Judy Garland Poster


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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 10 June 1922Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA
Date of Death 22 June 1969Chelsea, London, England, UK  (accidental barbiturate overdose)
Birth NameFrances Ethel Gumm
Nicknames Baby Gumm
Miss Show Business
Height 4' 11½" (1.51 m)

Mini Bio (1)

One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals.

She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in Minnesota, the youngest daughter of vaudevillians Ethel Marion (Milne) and Francis Avent Gumm. She was of English, along with some Scottish and Irish, descent. Her mother, an ambitious woman gifted in playing various musical instruments, saw the potential in her daughter at the tender age of just 2 years old when Baby Frances repeatedly sang "Jingle Bells" until she was dragged from the stage kicking and screaming during one of their Christmas shows and immediately drafted her into a dance act, entitled "The Gumm Sisters", along with her older sisters Mary Jane Gumm and Virginia Gumm. However, knowing that her youngest daughter would eventually become the biggest star, Ethel soon took Frances out of the act and together they traveled across America where she would perform in nightclubs, cabarets, hotels and theaters solo.

Her family life was not a happy one, largely because of her mother's drive for her to succeed as a performer and also her father's closeted homosexuality. The Gumm family would regularly be forced to leave town owing to her father's illicit affairs with other men, and from time to time they would be reduced to living out of their automobile. However, in September 1935 the Gumms', in particular Ethel's, prayers were answered when Frances was signed by Louis B. Mayer, mogul of leading film studio MGM, after hearing her sing. It was then that her name was changed from Frances Gumm to Judy Garland, after a popular '30s song "Judy" and film critic Robert Garland.

Tragedy soon followed, however, in the form of her father's death of meningitis in November 1935. Having been given no assignments with the exception of singing on radio, Judy faced the threat of losing her job following the arrival of Deanna Durbin. Knowing that they couldn't keep both of the teenage singers, MGM devised a short entitled Every Sunday (1936) which would be the girls' screen test. However, despite being the outright winner and being kept on by MGM, Judy's career did not officially kick off until she sang one of her most famous songs, "You Made Me Love You", at Clark Gable's birthday party in February 1937, during which Louis B. Mayer finally paid attention to the talented songstress.

Prior to this her film debut in Pigskin Parade (1936), in which she played a teenage hillbilly, had left her career hanging in the balance. However, following her rendition of "You Made Me Love You", MGM set to work preparing various musicals with which to keep Judy busy. All this had its toll on the young teenager, and she was given numerous pills by the studio doctors in order to combat her tiredness on set. Another problem was her weight fluctuation, but she was soon given amphetamines in order to give her the desired streamlined figure. This soon produced the downward spiral that resulted in her lifelong drug addiction.

In 1939, Judy shot immediately to stardom with The Wizard of Oz (1939), in which she portrayed Dorothy, an orphaned girl living on a farm in the dry plains of Kansas who gets whisked off into the magical world of Oz on the other end of the rainbow. Her poignant performance and sweet delivery of her signature song, 'Over The Rainbow', earned Judy a special juvenile Oscar statuette on 29 February 1940 for Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor. Now growing up, Judy began to yearn for meatier adult roles instead of the virginal characters she had been playing since she was 14. She was now taking an interest in men, and after starring in her final juvenile performance in Ziegfeld Girl (1941) alongside glamorous beauties Lana Turner and Hedy Lamarr, Judy got engaged to bandleader David Rose in May 1941, just two months after his divorce from Martha Raye. Despite planning a big wedding, the couple eloped to Las Vegas and married during the early hours of the morning on 28 July 1941 with just her mother Ethel and her stepfather Will Gilmore present. However, their marriage went downhill as, after discovering that she was pregnant in November 1942, David and MGM persuaded her to abort the baby in order to keep her good-girl image up. She did so and, as a result, was haunted for the rest of her life by her 'inhumane actions'. The couple separated in January 1943.

By this time, Judy had starred in her first adult role as a vaudevillian during WWI in For Me and My Gal (1942). Within weeks of separation, Judy was soon having an affair with actor Tyrone Power, who was married to French actress Annabella. Their affair ended in May 1943, which was when her affair with producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz kicked off. He introduced her to psychoanalysis and she soon began to make decisions about her career on her own instead of being influenced by her domineering mother and MGM. Their affair ended in November 1943, and soon afterward Judy reluctantly began filming Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), which proved to be a big success. The director Vincente Minnelli highlighted Judy's beauty for the first time on screen, having made the period musical in color, her first color film since The Wizard of Oz (1939). He showed off her large brandy-brown eyes and her full, thick lips and after filming ended in April 1944, a love affair resulted between director and actress and they were soon living together.

Vincente began to mold Judy and her career, making her more beautiful and more popular with audiences worldwide. He directed her in The Clock (1945), and it was during the filming of this movie that the couple announced their engagement on set on 9 January 1945. Judy's divorce from David Rose had been finalized on 8 June 1944 after almost three years of marriage, and despite her brief fling with Orson Welles, who at the time was married to screen sex goddess Rita Hayworth, on 15 June 1945 Judy made Vincente her second husband, tying the knot with him that afternoon at her mother's home with her boss Louis B. Mayer giving her away and her best friend Betty Asher serving as bridesmaid. They spent three months on honeymoon in New York and afterwards Judy discovered that she was pregnant.

On 12 March 1946 in Los Angeles, California, Judy gave birth to their daughter, Liza Minnelli, via caesarean section. It was a joyous time for the couple, but Judy was out of commission for weeks due to the caesarean and her postnatal depression, so she spent much of her time recuperating in bed. She soon returned to work, but married life was never the same for Vincente and Judy after they filmed The Pirate (1948) together in 1947. Judy's mental health was fast deteriorating and she began hallucinating things and making false accusations toward people, especially her husband, making the filming a nightmare. She also began an affair with aspiring Russian actor Yul Brynner, but after the affair ended, Judy soon regained health and tried to salvage her failing marriage. She then teamed up with dancing legend Fred Astaire for the delightful musical Easter Parade (1948), which resulted in a successful comeback despite having Vincente fired from directing the musical. Afterwards, Judy's health deteriorated and she began the first of several suicide attempts. In May 1949, she was checked into a rehabilitation center, which caused her much distress.

