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Clark Gable and Judy Lewis ....

Posted by cinemafan2 on 2011.10.22 at 14:23

In 1960 shortly before he died, Clark Gable signed his last will and testament.  In it he pointedly disavowed any living children.  Thus he disowned and disinherited his only living child, a daughter named Judy that he fathered with Loretta Young in 1935.  (Subsequently, a son, John Clark Gable, was born to his widow Kay Gable five months after Gable's death.)

Loretta Young and her daughter fathered by Clark Gable, Judy Lewis in the 1940's.

Judy's half-brother, Christopher Lewis, told her that Tom Lewis, once asked Clark Gable  if he was Judy's biological father. Gable denied it, saying that he would love to have a child and adding, "Do you think I would let anyone else bringing up my only child?". But he did. Tom Lewis was bringing up his only child.

Clark Gable was among those invited by Loretta Young to Judy Lewis' wedding in June of 1958 just as he had been invited to her high school graduation as few years earlier. He declined both invitations and didn't send a gift. And Gable, who once told an interviewer that his one real regret in life was that he never had any children, completely ignored the granddaughter that Judy soon bore.  (
Ironically, Gable died on her first birthday.)

Judy Lewis only knew Clark Gable through his films. "Call of the Wild" and "Gone With the Wind" were two of her favorites. Enthralled by his megastar image, for years she blamed her mother for her estrangement from him. Loretta Young's response was published posthumously in an authorized biography, Forever Young.  Loretta acknowledged Clark Gable was Judy's father but stated that his estrangement from her was beyond her control. She said that Gable simply never showed any interest in Judy. He never contributed a dime to the bank account Young set up for her nor did he accept any of her invitations to events in her life. 

 Perhaps in search of the father she never knew, Judy became a close friend of Cammie King Conlon, who played Bonnie Blue Butler, the daughter of Clark Gable’s character Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind.  (At the time  they met and became friends Conlon was unaware that Judy was Gable's daughter.)

Judy describes lovingly in her book Uncommon Knowledge a chance meeting Clark Gable at her parents home while he was filming Key to the City with her mother.   In her memory Gable acts much as Rhett Butler might.  He is kind and inquisitive about her.  Loretta Young however states clearly in her authorized biography that no such meeting ever took place.  See Forever Young, Page 265.    

Judy has since acknowledged that her vision of her father may not be realistic. "I've tried to make my peace with the past, and I'm now happy to think of Gable in my own idealised way. I've purposefully made that choice, because I never was given the chance to know him and ask: 'Where were you?'As to the Gone With The Wind scene where Gable plays affectionately with his fictional daughter, Lewis is quoted that "I like to think that he was thinking of me when he was playing those scenes".  But she added that "perhaps the famous 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn' was a truer reflection of his feelings towards me".


A recent photo of John Clark Gable. John Clark Gable steadfastly refuses to acknowledge Judy Lewis as his half sister to this day.

Judy Lewis' 2001 interview with Larry King:

KING: "... John Clark Gable, the son of Clark Gable from another marriage, gave us a statement in which he said:

"My father said he had no other children and my father's word is good enough for me." "

J. LEWIS: Good for him.

KING: So, his father's word is good enough for him, and your mother's word is good enough for you, one of you is wrong. Do you know John Clark Gable?

J. LEWIS: Yes, we met. We met twice.

KING: What was that like?

J. LEWIS: The first time I met him was at a film of "Gone With The Wind," and I knew who he was. But he didn't know who I was. And the second time we met, we had dinner, and I gave him the book. And that was it. I have never heard from him since.


Judy Lewis and Loretta Young, the mother who was there for her all along, if not always in the way that Judy wished her to be, circa 1980.

A more recent photo of Judy Lewis. 

Judy Lewis died of lymphoma on Friday, November 25, 2011 at the age of 76.


sunnylimoncello at 2011-10-23 13:05 (UTC) (Link)
"John Clark Gable steadfastly refuses to acknowledge Judy Lewis as his half sister to this day."

Has either of them requested DNA tests? Judy certainly favors Clark in many ways.
cinemafan2 at 2011-10-23 14:51 (UTC) (Link)

Gable's heirs

As far as I know they have not submitted to DNA testing. Gable says that "his father's word is good enough for him". Judy says the same about her mother's word. So they remain at a stand-off. I believe they should do DNA testing and verify the facts once and for all. Judy will be 76 next month.

