August 11, 1998 12:00 AM

Loretta Young, 87, one of the screen’s most elegant stars, died of ovarian cancer early Saturday morning at the Los Angeles home of her sister, Georgiana Montalban (who is married to actor Ricardo). A star since 1928, Young, who won an Oscar for 1947’s “The Farmer’s Daughter,” appeared with nearly every major leading man, form Cary Grant in “The Bishop’s Wife” to Clark Gable in “Call of the Wild.” (Young’s daughter Judy Lewis has said she believes Gable was her father, though Young, a devout Catholic, would never publicly acknowledge having had a child out of wedlock.) From 1953-63, Young was one of the first movie stars to plunge into TV, hitting it big with “The Loretta Young Show,” a dramatic anthology series. Her trademark entrance, frequently lampooned by TV comedians of the time (from Ernie Kovacs to Soupy Sales), showed her waltzing into a room, showing off an exquisite gown. Her final public appearance was in 1986, in the TV movie “Christmas Eve.” As ever, she looked gorgeous.

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