She soon regained strength and was visited frequently by her lover Frank Sinatra, but never saw much of Vincente or Liza. On returning, Judy made In the Good Old Summertime (1949), which was also Liza's film debut, albeit via an uncredited cameo. She had already been suspended by MGM for her lack of cooperation on the set of The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), which also resulted in her getting replaced by Ginger Rogers. After being replaced by Betty Hutton on Annie Get Your Gun (1950), Judy was suspended yet again before making her final film for MGM, entitled Summer Stock (1950). At 28, Judy received her third suspension and was fired by MGM, and her second marriage was soon dissolved.

Having taken up with Sidney Luft, Judy traveled to London to star at the legendary Palladium. She was an instant success and after her divorce to Vincente Minnelli was finalized on 29 March 1951 after almost six years of marriage, Judy traveled with Sid to New York to make an appearance on Broadway. With her newfound fame on stage, Judy was stopped in her tracks in February 1952 when she became pregnant by her new lover, Sid. At the age of 30, she made him her third husband on 8 June 1952; the wedding was held at a friend's ranch in Pasadena. Her relationship with her mother had long since been dissolved by this point, and after the birth of her second daughter, Lorna Luft, on 21 November 1952, she refused to allow her mother to see her granddaughter. Ethel then died in January 1953 of a heart attack, leaving Judy devastated and feeling guilty about not reconciling with her mother before her untimely demise.

After the funeral, Judy signed a film contract with Warner Bros. to star in the musical remake of A Star Is Born (1937), which had starred Janet Gaynor, who had won the first-ever Academy Award for Best Actress in 1929. Filming soon began, resulting in an affair between Judy and her leading man, British star James Mason. She also picked up on her affair with Frank Sinatra, and after filming was complete Judy was yet again lauded as a great film star. She won a Golden Globe for her brilliant and truly outstanding performance as Esther Blodgett, nightclub singer turned movie star, but when it came to the Academy Awards, a distraught Judy lost out on the Best Actress Oscar to Grace Kelly for her portrayal of the wife of an alcoholic star in The Country Girl (1954). Many still argue that Judy should have won the Oscar over Grace Kelly. Continuing her work on stage, Judy gave birth to her beloved son, Joey Luft, on 29 March 1955. She soon began to lose her millions of dollars as a result of her husband's strong gambling addiction, and with hundreds of debts to pay, Judy and Sid began a volatile, on-off relationship resulting in numerous divorce filings.

In 1961, at the age of 39, Judy returned to her ailing film career, this time to star in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, but this time she lost out to Rita Moreno for her performance in West Side Story (1961). Her battles with alcoholism and drugs led to Judy's making numerous headlines in newspapers, but she soldiered on, forming a close friendship with President John F. Kennedy. In 1963, Judy and Sid finally separated permanently, and on 19 May 1965 their divorce was finalized after almost 13 years of marriage. By this time, Judy, now 41, had made her final performance on film alongside Dirk Bogarde in I Could Go on Singing (1963). She married her fourth husband, Mark Herron, on 14 November 1965 in Las Vegas, but they separated in April 1966 after five months of marriage owing to his homosexuality. It was also that year that she began an affair with young journalist Tom Green. She then settled down in London after their affair ended, and she began dating disk jockey Mickey Deans in December 1968. They became engaged once her divorce from Mark Herron was finalized on 9 January 1969 after three years of marriage. She married Mickey, her fifth and final husband, in a register office in Chelsea, London, on 15 March 1969.

She continued working on stage, appearing several times with her daughter Liza. It was during a concert in Chelsea, London, that Judy stumbled into her bathroom late one night and died of an overdose of barbiturates, the drug that had dominated her much of her life, on the 22nd of June 1969 at the age of 47. Her daughter Liza Minnelli paid for her funeral, and her former lover James Mason delivered her touching eulogy. She is still an icon to this day with her famous performances in The Wizard of Oz (1939), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Easter Parade (1948), and A Star Is Born (1954).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (5)

Mickey Deans (15 March 1969 - 22 June 1969) (her death)
Mark Herron (14 November 1965 - 9 January 1969) (divorced)
Sidney Luft (8 June 1952 - 19 May 1965) (divorced) (2 children)
Vincente Minnelli (15 June 1945 - 29 March 1951) (divorced) (1 child)
David Rose (28 July 1941 - 8 June 1944) (divorced)

Trade Mark (5)

Her iconic role as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Her small, delicate physical presence
Deep sultry voice
Big, expressive eyes
Powerful, wide-ranged vocals

Trivia (88)