Edited at 2011-10-23 02:56 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) at 2015-01-06 19:20 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Gable's heirs

Judy Lewis passed away in 2011.
(Anonymous) at 2014-12-01 04:41 (UTC) (Link)

Where do you see a resemblance?

She looks nothing like him.
(Anonymous) at 2015-01-06 08:40 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Where do you see a resemblance?

The ears! Hello!
(Anonymous) at 2016-10-18 17:43 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Where do you see a resemblance?

(Part I)
Hello!!! Have you seen Loretta Young's own ears? Not likely to find many photos or really any photos of the tops of her ears, because she kept the tops of them covered, because HER ears were big. Her hair and hats covered and held them down. Her daughter (most probably and most likely) gets them from her mother.

Neither John Clark OR Judy Lewis look a thing or even remotely like Gable. Even though Judy continually tried to pull off Gable's signature "squint"... (and did a really poor job at that... I'd say it makes it even MORE obvious they don't look a thing alike)

I find it highly suspicious and highly probable... a 'deathbed' confession as to her parentage NEVER happened. (and if it did... It seems highly unlikely, Ms. Young named Gable) Her mother was her only claim to fame and with her gone, where was she going to get her attention? Capitalize on a rumor and claim it to be true. NOT take a DNA test to prove it and NOT have anymore proof than something no one ever heard from Loretta's lips nor from her 'deathbed'. Not a single witness to the confirm such a thing. Yet the world leaps up and gobbles it up. This whole story hinges on Judy's telling of it alone. And who would have anything whatsoever to gain from such a story?

Like I say... HIGHLY improbable. Kay's boy... same story. John Clark was handsome, but has no bone structure or features that look anything like Gable's.

Neither one would silence all their critics with the one sure way to do just that... DNA. BOTH KNOW (or are, at least, afraid) it isn't so and the proof would either ruin their fantasy or expose their fraud and deliberate deceit. All they have is the 'claim' to pay the bills... and little else to fall back on. To lose that... would be to lose money and their own credibility.

So, instead of putting their money where their mouth is or the matter to permanent rest... they continue the fraud, doubt, rumor, and innuendo... I suspect they do so... knowing full well they AREN'T actually related to Gable at all.

Ruin someone else's reputation to further your own?... It's not exactly unheard of among the Hollywood set. Many children of the famous have been known to capitalize and spend their parent's reputations as clout to easy income rather than finding, applying and nurturing their own talent (if they even have any) as a means to pay the bills. It's the easiest way to a paycheck with the least amount of human effort.

Not to mention, when the parent(s) are gone... what happens to all the attention they USED to get? It's all dried up without them in tow. Why not resurrect something with a 'deathbed" confession or 'tell all' book or 'it was a secret between only 'mummy/daddy' and me. or 'Because of her/his "image" or professional consequences and fan fallout... no one was ever to publically acknowledge it'. IF such things were so well kept and important when the primary secret-keepers were alive, you would think the ones who loved them would continue to keep such secrets out of respect... but NO... they come right out with it and destroy all that was sacred to maintain. Not a single hesitation. I believe Ms. Young was angry Judy wrote this book. Nothing says 'love' like writing a book about someone else's life and secrets hard fought to keep... from the hand of their own daughter, right? Real sweet... and yet people want to call Gable a 'cad'.

Even if he was a HUGE 'cad' what do you call the rest of them? A mother who slept with anything in britches and then give the resulting child over to an orphanage rather than assume the reputation and the responsibility. A daughter who... in spite of her mother's wishes to maintain her reputation... Who vehemently disagrees and denies the stories to even be true. Publishes a book 'outing' her mother and a 'complete' stranger such as Gable. Whom she (according to Judy herself) never admitted to such a so-called fact... 'until she was on her deathbed' but then says she told her when she was getting married. Which is it? Does it matter really? The FACT remains... She wrote and published that book, without hard FACTS against her mother's wishes and without proof of FACTS to back it up. (continued)

(Anonymous) at 2016-10-18 17:45 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Where do you see a resemblance?

(Continued... Part II)

Judy and John KNOW that NEITHER of the parties involved are alive to be able to speak for themselves or defend themselves... and the DNA that WOULD and COULD speak for them is silenced and gagged. Why??? One makes a fair better bet they are FRAUDS (the both of them) than to take their 'word on it' at face value. What reputation do they base their claims on? the reputation of old rumors? angry, manipulating, loose (at least, not the 'saintly' or 'choosy' kind) and vindictive women? a pair of ears? A pair of ears, easily, attributed to Spencer Tracy or Loretta Young as anybody else.

