Before you fire off your emails about these pressing questions, check out the answers to our Loretta Young Quiz queries, all 10 of ’em, published yesterday. They were largely based on Joe’s book with coauthor Edward Z. Epstein, an incisive 1986 biography, Loretta Young: An Extraordinary Life, published by Delacorte Press. Pardon the shameless plug, but this is a book worth seeking out.
Ok, now to our answers. For the questions, just scroll down to yesterday’s blog.
1) Answer: a) Loretta Young’s TV show on NBC was in its first year on the air titled A Letter To Loretta.
2) Answer: b) False. Young was both Catholic in religion and catholic in her choice of juicy roles. In 1949 for Paramount, she starred in The Accused as a spinsterish psychology professor who wreaks violent revenge on a young student who forces himself on her. As film noir expert Eddie Muller puts it, she “set him straight with tire iron.” She then dumps the body into the ocean. No staircase descents in this movie.
3) Answer: d) 1946’s The Stranger. Directed by Orson Welles, who also costars as a Nazi spy hiding in a small town, Loretta plays his trusting wife who gradually learns the truth about her newly-acquired husband. Welles is clunky in his role, and Edward G. Robinson is efficient as a visiting investigator. But Young shines.
4) Answer: d) Clark Gable. It’s generally accepted that he is the father of Loretta’s daughter Judy, conceived during the shooting in snowy Washington state of 1935’s The Call of the Wild. Young kept Gable’s paternity secret until finally confronted by daughter Judy Lewis (who was given the surname of Loretta’s second husband, Tom Lewis) when Young was 53. Judy died at 76 in 2011, only 11 years after her mother’s death at age 87. And, yes, Judy Lewis resembled Gable. (See for yourself; that’s Judy on the left with her mother in the photo above.)
5) Answer: b) False. Loretta celebrated her 17th birthday on Jan. 6, 1930. Twenty days later she married her first husband, actor Grant Withers, in Yuma, Arizona. As Joe’s biography points out, “In California the legal age for a girl to marry without consent was 18, but in Arizona it was only 16.” The marriage collapsed for the familiar reasons including incompatibility. He was a bounder whose career was on the downswing; she was highly principled with a career on the ascendant.
6) Answer: c) Joseph Mankiewicz. He and Young had a serious fling that almost resulted in marriage. The producer-director later said, “She wanted to get married but I was a divorced man and she was a rabid Paulist Catholic, which is the worst kind in the world. It would have meant getting a dispensation from the Pope and you can see me, as anticlerical as I am, trying to get that.”
7) Answer: d) Meet Me In St. Louis, with costumes designed by Irene Sharaff.
8) Answer: c) Ricardo Montalban. Both devout Catholics, Montalban’s marriage to Loretta’s half sister, Georgina Young, was one of Hollywood’s longest, lasting 63 years. She died at 83 in 2007; he died two years later.
9) Answer: b) and c). Young was nominated for her role in 1949’s Come To The Stable and won the best actress Oscar for 1947’s The Farmer’s Daughter.
10) Answer: b) Gretchen Michaela.