She was considered an icon in the gay community in the 1950s and 1960s. Her death and the loss of that emotional icon in 1969 has been thought to be a contributing factor to the feeling of the passing of an era that helped spark the Stonewall Riots that began the modern gay rights advocacy movement.
Sister of Mary Jane Gumm and Virginia Gumm.
6/12/64: She married Mark Herron, although her divorce from Sidney Luft was not settled. They were married in Mandarin by a Buddhist monk, and the validity of this marriage is not clear.
There is surviving footage of Garland performing the lead role of Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun (1950) before she was replaced by Betty Hutton, and this has been included in many documentaries. Undoubtedly, the best is That's Entertainment! III (1994), which for the first time assembled raw unedited footage for two musical numbers and presented them as they would have looked had the film been completed with Garland. Also surviving today are Garland's prerecordings of all songs for the production.
Originally screen-tested and signed to play the main supporting role of Helen Lawson, in Valley of the Dolls (1967). The studio even provided her with a pool table in her dressing room at her request. Eventually she backed out of the film and was ultimately replaced by Susan Hayward. She kept her costume when she walked off the film, and proceeded to wear the sequined pantsuit while performing in concerts around the world. The character of Neely O'Hara in the film was partially based on her own history (with pills, alcohol, and failed marriages). Sadly, it was Garland's real-life pill addiction that contributed to her leaving this film.
6/27/69: Her funeral was held in Manhattan at the Frank E. Campbell funeral home at Madison Ave. and 81st St., and 22,000 people filed past her open coffin over a 24-hour period. Ex-husband Vincente Minnelli did not attend. James Mason delivered the eulogy. Her body had been stored in a temporary crypt for over one year. The reason for this is that no one had come forward to pay the expense of moving her to a permanent resting spot at Ferncliff Cemetery in Ardsley, NY. Liza Minnelli had the impression that Judy's last husband, Mickey Deans, had made the necessary arrangements but Deans claimed to have no money. Liza then took on the task of raising the funds to have her properly buried. Death was caused by an "incautious self-overdosage of Seconal" which had raised the barbiturate level in her body beyond its tolerance.
Interred at Ferncliff Cemetery, Hartsdale, New York, USA.
Judy heard the same phrase in two movies: For Me and My Gal (1942) and Easter Parade (1948). In both, her love interest (played by Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, respectively) says this: "Why didn't you tell me I was in love with you?"
The day she died, there was a tornado in Kansas.
Liza Minnelli said that Judy planned on calling her autobiography "Ho-Hum".
Her portrayal of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939) was the inspiration for the character of Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island (1964). (From Kansas, ponytails, lived on a farm with an aunt and uncle...).
Liza Minnelli originally wanted Mickey Rooney to deliver Garland's eulogy, but she was afraid that he wouldn't be able to get through it. So James Mason did it instead.
According to singer Mel Tormé, she had a powerful gift of retention. She could view a piece of music once and have the entire thing memorized.
1997: Posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
1998: Garland's album, "Judy at Carnegie Hall" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
First cousin three times removed of US President Ulysses S. Grant.
September 2002: A Los Angeles federal judge barred Sidney Luft from selling the replacement Juvenile Oscar she received for The Wizard of Oz (1939). Luft was also ordered to pay nearly $60,000 to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to end their second lawsuit against him for repeatedly trying to sell the statuette.
Favorite actor was Robert Donat (best known for his portrayal of the title character in the film Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)).
Her soulful and iconic performance of "Over The Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz (1939) claimed the #1 spot on June 22, 2004 in The American Film Institute's list of "The 100 Years of The Greatest Songs". The AFI board said "Over The Rainbow" have captured the nation's heart, echoed beyond the walls of a movie theater, and ultimately stand in our collective memory of the film itself. It has resonated across the century, enriching America's film heritage and captivating artists and audiences today.
She discouraged her children from entering show business, pointing out her financial and health problems resulting from the nature of the entertainment business. Nevertheless, two of her children, Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft both became entertainers. Her son Joe lives in relative anonymity as a freelance photographer.
She experienced financial difficulties in the 1960s due to her overspending, periods of unemployment, owing of back taxes and embezzlement of funds by her business manager. The IRS garnished most of her concert revenues in the late 1960s. Her financial difficulties combined with her erratic behavior due to her drug dependencies helped break up her marriages and estrange her children from her a year before her death.
Was a member of The International Order of Job's Daughters.
She was voted the 23rd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Groucho Marx called her not winning an Oscar for A Star Is Born (1954), "the biggest robbery since Brink's." Hedda Hopper later reported that her loss to Grace Kelly for The Country Girl (1954) was the result of the closest Oscar vote up till that time that didn't end in a tie, with just six votes separating the two. In any event, it was a heartbreak from which she never really recovered and which has remained a matter of some controversy ever since.
Always had crooked front teeth, for which an MGM dentist fitted her with removable caps to wear in her films, including The Wizard of Oz (1939).
Her daughter Liza Minnelli was once married to Jack Haley Jr., the son of her The Wizard of Oz (1939) co-star Jack Haley, who played the roles of The Tin Man, in fantasy, and Hickory, after Dorothy awoke from her dream.
Has a special variety of rose named after her. The petals are yellow (Garland adored yellow roses) and the tips are bright red. It took devoted fans almost nine years after her death to find a rose company in Britain interested in naming a rose officially for her, and the Judy Garland rose didn't appear in the US until 1991. Several JG rose bushes are planted outside of her burial crypt, and at the Judy Garland museum in Grand Rapids.
She was of English, along with some Scottish and Irish, descent.
1952: Received a Special Tony Award "for an important contribution to the revival of vaudeville through her recent stint at the Palace Theatre.".
When she married Vincente Minnelli, Louis B. Mayer gave her away.
Had weight problems most of her life. Drastic weight fluctuations often affected continuity in her films and can be seen in Words and Music (1948) and Summer Stock (1950).
She was voted the 22nd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premiere Magazine.
