Caring for Lifelong Friend Jane Sharpe

Loretta commuted between Beverly Hills and Phoenix, between two cities and two different lives. On one of her trips home she received a phone call from Ray Gower, a lawyer friend, telling her that she should see the film MYRA BRECKINRIDGE because she was in it. MYRA BRECKINRIDGE was based on the Gore Vidal's comic novel about a sex change operation.

Loretta was shocked by what she saw. In one scene, Raquel Welch, wearing a strapped-on dildo was looming over a bent-over Rex Reed who was tied to a table and about to be penetrated. Just at that moment, Loretta appeared on the screen in a head-and-shoulders close-up from "THE STORY OF ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL" saying, "Don't move, don't even breathe, I want to remember this moment for the rest of my life." Then they cut back to the two actors and Raquel Welch looked like she was riding a bucking horse and laughing hysterically.

Loretta thought the film was the nastiest she had ever seen and was outraged that she was being used as an object of ridicule. She called her lawyers immediately. Her main concern was to get her image out of the film without having to go to court; the last thing she wanted was for some eager young lawyers to try to make names for themselves defending the right of pornography and, at the same time, dragging her name through the press. Loretta's lawyers filed their suit in Cleveland where an anti-pornography suit had been adjudicated successfully against the Swedish film I AM CURIOUS YELLOW. MYRA BRECKINRIDGE had been in distribution for several weeks with 600 prints released in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Loretta's lawyers were able to get a Federal Judge to mandate 20th Century Fox to put up one million dollars immediately, and if they did not remove the offending footage from those 600 prints within 10 days, then the million dollars went to Loretta's bank account immediately, even before they could offer any kind of appeal. Within 10 days, Loretta had been removed from all 600 prints.

The above excerpt is taken from Chapter Fifteen of Edward Funk's unpublished book "Loretta Young: Journey of a Hollywood Soul"

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