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Forever Young : The Life, Loves, and Enduring Faith of a Hollywood Legend ; The Authorized Biography of Loretta Young

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The real life and faith journey of Loretta Young -- her strong devotion to her Catholic faith and her passion for helping others in need.


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The real life and faith journey of Loretta Young -- her strong devotion to her Catholic faith and her passion for helping others in need.

30 review for Forever Young : The Life, Loves, and Enduring Faith of a Hollywood Legend ; The Authorized Biography of Loretta Young

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Forever Young has languished on my shelves for years. I'm not certain where or when I bought it but even though I've had it a long time it certainly is not since the copyright year of 2000. I believe this book found its way to my TBR pile due to nostalgia. Growing up I watched Ms. Young's television program, The Loretta Young Show (1953-1961). I don't think I recall one episode in its entirety but I do remember watching many episodes with my mom. Perhaps that was the appeal, the bond between mot Forever Young has languished on my shelves for years. I'm not certain where or when I bought it but even though I've had it a long time it certainly is not since the copyright year of 2000. I believe this book found its way to my TBR pile due to nostalgia. Growing up I watched Ms. Young's television program, The Loretta Young Show (1953-1961). I don't think I recall one episode in its entirety but I do remember watching many episodes with my mom. Perhaps that was the appeal, the bond between mother and daughter. Under ten and into my early teens I do remember the opening each week. The closed door which would swing open and the beautiful young woman swirling through the door in an elegant gown. Loretta Young was beautiful. My memories are of inspirational, uplifting stories which must have been appropriate for my age or my mom wouldn't have let me watch them. Just like her troubles with sponsors and would be fans, there are many critics of the format of this book. It is very faith based and has many references to God, Angels, small miracles, and may be just too much religion for some tastes. Frankly, most times it would be too much for mine but somehow I didn't mind. There was enough bio for me to get a feel of who Loretta was, her determination to succeed in a business that wasn't always kind to women, one where being a parent could kill a career, where wives most important role was being a homemaker. It also gave me a picture of religious beliefs were and how she would not comprise these for money or fame. I enjoyed learning a bit about her family, particularly her mother and sisters. She certainly seemed to have many celebrity friends and was able to keep those relationships throughout her long life. She also had many friends who were priests, bishops and nuns. ”Loretta often commented that “if you knew Mama, you'd know me,” but most observers disagree. While the women were similar in many ways, Gladys rarely demanded from herself the high degree of achievement that her daughter did. “ Loretta seems a woman with high standards and morals and was able to avoid getting ahead by the casting couch approach to success. She did have one vice and that was cigarettes. ”At forty, Loretta was still a perfect size six, due in part to her three-packs-a-day cigarette habit. She never exercise.” Her husband Tom commented, “Loretta wouldn't walk across a room if she could get a ride.” She eventually gave the cigarettes up and gained forty pounds. There were times when she was poor and times when she was financially well-to-do despite her lack of money sense. One very bad financial decision was in an agreement she signed when divorcing her husband Tom which gave him half of her earnings, til death did this end. She was extremely charitable and not only found unique ways to fund some wonderful non-profits but also put her money where her heart was. The book was peppered throughout with first hand accounts from friends and strangers, these snippets also help to paint a picture of a loved woman. There were many high points in Loretta's life but there were also sorrows. She kept a secret for many years and when it was revealed it is one that brought much heartache to her life but there was resolution before she died. There were many things I didn't know about Loretta Young. One, made me sad as had she lived in a different time, one struggle in her life might have been corrected and not one that she had to compensate for. Loretta couldn't read well. ”I can't tell the b's from the d's. And some other letters were upside down.” Dyslexic. This was not the best nor the most conventional biography I've ever read. The author, Joan Webster Anderson has written many angelic tales and I might have liked to hear Loretta Young's story from another viewpoint but this is the author Loretta Young trusted with her life's story and it was good enough for me. Before her television days, Loretta made many movies with some of the greats in the movie business. In her career she won two Academy Awards and three Emmy's. I believe I have only seen one of her movies and plan to rectify this as well as find the TV series. The woman who became Loretta Young born as Gretchen, often called Gretch, will continue to be a woman I admire, one I wouldn't mind knowing and the book Forever Young, was a pleasing read for me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debi Emerson

