Thursday, December 1, 2011
Gone with the Wind: The Secret Love Child of Clark Gable & Loretta Young Dies at Age 76
The daughter of two Hollywood legends passed away last week at her home in Pennsylvania. Judy Lewis was the secret love child of Gone with the Wind actor Clark Gable and actress Loretta Young, the product of a clandestine love affair on the set of the 1935 film The Call of the Wild. At the time, the 22-year-old Young hid her pregnancy and placed her daughter in an orphanage, only to reclaim the girl when she was nineteen-months old, claiming she had adopted the child. Gable was married at the time to another woman. Young was terrified that her secret would be revealed and destroy her career, so she did everything in her power to keep her secret well-hidden from the world, and most importantly from her very own daughter!
In her 1995 memoir Uncommon Knowledge, Judy writes that her mother went to great lengths to protect her secret, even going so far as to have plastic surgery on her daughter's ears...because they were large and stuck out just like Gable's! Lewis saw her father in person only once, when she was fifteen. Speaking of the brief encounter, she says, "As he left, he gave me a kiss on my forehead, but I didn't know he was my father. I cry when I watch his films. Why didn't he ride up on a white horse and rescue me?"
Although she did not know who her father was when she was young, Lewis claims that it was an open secret throughout Hollywood, and that even her childhood friends were aware, but had been instructed not to tell her the truth.
Clark Gable died in 1960 at the age of 59. Loretta Young, one of the great beauties of the silver screen during the 1930s and 40s, passed away in 2000.