Was named #8 Actress on The AFI 50 Greatest Screen Legends
3/23/90: Pictured on one of four 25¢ USA commemorative postage stamps honoring classic films released in 1939. The stamp shows Judy Garland as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939), along with Toto (portrayed by Terry). The other films honored were Beau Geste (1939), Stagecoach (1939), and Gone with the Wind (1939).
The song "Quiet Please, There's A Lady On Stage" from the stage musical "The Boy From Oz" was written by Peter Allen (Liza Minnelli's former husband) as a tribute to her.
Was pregnant with her first child Liza Minnelli while filming her minor role in Till the Clouds Roll By (1946). In order to hide her pregnant stomach she was hidden behind stacks of dishes while singing "Look For The Silver Lining". She had also recorded a song "Do You Love Me", which was cut before release. Her scenes were directed by her then husband Vincente Minnelli.
After serving as the music director on her short-lived CBS series, Mel Tormé wrote a vicious tell-all book about his talented but challenging former boss. So frustrated from the experience, his words in "The Other Side of The Rainbow: With Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol" portrayed Garland as hopelessly drug-addicted, unprofessional and a horror to work with.
2006: Her performance as Vicki Lester in A Star Is Born (1954) is ranked #72 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time.
Her performance as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939) is ranked #17 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
During her first marriage to David Rose, Judy was forced to undergo an abortion at the insistence of MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer who feared that pregnancy would hurt her good-girl image. The event left her traumatized for the rest of her life.
6/10/06: Pictured on a 39¢ USA commemorative postage stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series.
The godparents of her daughter Liza Minnelli were Ira Gershwin and Kay Thompson
Grandmother of Vanessa and Jesse Richards, children of singer Lorna Luft.
Godfather of her daughter Lorna Luft was Frank Sinatra
Father was movie theater owner Francis 'Frank' Gumm (born 20 March, 1886 - died 17 November, 1935). Mother was Ethel Milne (born 17 November, 1893 - died 05 January, 1953).
Born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and later lived up in Lancaster, California. John Wayne, then attending college at USC, was a neighbor of Judy's.
Gave birth to all three of her children via Caesarean section. She also suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her two daughters Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft.
The famous theme song David Raksin wrote for Laura (1944) was originally entitled "Judy" in honor of her.
Had intense fears of flying, horses, and guns.
Was considered for the role of Careen O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939), but the role was eventually given to Ann Rutherford, so Judy immediately began working on The Wizard of Oz (1939), a film which was considered for as early as 1937.
As a teenager on the MGM lots, she was good friends with Lana Turner and Ann Rutherford.
Johnnie Ray was best man at her wedding to fifth husband Mickey Deans.
Did not attend the 1955 Academy Awards, where she was nominated as Best Actress for her portrayal of Vicki Lester in A Star Is Born (1954), because she was in hospital after giving birth to her third child and only son Joey Luft.
She only performed "Over The Rainbow" three times during her many television appearances, which spanned 14 years. She performed it on her first TV Special, Ford Star Jubilee (1955) episode, "The Judy Garland Special" in 1955, sang it to her children on The Christmas Edition of her weekly The Judy Garland Show (1963), and on The Mike Douglas Show: Episode dated 12 August 1968 (1968).
Betty Asher, who worked on the MGM lots, served as her maid of honor during her wedding to Vincente Minnelli in 1945.
Was close friends with Lauren Bacall, who had once been her neighbor during the 1950s. Had Judy won the 1955 Best Actress Oscar for A Star Is Born (1954), Lauren would have accepted the Oscar statuette on her behalf.
Offered the lead role in The Three Faces of Eve (1957), but turned down the role because the storyline bore too many resemblances to her own personal life. The role was then given to Joanne Woodward who went on to win the Best Actress Oscar for her performance.
Was Matron of Honor at the wedding of actor Don DeFore and Marion Holmes DeFore on February 14, 1942.
The only witnesses present at her Las Vegas wedding to David Rose in 1941 were her mother and stepfather.
In a performance of "Come Rain Or Come Shine" on her 1963-1964 variety show on CBS TV, though forgetting some of the words and seemingly "out of sync" with the orchestra she still managed to give a quite powerful and memorable performance.
Performed two songs in films that won the Academy Award for Best Original Song: "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz (1939) and "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" from The Harvey Girls (1946). Performed four more songs that were nominated: "Our Love Affair" from Strike Up the Band (1940), "How About You?" from Babes on Broadway (1941), "The Trolley Song" from Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), and "The Man That Got Away" from A Star Is Born (1954). Performed others that became standards, including "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).
She performed with her sisters at the 1933-1934 World's Fair in Chicago on the infamous midway (where Sally Rand was the main attraction), more specifically in the Old Mexico Club, where they sold out every night. During their third week at the club, it unexpectedly closed due to an expired liquor license. Judy served as the grand marshal in a parade for the Fair's "Children's Day" in early 1934. It was during their last day in Chicago that Frances Gumm changed her name to Judy Garland during a performance at the Oriental Theater, partly at the advice of George Jessel, who was emceeing.
She headlined Ford Star Jubilee: The Judy Garland Special (1955)), CBS' first special. She performed many of her standards, including "Get Happy", "Carolina in the Morning" and "The Trolley Song". She and guest David Wayne as tramps performed "A Couple of Swells" from Easter Parade (1948), Wayne doing Fred Astaire's part. After that number, she--still in tramp make-up--closed the show with "Over The Rainbow".
Mentioned in the song "Happy Phantom" by Tori Amos, "Dance in the Dark" by Lady Gaga, and "A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel" by U2.
Initially refused to appear in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) as she had recently begun to portray characters her own age, such as in Presenting Lily Mars (1943), and was tired of playing virginal teenage characters. She later relented after much persuasion and not only did she meet her future husband Vincente Minnelli on set but her performance in the film was also one of her most famous during her MGM years.
The first film she made after marrying Vincente Minnelli was The Harvey Girls (1946).
Became good friends with Doris Day on the Warner Bros. lots when she was filming A Star Is Born (1954) at the same time that Day was filming Young at Heart (1954).
