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Judy Garland biography
Judy Garland, born Frances Ethel Gumm, was a legendary American actress and singer, best known for her iconic role as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” and her exceptional singing career. Here is a biography of Judy Garland:
Full Name: Frances Ethel Gumm
Date of Birth: June 10, 1922
Date of Passing: June 22, 1969
Place of Birth: Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA
Judy Garland was born into a show business family. Her parents, Frank and Ethel Gumm, were vaudeville performers, and Judy and her sisters performed as the Gumm Sisters.
- Child Star: Judy Garland’s talent was evident from a young age, and she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) at the age of 13.
- “The Wizard of Oz”: Garland’s breakthrough came with her role as Dorothy Gale in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). The film became a classic, and her rendition of “Over the Rainbow” remains one of the greatest moments in film history.
Film and Music Career:
- MGM Years: Garland became one of MGM’s biggest stars during the 1930s and 1940s, starring in films like “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944) and “The Harvey Girls” (1946).
- Singing Career: Judy Garland’s singing career was equally impressive. Her voice and emotional delivery made her one of the greatest vocalists of her time. She recorded numerous albums and performed in concerts.
- Academy Award: Garland received an Academy Award for Best Juvenile Performer for her role in “The Wizard of Oz.”
- “A Star Is Born”: She received critical acclaim for her role in “A Star Is Born” (1954) and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
- Marriages: Garland was married five times. Her marriages included union with Vincente Minnelli, with whom she had daughter Liza Minnelli. She was also married to director Sidney Luft, with whom she had two children, Lorna and Joey Luft.
- Struggles and Health Issues: Garland faced personal challenges, including struggles with mental health, addiction, and financial issues. Her health deteriorated over the years, partly due to the demands placed on her during her early career.
- Cultural Icon: Garland became a cultural icon and a symbol of resilience. Her struggles in the entertainment industry, as depicted in the film “Judy” (2019), shed light on the pressures faced by child stars.
- Posthumous Honors: Judy Garland has been posthumously honored with several awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a posthumous Grammy Award for her contribution to the recording industry.
- Cultural Impact: Judy Garland’s impact on the entertainment industry and popular culture is immeasurable. She is remembered as an extraordinary talent and an enduring symbol of the Hollywood Golden Age.
- LGBTQ+ Icon: Garland’s connection with the LGBTQ+ community is profound. Her roles in films like “The Wizard of Oz” and her struggle for acceptance in the industry resonated with many in the LGBTQ+ community, making her an enduring gay icon.
Judy Garland’s life and career were marked by immense talent, but also by personal struggles. Her legacy lives on through her timeless performances, and she continues to be celebrated as one of the greatest entertainers in history.
Trivia of Judy Garland
Judy Garland, a legendary figure in the entertainment industry, had a career marked by remarkable achievements and enduring popularity. Here are some trivia and lesser-known facts about her:
- Original Name: Judy Garland was born as Frances Ethel Gumm. Her stage name was suggested by George Jessel, and she chose “Garland” after a popular contemporary drama critic named Robert Garland.
- Young Performer: Garland started performing at a very young age alongside her sisters as part of the Gumm Sisters vaudeville act.
- MGM Contract: At the age of 13, Judy Garland signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), launching her into stardom.
- Over the Rainbow: Garland’s rendition of “Over the Rainbow” in “The Wizard of Oz” became her signature song and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. The American Film Institute later named it the greatest movie song of all time.
- Oscar Juvenile Award: To recognize her outstanding performance as a juvenile actor, Judy Garland received a special Academy Award — the Juvenile Award — for her role in “The Wizard of Oz.”
- Height Concerns: During her early career, Judy Garland faced pressures related to her appearance. Studio executives were concerned about her height and looks, leading to efforts to control her diet and appearance.
- Broadway Success: Garland had success on Broadway as well. She received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the musical “Judy Garland at the Palace.”
- Marriages: Judy Garland was married five times. Notable among her marriages were those to director Vincente Minnelli and producer Sidney Luft. She was also briefly married to actor Mark Herron and musician Mickey Deans.
- Children: Garland had three children: Liza Minnelli with Vincente Minnelli, Lorna Luft, and Joey Luft with Sidney Luft.
- Cultural Icon: Judy Garland’s status as a gay icon grew over the years, partly due to her roles in films like “The Wizard of Oz” and her empathetic connection with those facing discrimination.
- Cameo in “Annie Get Your Gun”: Garland was originally cast as the lead in the film “Annie Get Your Gun” (1950), but due to health issues, she was replaced by Betty Hutton. However, Garland did film one musical number, “I’m an Indian Too,” before leaving the project.
- Posthumous Grammy: In 1997, Judy Garland was posthumously awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the recording industry.
- Final Film Role: Garland’s final film role was in “I Could Go On Singing” (1963), a drama in which she played a character that mirrored aspects of her own life.
- Health Struggles: Garland struggled with mental health issues and addiction throughout her life. Her struggles were exacerbated by the pressures of the entertainment industry.
- Death: Judy Garland passed away on June 22, 1969, at the age of 47, from an accidental overdose of barbiturates.
Judy Garland’s legacy is defined by her extraordinary talent, timeless performances, and enduring impact on the entertainment industry. Her contributions continue to be celebrated by audiences around the world.