We all have eyes and brains... No attempt or desire to have a simple DNA test to back it up, quell the scandal, silence their critics, reiterate their grounds for trusting their mother's word, answer even their own possible related health questions or just due to mere idle curiosity... smells as rotten as yesterday's dirty diapers.

I would suspect (if they even believe it were at all possible) they would have already done so and now know better or knew already what the results would be and didn't want to waste even the 150 bucks for something they already knew would be a waste. Once proven a fraud they would have nothing left and would have to try to make it on their own. No... they are more than content to skip that little endeavor. Why go out and have iron clad proof floating around that you are full of it and yourself??? That their specialness isn't as special as they hoped, thought, dreamed or believed.

They should both be ashamed either way. When the chance to vindicate a deceased parent is in the realm of your ability... Where is their care and respect for them??? To me? It's just disgusting no matter how this story plays out. True or False... It's deplorable. Either they are the fools, we are the fools or we ALL are the fools, but anyway you slice it... it's just deplorable.

The biggest leap of faith is for us to believe they are kin in anyway with not a single thing to go on. A pair of ears? Really???

Go ahead... look for a photo of just one of Ms. Young's entire ears fully exposed. You either see the bottom of them, a hint at part of them or nothing at all. Her hair was pulled back over them to hold them down. She certainly wouldn't want to be known for those. She always covered them... Why? If you even notice the styles of the 20's and 30's... many of them... heck... Most of them, specifically, exposed the ears... yet, Ms. Young's ears are always covered. (Continued)

(Anonymous) at 2016-10-18 17:46 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Where do you see a resemblance?

(Continued Part III)

Lewis looks more like Spencer Tracy or Jack Oakie or even James Bacon (shown in a clip being interviewed about “The Call of the Wild”) than she does Gable. Heck… She doesn’t even look much like Loretta either, for that matter. Seems Loretta was a bit of a ‘tart’… and it is likely, even she, didn’t know who the father was? My guess is… someone picked the best known and handsome one of the lot to stake their claim on… not that it had any credibility, but the most respectability. Spencer Tracy’s ears weren’t exactly small compared to Gable’s. And Tracy’s indiscretion would have had an even bigger impact on his personal life than a hit on Gable’s would have.

Is it possible that Loretta Young wasn’t even the mother??? Maybe Loretta’s child died… hence the ‘illness’ and quickly sought out a child to fill the huge void such a loss can leave. Someone to shower that love on. Seems to me… she doesn’t look much like any of these people. Maybe she WAS adopted… fair and square and her mother thought and saw fit to tell her, all along, that she belonged to her and was her legitimate daughter, because that is exactly as she saw it and wanted her not to believe anything less. That has been known to happen you know.

A DNA test should be done? If not then… Why not now, to stifle all the rumors, gossip, doubt and let the truth prevail once and for all. Insead folks would rather perpetuate the mystery rather than solve it. Not exactly an example of someone who is confident of the truth or is plagued by a desire for credibility and legitimacy. John Clark looks nothing like him either.

And if the story IS true that Judy once approached John to compare DNA ‘swatches’… His may, easily, have been up the same illegitimate ally as Judy’s. Judy’s mother, Loretta, claimed the ‘event’ involving Judy meeting Mr. Gable (Judy claims Gable came to see her on her 15th birthday or some such happening) never even happened.

With so many ????s looming in the air, one’s natural inclination is to dispel them. But alas… not a big concern. Why? Because I suspect… they don’t really want to know the answer and prefer what they are going with over all the other more seedy and less glamorous possibilities. Only new questions would emerge as a result and who is alive who could be asked and actually have the answers to those, at this point?

People have been known to lie to protect themselves and those they love. Either for selfish reasons or unselfish ones… sometimes for both. People (especially actors) have been WIDELY known to create a false persona and perpetuate it, in spite of the realities. I mean it’s not really a stretch to believe this is all a made up story (just who made it up… doesn’t matter) Point being… I find it hard to believe that Judy Lewis is Gable’s daughter. And as for her ears… Loretta covered her ears all the time too.

Toss those thoughts in with…. Things that make you say… “Hmmm?”

