Loretta Young

Studio publicity portrait of Loretta Young, c. 1940s

Birth Name: Gretchen Young

Date of Birth: January 6, 1913

Place of Birth: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Date of Death: August 12, 2000

Place of Death: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, some Scottish, distant Dutch, remote Welsh and Irish

Loretta Young was an American actress and singer. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Farmer’s Daughter (1947). She was also known for her roles in Ladies Courageous, The Stranger (1946), The Bishop’s Wife, Come to the Stable, and It Happens Every Thursday, among many other films.

She was the daughter of Gladys Royal (Belzer) and John Earle Young. She was married to fashion designer Jean Louis, until his death. Loretta had a daughter, actress, writer, producer, and therapist Judy Lewis, with actor Clark Gable; and two children, screenwriter and film producer Christopher Lewis and musician Peter Lewis, with her former husband, producer Tom Lewis. Peter is a founding member of band Moby Grape. Loretta was the sister of actresses Polly Ann Young and Sally Blane, and the half-sister of actress Georgiana Young. Georgiana was married to actor Ricardo Montalbán.

Loretta had English, some Scottish, distant Dutch, and remote Welsh and Irish, ancestry.

Loretta is frequently cited on the internet as having had Luxembourgian roots. This claim does not appear to have been verified/documented. It is not clear which of her ancestors, if any, were from Luxembourg.

Loretta’s paternal grandfather likely was born in Indiana. He was possibly named Charles Herbert Beach.

Loretta’s paternal grandmother was Laura Vickery Mendell (the daughter of Cicero Mendell and Angeline Vickroy). Laura was born in Kentucky or Pennsylvania, and re-married to Benjamin Day Young, who became Loretta’s father’s stepfather. Cicero was the son of Noah Mendell and Mary S. Angeline was the daughter of Edwin Augustus Vickroy and Cornelia Harlan.

Loretta’s maternal grandfather was Robert Tecumuseh Royal (the son of Tecumseh F. Royall and Maria Ellen Blackman). Robert was born in Mississippi. Loretta’s great-grandfather Tecumseh was the son of John Royall and Pamela Maynard. Maria Ellen was the daughter of Ollen Marion Blackman and Johanna F. Mayfield.

Loretta’s maternal grandmother was Gertrude L./M. “Fanny”/”Fannie” Watkins (the daughter of John T. Watkins and Nancy Jane Forgey). Gertrude was born in Missouri or Tennessee.

Sources: Genealogies of Loretta Young – http://www.geni.com

Loretta’s father on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

12 Responses

  1. cdonorab says:

    Correction. Found info that indicates that her paternal biological grandfather was a man named Charles Herbert Beach.


    This is the info for his marriage record to a Louise V. Mendel in the same area that Laura was living.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.