Did not get on with Lucille Bremer, who played her sister in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). She thought that Bremer couldn't act and repeatedly tried to have her fired from the film, but to no avail.
Was replaced by Ginger Rogers in the film The Barkleys of Broadway (1949) after being suspended from MGM for her tardiness.
Replaced June Allyson in the film Royal Wedding (1951) after she became pregnant, but her failure to report to the set led to her being replaced by Jane Powell.
A close friend was Katharine Hepburn, with whom she would regularly stay during her most serious bouts of depression in order to recover.
Despite numerous concert and television appearances in the 1960s, Garland remained constantly in debt. This was due in part to then-manager David Begelman embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his clients, with Garland chief among them. Begelman even went so far as to claim a Cadilac, presented to Garland for an appearance on The Jack Paar Program (1962) as his own.
Adding to her appeal within the gay community, Garland always acknowledged her gay fan base at a time when homosexuality was seldom even discussed. Late in her career and in dire need of money, she even accepted work singing in a New York City gay bar.
Was in consideration for the role of Sophie MacDonald in The Razor's Edge (1946) but Anne Baxter, who went on to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance, was cast instead.
One of the few actresses to have danced with both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly in the movies, other actresses that have also done this includes Rita Hayworth, Cyd Charisse, Vera-Ellen, Debbie Reynolds, and Leslie Caron.
Returned to work eleven months after giving birth to her daughter Lorna Luft in order to film A Star Is Born (1954).
Returned to work nine months after giving birth to her daughter Liza Minnelli in order to film The Pirate (1948).
Despite popular belief that Shirley Temple was the first choice for the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939), Garland was cast in the role even before pre-production had begun. As early as February 1938, both Variety and columnist Louella Parsons announced that she was cast in the role of Dorothy.
According to her biography on the A&E channel, as a young adult in her early acting career, movie producers had her going to six different doctors for prescription drugs, without any one doctor knowing about the other five. It was this process that led to her addiction.
She was a very active member of the Hollywood Democratic Committee and donated her time and money to many liberal causes (such as the Civil Rights Movement) and political candidates (including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Henry Wallace, Adlai Stevenson, John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy) for most of her adult life.
In an eerie twist of fate, she was born in June of 1922 (6/22) and died on June 22 (6/22).
Married Sidney Luft at Paicines Ranch near Hollister, CA, on June 8, 1952.
Attendees at Garland's funeral and memorial service on June 27, 1969 at the Frank E. Campbell Chapel included her children Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft, and Joey Luft, ex husbands Sidney Luft and Mickey Deans (Vincente Minnelli was in London shooting On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)), Kay Thompson, Roger Edens, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Arthur Freed, Garland's sister Virginia Gumm, Mickey Rooney, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Dean Martin, Ray Bolger, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Peggy Lee, Lana Turner, Gene Kelly, Ann Sothern, June Allyson, Fred Astaire, Burt Lancaster, Betty Comden and Adolph Green Otto Preminger, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Sammy Davis Jr., Jack Benny, Ethel Merman, Freddie Bartholomew, Myrna Loy, Ann Rutherford, Martha Raye and Paula Wayne. James Mason delivered the eulogy and more than 20,000 spectators filed by Garland's casket.
According to her friend June Allyson in her biography, Judy Garland wished for her funerals a white casket. But because there was no coffin in white the funeral services painted one in this color. She also wished everything was yellow and white for her funeral. So was it this way.
Judy Garland's MGM feature film acting talent and her initial musical career was guided by producer Arthur Freed, the studio's executive developing properties and projects which featured the talented young actress. Arthur Freed was born in Charleston, South Carolina into a musical family (09/09/1894-04/12/1973). He grew up in Seattle, Washington and attended the Phillips Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. It was here that he began to write poetry. Arthur was a lyricist with his family long before he ever went to Hollywood. His father was a tenor, brother Walter was an organist, brothers Sydney and Clarence went into the recording business in Hollywood and brother Ralph was a songwriter as well. His only sister Ruth also composed songs. The only brother not to go into some sort of music profession was brother Hugo - who became an accountant. In New York City. Freed played piano plugging songs and in the vaudeville theater circuit, working with the Marx Brothers. An ambitious man, Freed began at MGM as a song-writer when the movies first learned to talk. At that time, song-writers were just that, "song-writers" and they were treated as anything much higher that what they were: The people who used to sit on the sets of the silent films playing the piano for "mood music". Freed, along with composer Nachio Herb Brown, penned such classic as "Singin In The Rain," "The Wedding Of The Painted Doll," "Would You," and numerous other hit melodies. But what Freed really wanted to do was produce. Freed was known around the MGM Culver City studio lot as not only ambitious, but also for "kissing the butt" to studio head Louis B. Mayer. The years of begging and pleading finally paid off around 1938, at Freed's age of 43, when Mayer decided to give Freed the job of "Associate Producer" (uncredited) on "The Wizard of Oz." The film was officially being produced by Melvyn LeRoy, Mayer's new protege brought in from Warner Brothers to hopefully replace the "boy wonder" Irving Thalberg, who had died a few years earlier. Controversy has surrounded just whose idea it was to purchase "The Wizard Of Oz" from Samuel Goldwyn. Freed would later claim that he suggested to Mayer that it would make a great musical, and Mayer responded by stating that it was too big of a project for a novice producer. Melvyn LeRoy claimed that when he came to MGM he told Mayer the first film he wanted to make was a fantasy film of "The Wizard Of Oz." Probably, the actual facts favor Freed who first suggested the film musical project. Freed had the musical background, he hired the brilliant Roger Edens as vocal arranger, and he was firmly behind the budding career of the young Judy Galand, whom the MGM studio had signed in 1935 but hadn't done much with her talent. Freed and Edens recognized her potential from the start. The important issue is that Arthur Freed did get to work as Associate Producer, and LeRoy wisely left all of the musical matters to Freed and Edens. Once it was clear "The Wizard Of