    Way too much proselytizing for my taste. In the beginning of the book, the author states that she is a fan & a friend, so I expected a white-wash, and I got it. I remember watching Loretta Young on TV when I was a kid in the 1950s, and I didn't like her. To me, she came across as fake & condescending. From other biographies of other stars that I have read (and including the one by Young's daughter), Loretta Young was far from the saint she pretended to be. The author would like us to believe tha Way too much proselytizing for my taste. In the beginning of the book, the author states that she is a fan & a friend, so I expected a white-wash, and I got it. I remember watching Loretta Young on TV when I was a kid in the 1950s, and I didn't like her. To me, she came across as fake & condescending. From other biographies of other stars that I have read (and including the one by Young's daughter), Loretta Young was far from the saint she pretended to be. The author would like us to believe that Young's love child with Clark Gable came from a single slip from chastity; according to others, they had a quite passionate affair & lived together while on location. The author would also have us believe that Young & Spencer Tracy had a platonic friendship with neither one of them wanting to betray their marriage vows; according to others, Young & Tracy also had a quite passionate affair. And the author really needs to brush up on her history: WWII didn't start with the bombing of Pearl Harbor; it started when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. She could also brush up on her math: somewhere along the way she deducted several years from Young's age - the amount varies. All in all, this was an interesting book but had way too many references to Young's relying on her faith & turning things over to God & experiencing miracle after miracle. She just reinforces the impression I got as a child: Young presented herself as way too good to be true & was a hypocritical fake.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

    This was really good. Adriana Trigiani's "All the Stars in Heaven" book inspired me to read more about Loretta Young. What a fascinating life she had and she was so pretty. As much as I don't care for religion myself it was inspiring to see someone so devout in their beliefs and actually be a warm, caring and kind person. This was really good. Adriana Trigiani's "All the Stars in Heaven" book inspired me to read more about Loretta Young. What a fascinating life she had and she was so pretty. As much as I don't care for religion myself it was inspiring to see someone so devout in their beliefs and actually be a warm, caring and kind person.

  4. 4 out of 5

    SM Surber

    Interesting read - she was a beautiful woman and had a heart for people.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    Having read Trigiani's beautiful story of old Hollywood and a love story between Loretta Young and Clark Gable All the Stars in Heaven) that was actually more fiction than truth, I became more curious about the lovely actress whom I remember only from her television days but whom I thought was so gorgeous and sophisticated. I had researched the fact that she had had a secret child with Gable just as Trigiani had written, but that their relationship wasn't the love story that was woven into her b Having read Trigiani's beautiful story of old Hollywood and a love story between Loretta Young and Clark Gable All the Stars in Heaven) that was actually more fiction than truth, I became more curious about the lovely actress whom I remember only from her television days but whom I thought was so gorgeous and sophisticated. I had researched the fact that she had had a secret child with Gable just as Trigiani had written, but that their relationship wasn't the love story that was woven into her book. So, I decided to read the authorized biography. To criticize the content would be the same as evaluating a person's life story, so I will just say that Anderson did a very good job of laying out the timeline of Ms. Young's life and of describing the way Hollywood in the 40's and 50's must have been--glamorous, fickle, demanding, rigid. To realize that Ms. Young's acting career lasted well into the 80's was amazing as today's "stars" come and go. I am sure that Anderson wrote from the material and information that she was given so deciding how much was complete truth is impossible. What I found sad was that the daughter Ms. Young gave birth to was actually put into a foundling home for nearly the first two years of her life to avoid in scandal and to avoid the truth. The child was then "adopted" by Ms. Young but probably didn't really fool anyone. It wasn't until her daughter was an adult that she herself found out who her "real" parents were and even then Ms. Young asked her to keep it private. That disappointed me and seemed at odds with Ms. Young's own devout faith--denying her daughter after all those years to keep her sterling reputation. Judy Lewis, daughter of Young has passed away but I understand that she wrote her own biography and now I am interested to hear her side of the story that caused an almost irreconcilable difference between her mother and herself. At any rate, the book flowed nicely, read quickly, and portrayed a woman who had many ups and downs but who always managed to come back even stronger and more determined than ever before.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kati

