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Uncommon Knowledge Hardcover – May 1, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
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Long regarded as Hollywood's "best kept secret," Judy Lewis did not learn until adulthood the secret of her origins everyone but Lewis, it seemed, knew--that she was the daughter of Loretta Young (who at the time was unmarried) and Clark Gable (a married man), two of Hollywood's biggest stars. Lewis wrote that she often felt like an outsider among the children of the Hollywood elite, and even in her own family. Lewis's book is insightful on a larger context in what it reveals about the moral climate of the 1930s in Hollywood--in America--at the time, and shows how much society has changed in its views.
Judy Lewis, now deceased, was the secret daughter of Clark Gable and Loretta Young. It tears at the heart strings about how intense and elaborate the scheme was to keep her true parentage identity hidden due to the moral strict codes in Hollywood at the time of her unplanned untimely birth. Even though her parents were rich and famous, her mother was not married at the time and her father, although married, but, married at the time to someone else.
Upon Judy’s birth, Loretta placed Judy in a Catholic Orphanage. Then, about 18 months later, adopted Judy as her adopted daughter. In a way, poor Judy born under these circumstances suffered a type of emotional trauma caused by an emotional turmoil in her young life that she always discerned from within her soul but couldn’t grasp the source of its origins or whereabouts. Judy was clueless as to why she always felt untethered. She felt like an outsider as if she somehow didn’t belong. She felt insecure yet she had no earthy idea why! What was uncommon knowledge to her was common knowledge to everyone else.....even her young friends knew having overheard hushed secretive conversations of their parents. Their parents instilled secrecy regarding their home rules what is heard in the privacy of the home is not to be repeated elsewhere and certainly “not” to Judy!
It was common knowledge to everyone surrounding Judy that she was the daughter of the King of Hollywood, Clark Gable! Judy was the only one in the dark to not know. The uneasiness of not knowing “who she was” sprang from the hidden secret in plain sight in that...….what was common knowledge to her Hollywood friends and their parents was uncommon knowledge for her. Unbeknownst to her as to why the continuality of a lurking undefined underlying reason for her feelings of being untethered shadowed her life. All things considered, in the final analysis, Judy amazingly corralled the strength of will and mental toughness to remain whole to live a life of success! Judy married, raised a beautiful daughter of her own; had grandchildren; carved out a career for herself in movies/TV and eventually earned a college degree to enter the field of Family/Child Therapy...a very fitting career role. Funny how Judy, her daughter, and the grandchildren all had Clark Gable's ears!
Top international reviews
Judy Lewis was courageous in revealing what had been denied to her entire life - her father, and the truth. Most of us take for granted our lineage and our identities, but one thing's for certain - looking at photographs of Lewis there is no mistaking who her parents were. Loretta Young's "mortal sin" was in fact something that was hypocrisy at the time, no child is ever a sin, nor is love a sin. But Young's own psychology and the standards of the time prevented her from emotionally stepping up to the plate, the same can be said of Gable, and their child suffered as a result. Judy Lewis continues to inspire with her story, refusing to give into the shame that so affected her mother, and she maintains a close relationship with her daughter and granchildren. She was able to overcome the patterns and cycle that had emotionally crippled her forebearers, and has gone on to live a fufilled life.