Who was Loretta Young exactly?

Was she the saintly classic beauty, the doting wife and loving mother of fan magazine fame? Was she what she became, a ravishing specimen of middle age perfection who swirled down that tv staircase with unparalleled swish and style?

Or, was she “Atilla the Nun,” a driven, iron-willed self disciplinarian? A ruthless “movie star” who took her lovers where she found them and callously pushed aside those she considered non-essential?

We are in luck here since Joe is something of an expert on the actress.  He should be since with coauthor Edward Z. Epstein he wrote the incisive 1986 biography, Loretta Young: An Extraordinary Life, published by Delacorte Press. Pardon the shameless plug, but this is a book worth seeking out.

We’ve largely based today’s Monday Quiz — always intended as a tribute to our subjects — on Joe and Ed’s biography. Ok, just how much do you know about Loretta Young? We suspect you don’t know as much as you should about this exceptionally solid actress.

In any case, here we go:

1) Question: Loretta Young is best remembered today for her roles as hostess and star of The Loretta Young Show on the NBC tv network, running from 1953-1960.  The title of the show was NOT the original title of the series.  Which one of the following was? a) A Letter to Loretta; b) Loretta Young Theatre; c) Loretta’s Thoughts On God And Marriage; or d) How To Descend A Steep Staircase While Looking Impossibly Glamorous.

2) Question: Young was a goody two-shoes kind of actress with taste and brains, and certainly wouldn’t have ever countenanced starring in a down and dirty film noir.  a) True; or b) False?

3) Question: Although Young is not considered by some as a heavyweight in the acting department, she handily managed to outperform both Orson Welles and Edward G. Robinson in the same movie. Which movie? a) The Farmer’s Daughter; b) Rachel and the Stranger; c) The Men In Her Life; or d) The Stranger.

4) Question: Which one of the following fathered a child out of wedlock with Young? a) Joseph Cotten; b) Spencer Tracy; c) Robert Montgomery; or d) Clark Gable.

5) Question: Young’s first marriage to actor Grant Withers was quickly annulled because she was underage at the time of the wedding.  a) True; or b) False.

6) Question: Which one of the following directors seriously mulled marriage to Young? a) William Wyler; b) William Wellman; c) Joseph Mankiewicz; or d) Allan Dwan.

7) Question: Young’s third and final marriage was to French costume designer Jean Louis. In addition to designing her fabulous TV gowns, Louis won some 14 Oscar nominations for his work on an array of Hollywood pictures.  Which one of the following did NOT benefit from Jean Louis costumes? a) The Solid Gold Cadillac; b) Bell Book and Candle; c) Back Street; or d) Meet Me In St. Louis.

8) Question: One of Young’s actress sisters wound up marrying a Latin heart throb who had a long leading man career.  Who was he?  a) Fernando Lamas; b) Anthony Quinn; c) Ricardo Montalban or d) Gilbert Roland.

9) Question: Which two of the following four titles resulted in either a best actress Oscar nomination or best actress win for Young? a) Love is News (1937); b) Come To The Stable (1949); c) The Farmer’s Daughter (1947); or d) Shanghai (1935).

 10) Question: What was Young’s real first name? a) Sadie Thomasina; b) Gretchen Michaela; c) Georgina Spelvinia; or d) Golda Rosanna.

Answers tomorrow.

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