JUDY GARLAND BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Judy Garland was born with the birth name Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10th, 1922 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Her parents, Francis Avent 'Frank' and Ethel Marion Milne were both vaudevillians who decided to make Grand Rapids their home and run a movie theatre that featured vaudeville acts.
At the young age of two and a half, Judy began working in show business at her parents theatre along with her two older sisters. They soon relocated to Lancaster, CA, and by the age of six, Judy was so accustomed to being on stage. Her father purchased and ran another theater and Judy continued to perform with her two older sisters. When her father's health began to decline, the three siblings income was the main source to support the whole family.
In 1929, the sisters made their film debut in "The Big Revue". Two shorts followed the next year, "A Holiday in Story Land" and "The Wedding of Jack and Jill". The final feature all three girls worked together on was, "La Fiesta de Santa Barbara" (1935).
Judy and her sisters changed their stage name to be Garland and soon after Frances changed her name to Judy after a song during her time that was popular. The three sisters split up in 1935, but Judy continued to pursue her performing career.
Judy's career officially took off when a head person of MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) heard her sing and immediately she was signed to a contract. Because she was thirteen years old, it was hard for MGM to find a role suitable for Judy. She was too old too portray a child star, but too young to star in an adult role. During all this excitement with her career, she received bad news that her father had become very ill and he passed away on November 16th, 1935. She was heart broken, but had to keep pursuing her goals. She worked on her first short with MGM called, "Every Sunday" (1936) with Deanna Durbin. In 1937, Judy was loaned out to another studio, 20th Century Fox, to appear in her first feature film, "Pigskin Parade".
When Judy was performing at an MGM party she sang a song, "Dear Mr. Gable" dedicated to the Clark Gable. Her song was a hit and was used for the feature, "Broadway Melody of 1938" (1937) co-starring Eleanor Powell, Robert Taylor, Buddy Ebsen, George Murphy, Sophie Tucker, Raymond Walburn, Robert Benchley and Binnie Barnes. She was becoming quite well liked and received in the industry and MGM was now eager to cast her in more feature films.
Her next film was "Thoroughbreds Don't Cry" (1937) with C. Aubrey Smith, Ronald Sinclair and Sophie Tucker, followed by "Love Finds Andy Hardy" (1938) with Lewis Stone, Fay Holden, Cecilia Parker, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, Ann Rutherford, Mary Howard and Gene Reynolds. Both of these films paired Garland up with Mickey Rooney, another childhood star. The pair would perform singing duo's and throughout her career, they worked on a total of eight films. Some of the more popular films were, "Babes in Arms" (1939) with Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee, June Preisser, Grace Hayes and Betty Jaynes, "Strike Up The Band" (1940), "Babes on Broadway" (1941) and "Girl Crazy" (1943).
Judy Garland is by far most popular and well known for her next role on, "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) starring alongside Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, and Frank Morgan, with Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, Charley Grapewin, Clara Blandick and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins. For the role of Dorothy, which she played at the age of sixteen, won her a special Oscar, "Best juvenile performer of the year" and one of the most famous songs in the film, "Over the Rainbow" is how many identify with her today.
Garland had a sensational voice and a mannerism about her when on stage. She brightened the stage and her fans adorred her. She starred in a numerous amount of musical such as, "Meet me in St. Louis" (1944) co-starring Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer, Tom Drake, Leon Ames, Marjorie Main, June Lockhart and Joan Carroll, "The Harvey Girls" (1946) with John Hodiak, Angela Lansbury, Virginia O'Brien, Ray Bolger, Marjorie Main, Chill Wills, Preston Foster, Morris Ankrum, Stephen McNally and Cyd Charisse and "Easter Parade" (1948) with Fred Astaire, Ann Miller and Peter Lawford.
Her career was highly successful, however, her personal life was a little less fortunate. Between 1941 and 1951 she had married twice and both were unsuccessful. She was so overwhelemd with her career and battling weight issues that she turned to pills for help. While fimling, "The Pirate" (1947) Garland had a nervous breakdown and that July she tried to commit suicide. She was sent to a psychiatric hospital for treatment for two weeks, but becuase of them mental state she was in, she was unable to complete many films that she had originally agreed to filming. By 1950, MGM had had enough and she was let go from her contract.
She married for a third time in 1952 to Sidney Luft, who was a promoter. He helped get her career going performing on concert stages. She was a hit everywhere she performed and finally made a film comeback with her role on, "A Star is Born" (1954) starring with James Mason, Jack Carson, Charles Bickford, Amanda Blake and Tommy Noonan, for which she earned an Oscar nomination. This film was a musical remake of the 1937 version. She did cause many issues with Warner Brothers on the making of this film, constantly claiming illness and fatigue, and therefore delayed filming causing financial strain on Warner Brothers.
Garland also starred in a number of television specials beginning in 1955. She debuted in an episode of, "Ford Star Jubilee" (1955) which was on CBS abd the first full color broadcast.
Garland did not neglect her film career receiving roles on,"Judgement at Nuremberg" (1961) also starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Maximilian Schell, Werner Klemperer, Marlene Dietrich, William Shatner and Montgomery Clift, followed by a non singing role on, "A Child is Waiting" (1963). Garland's final film role was on, "I Could go on Singing" (1963).
Sadly, her third marriage did not succeed either, due to her drug dependency, alcohol abuse and sucide attempts. She had two children with Sidney, but they could not keep the marriage together and in 1965 their divorce was finalized. Her one daughter Liza Minnelli went on to be a famous actress and singer.
Garland was cast in 1967 on "Valley of the Dolls" with 20th Century Fox, however, again missing rehearsals she was fired and relaced by Susan Hayward.
As the years progressed her personal life and professional life continued to follow the same pattern. She married for her 4th time to Mark Herron, another actor whom she had travelled with, but again this marriage only lasted a couple months. Garland moved on to her fifth marraige to a man twelve years younger then her, Mickey Deans who was a discoteheque manager. Her health was deteriorating and sadly, on June 21st, 1969, Garland was found by Deans dead in their London apartment.
Garland was a legendary actress and singer. She was given a star for recognition on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The American Film Institute named Garland eighth amongst the Greatest Female Stars of All Times. She was also awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997 and quite a few of her songs have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Judy Garland was interred in a crypt in the community mausoleum at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.
1929 The Big Revue
1930 A Holiday in Storyland
1930 The Wedding of Jack and Jill
1935 La Fiesta de Santa Barbara
1936 Every Sunday
1936 Pigskin Parade
1937 Broadway Melody of 1938
1937 Thoroughbreds Don't Cry
1938 Everybody Sing
1938 Love Finds Andy Hardy
1938 Listen, Darling
1939 The Wizard of Oz
1939 Babes in Arms
1940 Andy Hardy Meets Debutante
1940 Strike Up the Band
1940 Little Nellie Kelly
1941 Ziegfeld Girl
1941 Life Begins for
1941 Andy Hardy
1941 Babes on Broadway
1942 We Must Have Music
1942 For Me and My Gal
1943 Thousands Cheer
1943 Presenting Lily Mars
1943 Girl Crazy
1944 Meet Me in St. Louis
1945 The Clock
1946 The Harvey Girls
1946 Ziegfeld Follies
1946 'Till the Clouds Roll By
1948 Words and Music
1948 The Pirate
1948 Easter Parade
1949 In the Good Old Summertime
1950 Summer Stock
1954 A Star Is Born
1961 Judgment at Nuremberg
1962 Gay Purr-ee
1953 A Child is Waiting
1963 I Could Go On Singing