Oz" would be a smash box office hit, Mayer gave the green light to Freed to produce "Babes In Arms" - beginning the cycle of the now famous "Let's Put On A Show" musicals with Garland and Mickey Rooney. "Babes In Arms" and it's follow up "Stike Up The Band" were enormously popular, relative inexpensive to make, and turned quite a profit for the studio. Freed also intensely promoted the career of Judy Garland - some would say to her detriment - by having her work almost non-stop during this time on the musicals with Rooney, as well as the Andy Hardy films (not produced by Freed) and separate musicals such as "Little Nelly Kelly" and "Ziegfeld Girl" (produced by Pandro S. Belrhnham). The rise of Judy's star also helped Freed's career rise. But Freed had other things in mind aside from just Garland's career. Not content to just adapt films from the New York Broadway stage, as he had done with "Little Nelly Kelly," "Panama Hattie," and "Babes In Arms," Freed wanted to move the movie musical in a new direction. Away from the backstage story-lines and into more natural settings. But he knew he would need the help of the savvy talent working in New York City. Freed went to New York to seek out talent from the Broadway Theatre scene. He signed to the studio scores of talent, ranging from future directors like Vincente Minnelli and Chuck Walters - to musical talents such as Kay Thompson and Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane. He envisioned "My own little Camelot" and that's exactly what he got. With his films currently so popular, both critically and financially, and each one advancing the film musical in various ways, Freed was practically left alone to do pretty much what he wanted. In 1942, at the request of Garland, Freed brought in Gene Kelly to play opposite her in "For Me And My Gal." The film was a huge success and it jump-started the faltering career of Kelly. Freed bought out Kelly's contract with David O. Selznick and so began the career of Gene Kelly. The following year, with "Girl Crazy," the finality of his shift to more modern fare came to a head. Busby Berkeley had done a great job of directing "Me And My Girl" - staying away from all the kaleidoscopic routines and endless musical extravaganza that were his hallmark. But on "Girl Crazy" all hell broke loose. Busby Berkeley was set to direct, and spent days on what would eventually be the finale "I Got Rhythm." He worked everyone to a frazzle - even to the extent, in hindsight, of pushing Garland into the abyss of addiction that she would never quite recover. The endless lines of chorus girls and the military style routines were in direct opposition to what Freed and Edens were trying to accomplish. Berkeley was fired and Norman Taurog was brought in as his replacement. The film became the best of the Garland/Rooney musicals and the best film adaptation of a Gershwin show thanks largely to Edens and the new talent Freed had brought in from New York. Now everything was in place. Freed had had enough of the "kids" musicals and Broadway adaptations. He wanted to do original musicals. With Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein's "Oklahoma" a huge success on Broadway, and having lost out on the film rights to "Life With Father" and "My Sister Eileen," Freed turned to the quaint stories appearing in the magazine "New Yorker" by Sally Benson. Freed had MGM studio purchase Sally Benson's "New Yorker" magazine article "Meet Me In Saint Louis" - which took some doing to get produced, even with Freed's track record. But Freed convinced the studio to give the film project the green light, and after initial resistance from Garland, the film was ready - with newcomer Vincente Minnelli as director. "Meet Me In St. Louis" was the first masterpiece to emerge out of the newly formed Freed Unit. And rightly so. The film was eons away from any other film musical at that time. Seamlessly blending the music and songs into the plot-scenario, the film took the strides originally made by Rouben Mammoulion with his "Love Me Tonight" film and furthered the concept of songs advancing the plot and being used for character development. This was first done by Freed with "The Wizard of Oz" and was furthered with some of the Garland/Rooney films as well as the very underrated "Cabin In The Sky." But "Meet Me in St. Louis" wasn't a children's fantasy, nor was it a kids "Let's Put On A Show" opus, and it wasn't like "Cabin In The Sky" where most of the action takes place in a dream sequence (also like "Oz"). "Meet Me In St. Louis" was about real people in a real town in a real time experiencing real situations. The film was idealized, but only in a positive way. Minnelli's use of color and movement and composition to further enhance the characters and plot development were rare of a film of that time and even more rare for a musical. The film was a resounding success and would become MGM's biggest grosser aside from "Gone With The Wind" at that time (1939-1941). From this point on (1944), even though the Freed Unit would do adaptations of Broadway shows, the emphasis was on originality, innovation, and with each successive film and heavy emphasis on dance. Throughout the late 1940's and 1950's, MGM became the king of the movie musical. And this was largely due to the "Freed Unit." Freed's productions became so popular that the studio could afford to have a SECOND unit for musicals under the direction of Joe Pasternak. Those musicals were different than the Freed films, with less dancing and more emphasis on simple stories and characters. A friendly rivalry emerged which helped to generate even more productive energy. After "Meet Me In St. Louis" - Freed would be the producer of such great films as "The Harvey Girls," "The Pirate," "Easter Parade," "On The Town," "An American In Paris," "Show Boat," "Singin' In The Rain," "The Bandwagon" and so many more. Once television took hold in America's homes, sadly, the public stopped going to the movies in droves as they used to. Plus, the federal edict forcing the film studios to divulge themselves of ownership of the movie theaters across the nation forced many theaters to close. This left the studios with limited outlets for their product. The old "studio system" crumbled, and the big budget film musicals were the first to get the ax. Freed's last big musical hit was 1958's Lerner and Lowe's Broadway film adaptation - "Gigi." The film would win 8 Oscars, including Best Picture, and would symbolize the end of the Golden Age of MGM movie musicals.
