Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Loretta Young, Maybelline's Hollywood Madonna

I guess nobody loves old Hollywood movies and Movie Stars more than I do. Not just because so many of them endorsed Maybelline ad's between 1920-1960, but because my mother's father Andrew Mac Donald was a Motion Picture Pioneer in Hollywood from 1915 to 1967.  I grew up surrounded by Maybelline history from my great uncle Tom Lyle Williams, founder of the Maybelline Company and stories from my grandfather Andy who knew most every Star that worked for MGM.

 My grandfather's story is lightly glazed over in my book, The Maybelline Story, because it's so extensive it needs to be a book itself, but you do get a brief picture of what his life was like during the Golden Age of MGM.  That being said, you can understand why I was so fixated on wanting to be a Star myself, or at least a Maybelline Model.

I used to ask my grandfather questions about the different stars at MGM and once inquired about Clark Gable, who I adored as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind.  I was shocked when he said  "Gable was a very bad man," but wouldn't elaborate on the subject.  I never knew what he meant until this book about Loretta Young, came out last year.  I now realize my grandfather disrespected Gable for abandoning Loretta Young after she got pregnant with their child, during the making of Call of the Wild in 1935 and rejecting their daughter all his life.  This story is clearly spelled out in Loretta Young's book, Hollywood Madonna, and though it makes me sad, I also realize how the Hollywood Star System worked at MGM and how any scandal could destroy a Stars career.  Gable and Young put their careers over their daughter and ruined her childhood.

Loretta Young's Daughter talks about her mother and father during the making of Call of the Wild.

Here is a post I did on Maybelline's model Loretta Young.


The Loretta Young Show, put women front stage and center, and created a vehicle for Maybelline to reach a larger target market in the 1950's.
The Loretta Young Show ran from 1953 to 1961. Her trademark was to come through a door dramatically at the beginning in various high fashion evening gowns.
Maybelline capitalized on Loretta Young's fashionable image.... with a series of ads that illustrated her persona..... and affirmed postwar ideas, that true happiness, was possible, within the domestic/heterosexual
sphere of the middle-class home.

The Lorette Young, TV series, worked through the image of the glamorous Hollywood star, and would forever remain a phenomenon of 1950s television, the period in which the Hollywood studio system that had created larger-than-life stars came to a close.

Her program ran in prime time on NBC for eight years,the longest-running prime-time network program hosted by a woman up to that time.
In 1988, she was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award. for outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the
entertainment industry.

Young was married to actor Grant Withers from 1930 to 1931. After that she was involved in affairs with Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable and in 1935 had Gable's child, a daughter.

View video of "The Loretta Young Show" US TV series (1953--61.)

Read all about Maybelline's influence on Women's culture in the 1950s, in my book, The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.

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