In the end… The real point is… was she loved? She sure seemed to be, looking at her childhood home movies. In those old home movies?… She looks pretty darned happy, no matter who the father (or mother for that matter) really is.

Until DNA evidence is produced, I think it is safer and more decent to stop perpetuating it as fact. When the two main parties involved have denied such a thing ever happened to begin with. To keep on with this farce over one adopted girl's wish to fantasize her father as Clark Gable is the height making false assumptions based on less than one person's word and one person's word alone... that being the ONLY person to benefit from such a thing, were it to be true. (....End) Whew!!!!
(Anonymous) at 2017-12-30 17:05 (UTC) (Link)

RE: Re: Where do you see a resemblance?

Wow what a rant. I could have taken you seriously if you hadn't kept going and going, spitting out things you couldn't possibly know.
(Anonymous) at 2011-10-24 17:05 (UTC) (Link)
Since it was common knowledge of Clark's and Loretta's affair on th set of Call OF The Wild, wouldn't Carole have known this, and suspected Clark the father of her adopted child? Is there any proof she knew?
cinemafan2 at 2011-10-24 20:04 (UTC) (Link)
Based on a comment Carole made she did know. Gable bragged to her that Loretta was one of his conquests and that he got her pregnant.
cinemafan2 at 2011-10-25 04:56 (UTC) (Link)
In Darwin Porter's biography of Katherine Hepburn, Page 391, it reads... "Gable told Carole Lombard, who told everybody else, "Tracy made the mistake of falling for Loretta. As for me, I only fucked her and gave her a kid, which neither of us wanted"."

Undoubtedly neither of them wanted a child born out of wedlock in 1935. But Loretta Young refused to abort the child and then went through gyrations to adopt her and raised her.

Edited at 2011-10-25 06:04 am (UTC)
astaire10 at 2011-10-25 06:39 (UTC) (Link)

Who will ever know the FACTS.....

..REALLY... I simply cant believe INSIDE this man, was such a Cad..Sure the STAG days he had were plenty, but he gave a damn about a LOT of folks, and esp kids. Loretta seems to be the brat mostly, HER Career HIS career, the times..Certainly today no one would think twice re it all, but I think of Mr Gable, esp in his later years..No, it seems to me he cared, BUT there comes a time when the child is of age and has had a LIFE with their, even in this case, "Semi"-adoptive family, that a lot of biological folks stay away.Now the opposite is called "Open Adoption", which We had 21 years ago.My son was 3 days old, blue eyes and a dream, His birth mother handed him to me and said "YOU are his mother" and its been the Greatest Joy of my Life ever since. She had tears in her eyes when she gave him to me, but she has stayed away, no presents no letters..Bobby knows all about her, but , to me, said "Oh Mom, Ill NEVER leave you!"..The emotions involved are plenty I have aseen it first hand, but I cant believe Clark was a TOTAL deadbeat as far as giving a damn about his daughter. In their case tho, Im sorry they didnt KNOW each other, but I understand a number of reasons, perhaps WHY he stayed away, and It wasnt JUST Loretta.
cinemafan2 at 2011-10-25 18:20 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Who will ever know the FACTS.....

Trying to reconcile the charming and thoughful Clark Gable with the Cad who ignored his only child and cheated on all of his wives is a challenge. It was for them and it was for him. But perhaps it explains why Carole was on that plane and why Gable ended up his life as a functioning alcoholic. Life isn't always pretty.

Edited at 2011-10-25 07:54 pm (UTC)
astaire10 at 2011-10-26 02:41 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Who will ever know the FACTS.....

True..LIFE Isnt "always pretty". CANCER "isnt pretty"..Losing a limb, a kidney, to DIABETES "ISnt pretty", "SpOUSAL ABUSE" and Parental Abuse" "ISNT pretty",my mother was an alcoholic following the death of my brother to drug abuse;Yes this is LIFE.. re CG, you forget the man NEVER lived to see and know any of his children as it turns out.His guilt re Carole's death must have been horrific..His Free-falls the result, too often at the expense of those closest to him; BUT he found Peace at the end w/ Kay, she loved him enough to, as the book said, "Pattern herself" after Carole in many ways.
Her children, Bunker and Joan, loved him as their stepfather. Kay lost a baby, then at the end,was expecting John Clark which thankfully, she saw to fruition, even without him there. Maybe that elusive PEACE... he couldnt find in real life, but it took quite a woman to love him enough despite his many faults, to adapt and live according to how he was most comfortable. As Dolly Merriweather said in GWTW, "There MUST be a GREAT DEAL OF GOOD in a MAN"..to have been loved that much. For Carole, for a lot of people who STILL "Give a damn", I like to remember him so.
(Anonymous) at 2014-11-29 06:19 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Who will ever know the FACTS.....

