Swit, Loretta was born on November 4, 1937 in New Jersey to Lester and Nellie Swezd. Her parents are both of Polish extraction. Loretta first studied acting under acting coach Gene Frankel; she would regularly, over the course of her acting career, return to his studio to speak with other aspiring actors and actresses in his classes.
Loretta, who is a skilled equestrian rider, also is gifted at needlepoint, and has written a book on the subject, titled "A Needlepoint Scrapbook". In it, she declares that "We are Ms. Pac-Man fanatics in our house." She owns a Ms. Pac-Man machine. The book also includes a Ms. Pac-Man needlepoint design.