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Judy Lewis, Secret Child Of Film Legends

12/02/2021 07:13 AM ET

Judy Lewis - Judy Lewis, the daughter of Clark Cable and Loretta Young, died Friday in the Philadelphia suburb of Gladwyne according to Rodger McKinney, owner of the Chadwick & McKinney Funeral Home. She was 76 and passed away on Friday, Nov. 25, at Waverly Heights, a retirement community. She has an interesting biography and lived an exciting life.

She lived in Palm Springs, California, but was raised in Los Angeles by Young as her adopted daughter. She was an adult when she learned that the actress conceived her during an affair with Gable in the 1930s while they filmed “Call of the Wild.”

Gable was married to his second wife and Young was single at the time. Because she had a morals clause in her contract with 20th Century Fox, Loretta hid the pregnancy and birth, and 19 months later told the public she had adopted a daughter. When she married Thomas Lewis in 1940, her daughter took his name, but he never adopted her.

In an interview published in The Inquirer in 1994, Ms. Lewis said: “It was very difficult for me as a little girl not to be accepted . . . by my mother, who to this day will not publicly acknowledge that I am her biological child.”

Ms. Lewis met Gable, who died in 1960, only once when she was a teenager and he dropped by her mother’s house. They spoke for hours, she later said, but Ms. Lewis didn’t discover until several years later that he was her father.

Ms. Lewis grew up in Los Angeles. In Uncommon Knowledge, she wrote she was teased because of the ears that she inherited from Gable. At age 7, she had an operation to pin them back.

Her mother loved to sew and insisted that Ms. Lewis take sewing lessons. Ms. Lewis later wrote in a tribute to Young, “I inherited my mother’s love of clothes . . . I made some beautiful prom dresses, suits, coats, even hats. My mother and I would leaf through the pages of Vogue magazine and then I’d copy the dress that I admired. I made my own daughter’s clothes when she was small - and loved doing it - thanks to Mom.”

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