Loretta Young, a descendant of Luxembourger emigrants, was born Gretchen Young in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 6, 1913 to Gladys (née Royal) and John Earle Young. She was a motion picture actress noted for her ethereal beauty and refined, controlled portrayals of virtuous and wholesome women.
Young began her career at age four as a child extra in silent films. At age 14 she landed a part in the movie Naughty but Nice (1927). Her career blossomed as she moved quickly from bit parts to leading roles. In 1928, she received second billing in The Head Man (1928) and continued to toil in many roles throughout the '20s and '30s, making anywhere from six to nine films a year.
Loretta Young reached the pinnacle of her career when she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in The Farmer's Daughter (1947), the tale of a farm girl who rises through the ranks and becomes a congresswoman. She received her second Academy Award nomination for her role in Come to the Stable (1949).
Retiring from films in 1953, Young hosted the Emmy Award-winning The Loretta Young Show on NBC television from 1953 to 1961, making her the first entertainer to receive both an Oscar and an Emmy.
In the 1980s, Young returned to the small screen and won a Golden Globe for her role in Christmas Eve (1986).