In real life Clark Gable was " FAKE " as " RED BUTLER " !!!
(Anonymous) at 2012-04-23 17:48 (UTC) (Link)

we still love him

It is hard to reconcile that kind of behavior in anyone to deny and abandon their kid. I guess he truly believed he was not the biological father... and once a person sets such a thing in their mind they may have to keep it *true* no matter what. Look at that senator from South Carolina who fathered a daughter with his black maid and voting against civil rights bills etc. For whatever reason, Clark Gable did not or could not believe he had a daughter. I'm sure Carole would have liked to have kids with him...
cinemafan2 at 2012-04-23 20:07 (UTC) (Link)

Re: we still love him

Gable knew he was the biological father of Judy. He visited Loretta and the baby once not long after she was born. The problem most people have is with reconciling their image of Clark Gable the movie star that they love with the reality of Clark Gable the human being. He did too. And perhaps that is why he drank.
(Anonymous) at 2013-01-05 05:50 (UTC) (Link)

Clark Gable Museum in Cadiz Ohio

I've visited the CG Museum in Cadiz several times. One of the guides told me an unflattering story about CG's son. The museum had hoped to get the son, as well as Judy Lewis together to help promote interest in the museum. She said John behaved like a spoiled brat & said that if Judy were present at the event, he would take back the donated items he had given to the museum. I see no reason why this guide would have lied. In any case, what has JCG ever done to catapult himself to any status or fame? Obviously only his famous genes are what have given him any recognition. Also, CG took his basic training in the (then) Army Air Corps several weeks before my dad arrived at the base. My dad said the guys admired Gable who was 20 years older than they were, worked just as hard in basic training and asked for no favors. People generally are a mix--sometimes they indeed act like boors and cads with unflattering behavior. Yet at other times, they show a better side to their nature. We all make mistakes.
(Anonymous) at 2014-12-01 04:36 (UTC) (Link)

Dont See the Resemblance

Personally I see no resemblance and I don't believe this story. I dont believe a mother would have her child's ears operated on to hide an out of wedlock pregnancy either. There are many children in my family history with big ears that look more like Clark Gable than Judy Lewis. This is an adopted child like so many others -wanting a parent. Clark Gable was on the set when she was supposedly conceived -its a story put together by a woman desperate for parentage. If Clark Gable said those words -I gave Loretta Young a child -Im sure he was being facetious because of all the rumors. Its amazing how people wait for years to destroy a persons character. Gable did what everyone was doing in Hollywood at the time -both male and female -married and unmarried. People love to bash celebrities especially after death. Let him Rest in Peace and accept he was just a man -albeit an imperfect man like the rest of us.
(Anonymous) at 2015-07-13 01:45 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Dont See the Resemblance

You're quite the idiot.
(Anonymous) at 2016-04-04 18:23 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Dont See the Resemblance

She doesn't have much resemblance to Clark Gable except for the big ears. She never saw she was the spitting image of Clark Gable. Howeover, she is the splitting image of Loretta Young which indicates she was her child by birth and not by adoption.
(Anonymous) at 2016-01-01 19:49 (UTC) (Link)


Of course people have their children's ear surgerically altered. The dumbo ears have humiliated kids for hundreds of years. We are so lucky the technology is there to do this small surgery. It's minor! People have it done all the time. Dumb cluck!
(Anonymous) at 2017-11-12 06:33 (UTC) (Link)
I know this post was several years ago but just found jt and wanted to add that jt was too bad that Judi never got the achknolegment from her real father or his son while she was alive!
(Anonymous) at 2017-11-12 11:21 (UTC) (Link)
I know this post was several years ago but just found jt and wanted to add that jt was too bad that Judi never got the achknolegment from her real father or his son while she was alive!
(Anonymous) at 2017-11-15 01:39 (UTC) (Link)
Judy has CG’s far set eyes and wide face. She looks more like her dad than JCG. She does have her mothers smile.
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