Judy Garland, born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota on June 10, 1922, was the youngest child of Ethel Marion (née Milne, b:11.17.1893 - d:01.05.1953, age 69) and Francis Avent "Frank" Gumm (b:03.20.1886 - d:11.17.1935, age 49). Her parents were vaudevillians who settled in Grand Rapids to run a movie theater that featured vaudeville acts. She was of English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry, named after both her parents and baptized at a local Episcopal church. "Baby," as Frances Ethel was called by her parents and sisters, shared her family's flair for song and dance. Her first appearance came at the age of two-and-a-half when she joined her older sisters Mary Jane "Suzy/Suzanne" Gumm (b:09.14.1915-d:04.27.1964; age 48, suicide) and Dorothy Virginia "Jimmie" Gumm (b:07.04.1917-d:04.27.1977; age 59) on stage of her father's movie theater during a Christmas show and sang a chorus of "Jingle Bells." Her two sisters had to drag "Baby" by her arm pits, feet kicking, off the stage because "Baby" wouldn't stop singing "Jingle Bells." The Gumm Sisters performed in their father's Grand Rapids theater for the next few years, accompanied by their mother Ethel on piano. "Judaline" means "little Judy" in Jewish and was originally the endearing nickname given to "Baby" Francis by one of her vaudeville stage directors when she was a child performer. The family relocated to Lancaster, California in June 1926 when Baby Francis was four years old. Frank purchased and operated another theater in Lancaster, and Ethel began managing her daughters vaudeville career and working to get them into the motion picture film industry. Garland attended Hollywood High School and later graduated from University High School. In 1928, all of the Gumm Sisters were enrolled in a Hollywood dance school run by Ethel Meglin, proprietress of the Meglin Kiddies dance troupe. The sisters appeared with the Meglin Dance Kiddies dance troupe at its annual 1928 Christmas show. Through the Meglin Kiddies, the Gumm Sisters made their film debut in a 1929 2-reel Vitaphone-Warner Brothers short film called "The Big Revue." The short musical variety film presents a "musical revue featuring children," primarily girls. The first number has a chorus of girls performing a high kicking dance routine with tambourines, before two soloists, a boy and a girl, take center stage to do a gymnastic dance number. The girls chorus then takes over to perform a synchronized song and tap dance style number. Next, the young female orchestra leader introduces the Gumm Sisters, Mary Jane Suzy/Suzanne, at age 14 (b:1915), Dorothy Virginia "Jimmie," at age 12 (b:1917) and the youngest, 'Baby Judaline" Francis Ethel, at age 7 (b:1922). The three Gumm Sisters sing and dance on stage by themselves, where they performed a song-and-dance number called "That's The Good Old Sunny South." The final number has another chorus of dancing girls performing an Arabian-themed number. This first film appearance was followed by appearances in two Vitaphone-Warner shorts the following year (filmed in 1929, released in 1930): "A Holiday in Story-land" (featuring Garland's first on-screen solo) and "The Wedding of Jack and Jill." The fourth 2-reel 1930 release, filmed in 1929, is a Vitaphone Corporation Warner Brothers' 2-reel musical variety short "Bubbles" which featured costumed children in a land of make believe, which featured The Vitaphone (Meglin) Kiddies and the three Gumm Sisters, Mary Jane "Suzy", Virginia "Jimmie" and Francis "Baby Judaline." The Gumm Sisters appeared during the 1934 Chicago World's Fair Exposition midway and at the Chicago Oriental Theater. Francis, now at age 12, was also featured as a solo act, a single entertainer on an eastern Vaudeville circuit with head-liner comedienne George Jessel acting as an emcee. Jessel encouraged their mother Ethel to choose a more appealing name after "Gumm" was met with laughter from the audience. According to theater legend, their act was once erroneously billed at the Chicago Oriental Theater as "The Glum Sisters." Several stories persist regarding the origin of the name "Garland". One is that it was originated by Jessel after Carole Lombard's character Lily Garland in the film "Twentieth Century," which was then playing at the Chicago Oriental Theater; another is that the girls chose the surname after drama critic Robert Garland. Garland's daughter Lorna Luft stated that their mother Ethel selected the name "Garland" when Jessel announced that the trio of sisters "looked prettier than a garland of flowers." Francis changed her name to Judy soon afterwards, after changing their headline vaudeville family's last name to the "Garland Sisters." Louis B. Mayer asked his MGM studio song-writer Burton Lane and his director/choreographer Busby Berkeley to go downtown Los Angeles's to the movie-vaudeville Broadway (LA main street) Orpheum Theater to watch the Garland Sisters' vaudeville musical act and to report back to him. A few days later the sisters were brought for an impromptu audition at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Culver City Studios. Judy Garland (13) performed solo "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" and "Eli, Eli," a Yiddish song written in 1896, very popular in the sister's vaudeville repertoire. The Garland Sisters final on-screen appearance came in 1935, in an MGM short entitled "La Fiesta de Santa Barbara," The Gumm Sisters' screen credit now listed as "The Garland Sisters." The sister act broke up in late August 1935, when the eldest sister, Suzanne (Gumm) Garland, (age 20), flew to Reno, Nevada, and married musician Lee Kahn, a member of the Jimmy Davis orchestra playing at Cal-Neva Lodge, Lake Tahoe. 20th Century Fox released "Pigskin Parade" on October 23rd, 1936, where a solo fourteen year old Judy played a teenage hillbilly. This was followed in the picture palaces when MGM released "Every Sunday" on November 28th, 1936 which featured a young talented 14.5 year old singer Deanna Durbin and the 14 year old singer Judy Garland in the cast. MGM had released Deanna Durbin from her 1935 studio option-contract, with Universal Pictures immediately picking up the young Deanna Durbin, placing and signing Durbin to a long term contract. MGM, which filmed this musical feature in mid-1935, under their "use contract clause," MGM had the option to "use" Deanna Durbin one more time before her contract option expired. For this reason, Universal Pictures allowed and had to let Deanna Durbin appear in this MGM film, released in late 1936. Ironically, when MGM executives had been viewing daily film screen test-takes, orders were given to get rid of the "fat one" under MGM's contract option clause! Judy had always had a weight problem. Deanna Durbin was terminated, with Universal Pictures recognizing Deanna Durbin's talent and immediately placing Durbin under their studio talent contract. Louis B. Mayer, learning his studio had released Durbin, was reported to say, "you fired the wrong one!" During the course of Deanna Durbin's Universal Pictures production film release-schedule, Durbin's musical feature films saved the studio from bankruptcy for the following decade! Garland's physical appearance created a dilemma for MGM. Garland was only 4 feet - 11.5 inches tall, and her "cute" or "girl-next-door" looks did not exemplify the most glamorous persona required of ingenue types. Judy was self-conscious about her appearance when she attended the studio's school class-room, with the real beauties of MGM's candidate ingenue cast-class mate talents like 13 year old Ava Gardner (b:12.24.1922-d:01.25.1990; age 67), 14 year old Lana Turner (b:02.08.1921-d:06.29.1995; age 74), 14 year old Deanna Durbin (b:11.04.1921-d:04.20.2013; age 91), 15 year old Mickey Rooney (b:09.23.1920-d:04.06.2014; age 93), 18 year old Ann Ruthford (b:11.02.1917-d:06.11.2012; age 94), 16 year old Freddie Bartholomew (b:03.28.1924-d:01.23.1992; age 67). Three year old Elizabeth Taylor, born Feb. 27, 1932, was not even near joining MGM's ingenue class-room class-mates. Judy was the ugly duckling but remained a big money-maker success for the MGM talent roster. Louis B. Mayer in studio staff meetings referred to Judy as his "little hunchback".

