Friday, December 2, 2011

Judy Lewis Passes On

Judy Lewis, actress and daughter of Loretta Young and Clark Gable, passed on 25 November 2011 at the age of 76. The cause was cancer.

Judy Lewis was conceived during a brief affair that the single Loretta Young and the married Clark Gable had while working on Call of the Wild (1935). Concerned that a child out of wedlock could damage her career, Loretta Young went to Europe for several months before returning to the United States. Miss Lewis was born on 6 November 1935 in Loretta Young's home in Venice, California. She spent her first 19 months with various caretakers until Miss Young picked her up, leaking the story to gossip columnist Louella Parsons that she had "adopted" Judy.

Judy Lewis attended Marymount, a Catholic girl's school in Los Angeles. In 1958 she made her television acting debut in an episode of Mackenzie's Raiders. She was a regular on the TV Western Outlaws and the soap operas The Secret Storm and General Hospital. She guest starred on such shows as The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Highway Patrol, Perry Mason, 77 Sunset Strip, Surfside 6, Search, The F.B.I., The Streets of San Francisco, and One Day at a Time. She appeared in the movies Operation Bikini (1963), Thunder in Dixie (1964), Airport 1974 (1974), and Southern Double Cross (1976).  On Broadway she appeared in the play Mary Mary in 1964. In 1992 Judy Lewis became a licensed, clinical psychologist, working with troubled children.

Judy Lewis was 31 before a confrontation with her mother Loretta Young in 1966 revealed the truth behind her birth--that she was the daughter of Miss Young by Clark Gable. In 1994 she published a memoir, Uncommon Knowledge, which revealed the truth of her parentage to the world. For the next three years she and her mother were estranged. Miss Young would not acknowledge Miss Lewis's parentage except in her autobiography Forever Young, which was to be published only after her death. It was published in 2000, only a few months after Loretta Young's death.

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