Private Memorial Service Held On Monday In Brentwood For Judy Lewis, Daughter Of Loretta Young And Clark Gable, Highlight Hollywood Exclusive

A very beautiful private Mass was held on Monday afternoon, December 26, 2011 at St. Martin of Tours Roman Catholic church in Brentwood, California for Judy Lewis, the daughter of two Hollywood icons; Loretta Young and Clark Gable. As you walked into the church and stood by Judy’s daughter, Maria, her son-in-law Dan Dagit, and Lewis’s two grandsons, Michael and Gregory, who were greeting the mourners, you could hear one of the invited guest say, “I knew your beloved mother Judy since she was so very young, and her mother, Loretta and Loretta’s mother too,” you could see so many of the so-called Hollywood royalty in attendance. Their faces looked so familiar, but you had a problem putting their names together.

The mass was elegant, and yet very touching. Father Ben Le offered the Mass. Judy’s two grandsons gave the first and second reading from Isaiah 25 6a 7-9 and 2 Corinthians 13;11-13, reading with such love and emotion for their beloved grandmother, Judy Lewis. When Judy’s son-in-law, Dan gave the Eulogy, you could almost hear a pin drop. Dan made sure that he took you into the private world of Judy Lewis and made it very clear that Judy was a love-child brought into this world by two lovers, both married at the time to other people and that they were going to embark on a mission that was going to be one of the great scandals of the 1930s. Hollywood’s greatest stars, Loretta Young and Clark Gable where going to hide their love child from the world for as long as they could. Dan also laid out the course that her mother (Loretta Young) took by giving the baby to a close friend who arranged to have the baby kept at an adoption home in San Francisco, and then nine months later come back to ADOPT this beautiful baby girl that she was going to name Judy.

As Judy grew older, there always seemed to be a cloud of confusion over her head, always hearing rumors about who her (“real father”) was, over the years. Dan gave a very revealing Eulogy, bringing attendees of the memorial service up to date, and also about how Judy finally made her mother admit, with Bible in hand; that she was the illegitimate daughter of Clark Gable, who is Hollywood’s greatest sex symbol of the 1940s and ‘50s.

Dan briefly covered Judy’s young life from her marriage to Joe Tinney and their new baby daughter, Maria, to her acting career, the years as one of Hollywood’s most respected soap stars, to her career as a writer and producer, and then on to years later, when she wrote her life story that revealed the scandal of the 30s, in a book called “UNCOMMON KNOWLEDGE,” that caused a three-year separation between Judy and her mother Loretta.

“Judy later tried to turn the book into a major motion picture in the 1970s, but Hollywood reacted strangely. How can you tell a story of this magnitude, dealing with two Hollywood stars that lived 50-years ago, and very few people today in there twenties, thirties and even in their forties knew about them, or even cared about them,” one of the many guests that knew Judy said after the services.

Finally as the services came to an end, Judy’s brother, Peter Lewis sang the song “Like a garden” that he had written for his sister Judy. “Well I saw myself walkin’ through your heart in a dream last night all around me, like a garden it was filled with laughter and love and the truth about you to surround me.”

As we walked out of the lovely church and stood on the front steps overlooking Sunset Blvd., as it headed west to the Pacific Ocean, Maria and her family were surrounded by so many of their loved ones. There were two nuns in their 90s that embraced Maria and her sons. To relayed that they were Judy’s school-teachers some 60 years ago, a few actors that were seen talking to Maria were Daryl Hickman, “General Hospital” star Denise Alexander, also standing so close to Maria was Judy’s longtime partner, former actor Steve Roland, casting director Marvin Page and Judy’s former agent, Budd Burton Moss, and many other legendary Hollywood luminaries.

Judy had been ill for sometime before she passed away, and had been taken back to be with her beautiful daughter, Maria, and Maria’s husband Dan, and the boys back east until she died on November 25, 2011.One of Judy’s great passions was to sail. Over the years when ever she had the opportunity, D.H. Lawrence once wrote, “I stood watching as the little ship sailed out to sea. The setting sun tinted her white sails with a golden light, and as she disappeared from sight, a voice at my side whispered, ‘she is gone.’ But the sea was a narrow one. On the farther shore a little band of friends had gathered and waited in happy expectations. Suddenly they caught side of the tiny sail and, at that very moment when my companion whispered, ‘she is gone, a glad shout went up in joyous welcome…Here she comes!” This was written by an unknown friend and admirer’s of the great lady, Judy Lewis. But I know who he is, and I love him as much as Judy did.

Gone are any hard feelings, shame or secrets. Loretta Young and Clark Gable welcomed their only daughter into Heaven on November 25, and Judy has been making her mother laugh and cry ever since, while getting to know the Father she never got to know in life on this earth.

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs Courtesy: Judy Lewis by Mara Magliarditi Photography, Clark Gable and Clark Gable and Loretta Young in Call of the Wild by Link 81 Collection
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