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

When Gretchen Young was three years old her mother moved with her and her sisters to Hollywood, where she established a boarding house. Gretchen was appearing on screen as a child extra by the time she was four, joining her elder sisters, Polly Ann Young and Elizabeth Jane Young (later better known as Sally Blane), as child players. Gretchen later absented 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. 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 and graduated from bit player to ingénue, then to leading lady. However, she made headlines in 1930 when 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 Warner Bros.' The Second Floor Mystery). The marriage was annulled in 1931, the same year in which the pair would again co-star on screen, in a film called, ironically enough, Too Young to Marry. Loretta 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 as hostess of The Loretta Young Show, a half-hour drama anthology series which ran on NBC from September 1953 to September 1961, and which in its first season was called "A Letter to Loretta". In addition to hosting the series, she frequently starred in episodes. Although she is most remembered for her stunning gowns and swirling entrances, over the broadcast's eight-year run she also showed again that she could act. She won Emmy awards (for Best Actress in a Dramatic Series) in 1954, 1956 and 1958.

The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939): $150,000
Clive of India (1935): $2,000/week
The House of Rothschild (1934): $1,700/week
Naughty But Nice (1927): $50/week

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 (1927) for her sister 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.
In 1972, Miss Young sued NBC for violating her contract in allowing reruns of "Letter to Loretta" (1953) (better known as "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.
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 (1946) 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.
In her posthumously published autobiography, she admitted that her "adopted" daughter, Judy Lewis, was her biological daughter by Clark Gable.
Country singer Loretta Lynn was named after her.
Caused a buzz in 1999 when she appeared on the cover of 'Vanity Fair' looking a lot younger than her 86 years, "todays air brushing techniques can do wonders" was her explanation.
She chose her own middle name, "Michaela" at the time of her confirmation as a teen. She was raised as a Catholic, and some Catholics back then were able to choose the name or names of a saint or saints whom they most admired and add it onto their own. She simply liked the name Michaela. Apparently, her mother never actually gave her one at birth.
Loretta and older sisters Sally Young and Polly Ann Young worked as extras during school vacations while young. Their mother ran a boarding house to support the family.
Sister of John R. Young. All the Young children were child extras in silent films.
Aunt of Robert Foster who, from 1975 to 1978, played the role of Grimsley, the vampire-mortician horror host of "Fright Night" (1970) on Channels 9 (then KHJ-TV) and 5 (KTLA) in Southern California.
Godmother of Marlo Thomas.
Source provided by imdb (Copyright) - The Internet Movie Database.

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