Loretta Young (January 6 1913 – August 12 2000) was an Academy Award-winning American actress.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah as Gretchen Young, she moved with her family to Hollywood when she was three years old. Loretta and her sisters, Polly Ann Young and Elizabeth Jane Young (screen name Sally Blane), worked as child actresses, of which Loretta was the most successful. Young's first role was at the age of 3 in the silent film The Primrose Ring. The movie's star, Mae Murray, so fell in love with little Gretchen that she wanted to adopt her. Although her mother declined, Gretchen was allowed to live with Murray for two years.
Young made as many as seven or eight movies a year and won an Oscar in 1947 for her performance in The Farmer's Daughter. The same year she co-starred with Cary Grant and David Niven in The Bishop's Wife, a perennial favorite that still airs on television during the Christmas season and was later remade as The Preacher's Wife with Whitney Houston.
In 1949, Young received another Academy Award nomination (for Come to the Stable) and in 1953 appeared in her last film, It Happens Every Thursday. Moving to television, she hosted and starred in the well-received half hour anthology series The Loretta Young Show.
In 1935, Young had an affair with Clark Gable, who was married at the time, while on location for The Call of the Wild. During their relationship, Young became pregnant. Due to the moral codes placed on the film industry by religious and conservative political organizations, Young was forced to cover up her pregnancy in order to avoid damaging her career (as well as Gable's). Returning from a long "vacation" (during which she secretly gave birth to her daughter), Young announced that she had adopted the little girl.