I had no idea that Clark Gable had an unacknowledged child with a young Loretta Young (no pun intended). I read that they had a brief affair and Loretta got pregnant. She went away and secretly had the baby (a girl named Judith Young, later Lewis, after her father), and told everyone when she got back that she had adopted the child. The man she later married adopted the child also.
Now this secret child was not so much of a secret as the parents would have liked. The child would hear at school, where she went with other children of Hollywood celebrities, that her father was really Clark Gable, and that her mother was really her biological mother. Apparently, the children were hearing this from their parents. As usual, the last person to know about something is the person it really applies to.
The child met Clark Gable once during her teenage years, when I believe he came to her house and had a brief conversation with her consisting of asking her about how her life was, and then leaving. She confronted her mother Loretta, years later, in her thirties, as to whether the rumors were true. Her mother reluctantly admitted the truth. Clark Gable had been dead several years by then. It is said that Loretta refused to acknowledge this publicly and only allowed it into her biography because she was promised thatit he biography would only be published after her death.
Did I forget to mention that Clark Gable was married during his liaison with Loretta Young.
What is it older generation like to say ? Oh yes, they say, “In my day things like that never happened.” Well apparently that’s not true. We have found you out! I mean a pre-marital tryst with a married man, an illegitimate baby, a paternity cover-up, a mother-daughter confrontation, a reluctant confession….screams The Maury Show to me. And I can’t begin to wonder what Loretta Young was thinking. If the whole of Hollywood knew about it to the point that the young child was hearing it on the playground from other kids, why bother continue the pretense until after her death? If you claim it’s a sin, does the sin go away by not speaking it a loud? So it’s okay to sleep with a married man, just as long as you don’t admit it. And let’s not forget Clark Gable, who was an absentee father to a lonely little girl. After all being an present father wouldn’t erase the extramarital affair, but it would build a relationship a man and his daughter never got to have. And anyway being an absentee father didn’t erase the affair either, so as they say, he might as well.
Pictured: Top-Left: Loretta Young, Top-Right-black/white photo: Clark Gable, Bottom: Judith Lewis (all grown up)