    I enjoyed learning about Loretta Young's life, but I didn't particularly enjoy this book. For one thing, small details like misspelled names were distracting. Anyone can make an editorial typo, but when you repeatedly misspell the names of people like Katharine Hepburn and Darryl Zanuck in a biography of an Old Hollywood star, it loses a little credibility with the reader. Secondly, Anderson glosses over, or entirely omits, some known facts about Young's life. For example, it's implied that Young I enjoyed learning about Loretta Young's life, but I didn't particularly enjoy this book. For one thing, small details like misspelled names were distracting. Anyone can make an editorial typo, but when you repeatedly misspell the names of people like Katharine Hepburn and Darryl Zanuck in a biography of an Old Hollywood star, it loses a little credibility with the reader. Secondly, Anderson glosses over, or entirely omits, some known facts about Young's life. For example, it's implied that Young was the one to reveal to her daughter Judy Lewis that she was not adopted, but rather the biological child of Clark Gable and Young herself. But Lewis has stated that she didn’t learn her true parentage until her then-fiancé revealed it to her on her wedding day, and Young subsequently admitted it to be true. It would have been more accurate to state the facts, and also would have been interesting to discover exactly why Young didn't reveal the truth to her daughter on her own. Which brings me to my bigger problem with this biography: Anderson is a fine writer, but she was apparently a friend or acquaintance of Young’s and admired her tremendously, as well as sharing her deep Catholic faith, and as a result her writing is very obviously that of a fan and a friend. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t necessarily make for interesting reading. It’s not that a biography has to be full of salacious details and gossip, but I think a little impartiality would’ve made for a more appealing read. Young was a wonderful actress and by all accounts a generous and upstanding person, but I would’ve preferred a little less fawning on Anderson’s part.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I am a movie buff and love classic films from the 30's, 40's 50's...so this was a natural for me. Loretta Young was a devout Catholic and her faith impacted her career in many ways. She was also human and made a few mistakes--but Anderson (also a Catholic) portrays her sympathetically and respectfully. I just loved reading about her friendships with the likes of Tyrone Power, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne and a brief romantic encounter with Clark Gable that would change her life forever... I am a movie buff and love classic films from the 30's, 40's 50's...so this was a natural for me. Loretta Young was a devout Catholic and her faith impacted her career in many ways. She was also human and made a few mistakes--but Anderson (also a Catholic) portrays her sympathetically and respectfully. I just loved reading about her friendships with the likes of Tyrone Power, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne and a brief romantic encounter with Clark Gable that would change her life forever...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Molly Hansen

    Interesting to see how Loretta Young saw herself (and her relationship with God). It was also fascinating to see old Hollywood through her eyes.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Enlightening information about Loretta Young's life. Enlightening information about Loretta Young's life.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Danice

    Part biography and part inspirational. My preference was for the biographical aspects, as I didn't care so much for the religious-inspirational side of the book. Part biography and part inspirational. My preference was for the biographical aspects, as I didn't care so much for the religious-inspirational side of the book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Terteach1

    This is one of the rare books I have reread. Inspiring. Her faith and impact on her life was amazing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    gwen p allen

  13. 5 out of 5

    Beryl Cook

  14. 4 out of 5

    flyfishinglady

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cutty

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marianne Cummins

  18. 5 out of 5

    Teddie

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  20. 5 out of 5

    nicholas demes

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gerhard G Gerken

  22. 4 out of 5

    Estella

  23. 5 out of 5

    linda adamson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Mickelson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shilo (TheBookMongers)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy Estep

  27. 4 out of 5

    Quintella Betancourt

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia Sproul

  29. 5 out of 5

    Janey Graves

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maryann Zaccagnio

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