Personal Quotes (29)

[when told by a reporter that she had a large gay following] I couldn't care less. I sing to people!
How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child.
Well, we have a whole new year ahead of us. And wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other, and a little more loving, have a little more empathy, and maybe - next year at this time - we'd like each other a little more.
[MGM] had us working days and nights on end. They'd give us pep-up pills to keep us on our feet long after we were exhausted. Then they'd take us to the studio hospital and knock us cold with sleeping pills . . . Then after four hours they'd wake us up and give us the pep-up pills again so we could work another 72 hours in a row. I started to feel like a wind-up toy from FAO Schwarz.
Hollywood is a strange place if you're in trouble. Everybody thinks it's contagious.
[on her sadistic stage mother] She was the real Wicked Witch of the West.
I was born at the age of 12 on a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot.
I wanted to believe and I tried my damndest to believe in the rainbow that I tried to get over and couldn't. So what? Lots of people can't...
As for my feelings toward "Over the Rainbow", it's become part of my life. It is so symbolic of all my dreams and wishes that I'm sure that's why people sometimes get tears in their eyes when they hear it.
In the silence of night I have often wished for just a few words of love from one man, rather than the applause of thousands of people.
My mother had a marvelous talent for mishandling money - mine. When I was put under stock contract at Metro and had a steady income for the first time, we lived in a four-unit apartment building. I suggested to Mother that we buy it as an investment and rent the other three apartments. She hit me in the mouth and invested the money in a nickel mine in Needles, California, that has never been found. We never got a nickel back.
Some of the [midget] men used to tease me while we were making The Wizard of Oz (1939). They used to sneak under my dress! I told them if they ever went under there - and I found out about it - they were in big trouble!
[on daughter Liza Minnelli] I think she decided to go into show business when she was an embryo, she kicked so much.
[during her short stint as a cast member of Valley of the Dolls (1967)] The stage hands hadn't even built the set yet, and the press had me walking off it!
When you have lived the life I've lived, when you've loved and suffered, and been madly happy and desperately sad -- well, that's when you realize you'll never be able to set it all down. Maybe you'd rather die first.
From the time I was thirteen, there was a constant struggle between MGM and me - whether or not to eat, how much to eat, what to eat. I remember this more vividly than anything else about my childhood.
I'm a woman who wants to reach out and take 40 million people in her arms.
I have the unfortunate habit of not being able to have an affair with a man without being in love with him.
If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?
[of the MGM Studio school] The teacher, I think, was named Ma Barker.
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
I can live without money, but I cannot live without love.
Behind every cloud is another cloud.
Whenever we'd do that little dance up the Yellow Brick Road, I was supposed to be with them - and they'd shut me out! They would close in, the three of them, and I would be in back of them, dancing. So director Victor Fleming - who was a darling man, always up on a boom - would say, 'Hold it! You three dirty hams! Let that little girl in there! Let her in there!'
You think you can make me sing? Do you think you can? You can get me there, sure, but can you make me sing? I sing for myself. I sing when I want to, whenever I want to, just for me. I sing for my own pleasure, whenever I want. Do you understand that?
[on the 27 takes over 3 days that it took to film 'The Man That Got Away'] I would try to make the electricians and the cameramen and the others react to the song. Only when they had shown the emotion [it] was supposed to evoke did I feel I had reached them.
[on the behavior of the actors playing the Munchkins during the filming of The Wizard of Oz (1939)] They were drunks. They got smashed every night and the police used to scoop them up in butterfly nets.
I've always taken 'The Wizard of Oz' very seriously, you know. I believe in the idea of the rainbow. And I've spent my entire life trying to get over it.
If you have to be in a soap opera, try not to get the worst role.

Salary (25)

Every Sunday (1936) $100 /week
Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937) $200 /week
Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937) $300 /week
Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) $300 /week
Listen, Darling (1938) $500 /week
The Wizard of Oz (1939) $500 /week
Babes in Arms (1939) $8,900
Strike Up the Band (1940) $500 /week
Strike Up the Band (1940) $2,000 /week
Babes on Broadway (1941) $2,000 /week
For Me and My Gal (1942) $2,000 /week
Girl Crazy (1943) $29,000
The Harvey Girls (1946) $3,000 /week
The Harvey Girls (1946) $5,600 /week
The Pirate (1948) $150,000
Easter Parade (1948) $150,000
Words and Music (1948) $100,000
Summer Stock (1950) $150,000
Summer Stock (1950) $300,000
A Star Is Born (1954) $100,000 + 50% of profits
Ford Star Jubilee (1955) $100,000
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) $50,000
Gay Purr-ee (1962) $50,000 + 10% gross
The Judy Garland Show (1963) $30,000 /week
Valley of the Dolls (1967) $75,000 (settled for $37,500 due to dismissal)

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