused

Mother Is a Freshman

Come to the Stable



Key to the City



You Can Change the World

Cause for Alarm!

Half Angel

Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Awards




Because of You



It Happens Every Thursday


Loretta Young was nominated for two Best Actress in a Leading Role Academy Awards and won one.

  • The Farmer’s Daughter (1947) – won
  • Come to the Stable (1949)
Wearing the correct dress for any occasion is a matter of good manners. ~ Loretta Young

Loretta Young was born Gretchen Young in Salt Lake City, Utah, the daughter of Gladys (née Royal) and John Earle Young.  When she was two years old, her parents separated, and when she was three, her family and she moved to Hollywood. Her sisters Polly Ann and Elizabeth Jane (better known as Sally Blane) and she worked as child actresses, but of the three, Gretchen was the most successful.

Young’s first role was at the age of three, in the silent film The Primrose Ring. During her high-school years, she was educated at Ramona Convent Secondary School. She was signed to a contract by John McCormick (1893–1961), the husband and manager of the actress Colleen Moore, who saw the young girl’s potential. The name Loretta was given to her by Moore, who later explained that it was the name of her favorite doll.

Young was billed as Gretchen Young in the silent film Sirens of the Sea (1917). She was first billed as Loretta Young in 1928, in The Whip Woman. That same year, she co-starred with Lon Chaney in the MGM film Laugh, Clown, Laugh. The next year, she was named one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars.

In 1930, when she was 17, she eloped with the 26-year-old actor Grant Withers; they were married in Yuma, Arizona. The marriage was annulled the next year, just as their second movie together, ironically entitled Too Young to Marry, was released.

Clark Gable and Loretta Young in Call of the Wild (1935)

Clark Gable and Loretta Young in Call of the Wild (1935)

In 1935, she co-starred with Clark Gable and Jack Oakie in the film version of Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, directed by William Wellman. During the filming, Gable impregnated Young. For the next 80 years, those who knew of Gable’s paternity widely assumed the pregnancy to be the result of an affair between the two. However, in 2015, Linda Lewis, Young’s daughter-in-law (and Christopher Lewis’s wife) stated publicly that, in 1998, Young told Lewis that Gable had raped her.

During World War II, Young made Ladies Courageous (1944; reissued as Fury in the Sky), the fictionalized story of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. It depicted a unit of female pilots who flew bomber planes from the factories to their final destinations. Young made as many as eight movies a year. In 1947, she won an Oscar for her performance in The Farmer’s Daughter. That same year, she co-starred with Cary Grant and David Niven in The Bishop’s Wife, a perennial favorite. In 1949, she received another Academy Award nomination for Come to the Stable. In 1953, she appeared in her last theatrical film, It Happens Every Thursday, a Universal comedy about a New York couple who move to California to take over a struggling weekly newspaper; her costar was John Forsythe.

Young hosted and starred in the well-received half-hour anthology television series Letter to Loretta (soon retitled The Loretta Young Show), which was originally broadcast from 1953 to 1961. She earned three Emmy awards for the program. The program ran in prime time on NBC for eight years, the longest-running primetime network program hosted by a woman up to that time.

Young was married to the actor Grant Withers from 1930 to 1931. From September 1933 to June 1934, she had a public affair with Spencer Tracy, her co-star in Man’s Castle. She married the producer Tom Lewis in 1940; they divorced bitterly in the mid-1960s. Lewis died in 1988. They had two sons, Peter Lewis (of the San Francisco rock band Moby Grape) and Christopher Lewis, a film director. Young married the fashion designer Jean Louis in 1993. He died in 1997. Young was godmother to Marlo Thomas (daughter of the TV star Danny Thomas).

From the time of Young’s retirement in the 1960s until not long before her death, she devoted herself to volunteer work for charities and churches with her friends of many years: Jane Wyman, Irene Dunne, and Rosalind Russell. She was a member of the Good Shepherd Parish and the Catholic Motion Picture Guild in Beverly Hills, California. Young briefly came out of retirement to star in two television films, Christmas Eve (1986) and Lady in the Corner (1989). She won a Golden Globe Award for the former and was nominated again for the latter

Young died of ovarian cancer on August 12, 2000, at the home of her half-sister, Georgiana Montalbán (the wife of the actor Ricardo Montalban), in Santa Monica, California. She was interred in the family plot in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Her ashes were buried in the grave of her mother, Gladys Belzer. Her elder sisters had both died from cancer, as did her daughter, Judy Lewis, on November 25, 2011, at the age of 76.

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