“Starring…Loretta Young!”

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Strawberry Singh’s latest Monday Meme came along at a perfect time; I was working on this concept anyway after finding a photo on Pinterest I’d loved, and so why not take advantage of it?  I never saw The Loretta Young Show when I was a child, but the reputation of it and its star has come down through the sixty years since it premiered on NBC.

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The camera would be focused on a door into a living room, or a pair of double doors in later seasons; the announcer would say, “The Loretta Young Show; starring…Loretta Young!”  And the lady herself, one of the true grande dames of old Hollywood would sweep into the “room,” usually swirling the skirts of nothing less than a lovely cocktail dress, and step up to the camera to introduce that week’s play.  The entrance became something of a signature piece for Young, and was imitated in variation by some shows, parodied by other performers and comedians.  But none could deny the talent of the lady herself.

I’ve had a fascination, I suppose, with Miss Young for years, since I saw pictures of her with the 1947 Best Actress Academy Award she won for The Farmer’s Daughter.  The story behind that award was an attention-getter in itself; as a completely against-type picture, she was considered an also-ran for the award.  Rosalind Russell was considered the odds-on favorite to win (and had been campaigning for herself), for Mourning Becomes Electra.  Nobody was more surprised than Young when Frederic March read her name from the envelope, and she went up to the stage to accept the statue in a massive emerald-green taffeta gown with matching gloves.

Loretta was always impeccably dressed, for that matter — perhaps one reason why I don’t go punk or grunge in world, or in RL for that matter.  She is supposed to have said, “Glamour is…something you can’t bear to be without once you’re used to it,” according to the tribute site built by her family.  Whenever in public, she always dressed the part of a star.  And for much of her private life, she tried to be that way as well in her behavior and charity.  She wasn’t perfect — three marriages, an affair with Cary Grant that produced a daughter she didn’t publicly acknowledge until late in life.  But she was also generous of her time, especially after she mostly retired, working with church charities and other programs, sometimes along with her friends.

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You could say that Loretta had two retirements.  In the Fifties, she saw the writing on the wall for the rise of television, and made a controversial jump to the small screen.  The Loretta Young Show, an anthology series of standalone plays, lasted for eight seasons, and won her three Emmys for her acting to go alongside that Oscar.  Health kept her from appearing in every episode — seasons were longer back then, remember — but the quality of her work has endured.

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The details:

  • Skin: Glam Affair Cleo America (Clean B)
  • Eyes: HEX Glimmering Eyes (prim, HUD control)
  • Hair: Chemistry Hair Harlow
  • Attachments: SLink Mid feet
  • Gown: VERO MODERO Oscar gown
  • Shoes: ANE Opulence Heels (red, SLink Mid feet)
  • Makeup: [Buzz] Gem Lipstick (Ruby); JUMO Nataly Eyeliner (Royal)
  • Accessories: Lazuri Eda suite: bracelets, earrings, necklace, rings; Miamai Rilla satin gloves (white, no longer available)

Photographed at the Rose Theatre

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