"Hollywood is a strange place if you're in trouble. Everyone thinks it's contagious." - Judy Garland
Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. She was the youngest of three daughters. Judy was a gifted singer and by the age of three she was performing with her sisters in vaudeville. She was offered a contract with MGM in 1935. Judy appeared in several hit films with Mickey Rooney including Babes On Broadway and Girl Crazy. As a teenager Judy struggled with her weight and began taking amphetamines. In 1939 Judy played a Kansas farm girl in The Wizard Of Oz. It would become the most successful movie of her career. Judy would forever be associated with the movie's theme song "Over The Rainbow". In 1940 Judy received a special juvenile Academy Award. She married David Rose, a composer, in 1941. Judy became pregnant but her mother forced her to have abortion because she believed a baby would hurt Judy's career. In 1943 Judy and David divorced. Judy's success continued with starring roles in Meet Me In St. Louis, The Harvey Girls, and Easter Parade. She married director Vincente Minnelli in June 1945. Their daughter, Liza, was born the following year. While working on the 1947 musical The Pirate Judy suffered a nervous breakdown.
Her marriage to Vincente ended in 1951 after she caught him in bed with another man. By this time Judy's drug use was out of control and she was fired from MGM. Depressed over her failed marriage and career Judy attempted suicide by slitting her throat. Judy married producer Sid Luft in 1952. They had two children - Lorna in 1952 and Joseph in 1955. Judy starred in the musical remake of A Star Is Born in 1955. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance. In 1962 she received another Oscar nomination for her role in Judgment In Nuremberg. Judy spent much of the 1960s performing live concerts. She also starred on television in The Judy Garland Show. Judy divorced Sid and married actor Mark Herron in 1964. Their marriage ended in 1967 when Judy discovered he was gay. Judy married her fifth husband, Mickey Deans, in March 1969. On June 22, 1969 Judy died from an accidental overdose of barbiturates. She was just forty-seven years old. Judy is buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Her daughter, Liza Minnelli, became a successful actress. In 1973 Liza won an Academy Award for her performance in the musical Cabaret.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)