Judy Garland

A great entertainer

The legendary singer and movie star of Hollywood’s Golden Era, was the star of numerous classic musical films, celebrating her rich and exuberant voice.

American, Judy Garland was one of the greatest icons of stage and screen, whose career spanned 45 years. She attained international stardom not only as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, but also as a recording artist capable of singing soul, blues and jazz music, and on the concert stage.

Respected for her versatility, Judy Garland received a juvenile Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Special Tony Award, and was the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for her live recording Judy at Carnegie Hall in 1961. She was the youngest winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.

In 1997, Garland was posthumously awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Several of her recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The American Film Institute placed her among the 10 greatest female stars of classic cinema.

On 22 June 1969, at the age of 47, Judy Garland passed away at Chelsea, London, United Kingdom.

Name:   Judy  Garland
Born:   10 June 1922
Star Sign: Gemini
Died:   22 June 1969
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Minnesota, U.S.
Country: United States
DetailsOther Names
Frances Ethel Gumm
Francis Avent 'Frank' Gumm
Ethel Marion (née Milne) Gumm
Married: Mickey Deans in 1969 until her death; Mark Herron (1965 to 1969-divorced); Sidney Luft (1952 to 1965-divorced); Vincente Minnelli (1945 to 1951-divorced); David Rose (1941 to 1944-divorced)
Three children: Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joey Luft.

Childhood and Family
Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. She was the youngest of three children, born to Francis 'Frank' Avent Gumm and Ethel Marion (nee Milne) Gumm who were of Irish, English and Scottish ancestry. Her parents were vaudevillians who ran a movie theater that featured vaudeville acts.

At the age of two, young Frances made her theatrical debut in Grand Rapids. It was the beginning of a lifetime of singing. However, her family life was not a happy one.

The Gumm Sisters
As a child, Frances Garland performed with her older sisters, Virginia and Mary Jane and were known as 'The Gumm Sisters.' In 1926, the Gumm family moved to California where all three girls were enrolled in acting and performance classes. In the late 1920s, the girl's mother, who was also their manager, arranged numerous gigs where the Gumm sisters performed. They also made appearances in several short films.

Solo Act
In 1934, the Gumm sister changed their name to the Garland sisters, and Frances changed her name to 'Judy'. Later, Judy entertained audiences as a solo act. To bolster Judy's career, her mother, took her to numerous vaudeville gigs and she also appeared at a popular nightclub. In 1935, at the age of 13, Judy signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She made dozens of films with MGM, nine of which with Mickey Rooney.

It was on a radio broadcast that Garland debuted her song, 'Zing' and 'Went the Strings of My Heart.' Shortly after the program aired, Garland received devastating news that her father, Frank, had died of spinal meningitis.

Andy Hardy films
In 1936, Garland film career finally took-off with the girl-next-door character in ‘Pigskin Parade’. In 1937, Garland featured in ‘Broadway Melody of 1938’ and ‘Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry’. She went on to co-star in the 1938, 'Love Finds Andy Hardy' with friend Mickey Rooney. They became a popular pair and co-starred in several Andy Hardy films.

Garland was ridiculed for her looks and her weight by the studio. To control her weight and help her sleep, she took barbiturates. She was given amphetamines which led to lifelong struggle with addiction as well as contributed to her eventual demise.

On Screen Successes
In 1939, Garland showcased her singing and acting talents as Dorothy in 'The Wizard of Oz' and in 'Babes in Arms'. She received Academy Award, a Juvenile Award for her performances. Following this recognition, she became one of MGM's most bankable stars. In the 1940s, Garland starred in: 'Strike Up the Band'; ‘Andy Hardy Meets Debutante’; ‘Ziegfeld Girl’; ‘Life Begins for Andy Hardy’, and ‘Babes on Broadway’ with Rooney.

More Roles
In 1943, Garland performed in ‘Me and My Gal’ with Gene Kelly; ‘Presenting Lily Mars’ and ‘Girl Crazy’. In the 1944, she starred as the attractive leading lady, in ‘Meet Me in St. Louis.’ This was followed by the premiere of ‘The Clock’. In 1946, Garland featured in ‘The Harvey Girls’, ‘Zeigfeld Follies’, and ‘Till the Clouds Roll By’.

During the filming of 'The Pirate' in 1947, with Gene Kelly, Garland suffered a nervous breakdown, and spent a couple of weeks in a private sanitarium. Later, she teamed with Fred Astaire in ‘Easter Parade’ which became her top-grossing film at MGM.

A Star is Born
In 1948, Garland starred in the musical film, 'In the Good Old Summertime'. Her 2½ year old daughter, Liza made her film debut at the end of the film which was enormously successful. In 1950, Judy Garland starred with Gene Kelly in 'Summer Stock'.

After 15 years, Garland and MGM parted company owing to her behavioral disorders resulting from drug addiction. During 1950-51, Garland made eight appearances in The Bing Crosby – Chesterfield Show, which reinvigorated her career. She then toured for four months to sellout crowds in Europe. In 1954, Garland returned to film with her performance in ‘A Star Is Born’ and appeared in a number of television specials early 1955.

Final Curtain
From 1959, Judy began performing a one-woman show on Broadway and created award-winning concerts globally. She appeared in the 1961 film, ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’ and the animated Gay Purr-ee in 1962. Aired on television was ‘The Judy Garland Show’ which marked her debut into television programming.

Garland appeared in the 1963, American drama, ‘Child Is Waiting’ and in the musical drama, ‘I Could Go on Singing’. In 1967, Garland made performed with her children Lorna and Joey at New York's Palace Theatre.

Awards and Achievements
Judy Garland received numerous awards and recognition including: A special Oscar in 1940, for ‘Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor’ and in ‘The Wizard of Oz’; In 1962, she received the ‘Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the ‘Golden Globe Awards’. She received two stars in the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame’. The Grammys honored her in 1999 with a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award.

Marriage and Family
Judy Garland's struggled in her personal life with substance abuse. Garland was married five times and had three children: daughter Liza with husband Vicente Minnelli; son Joey and Lorna with husband, Sidney Luft. Her legacy has been carried on by her daughters, Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft, both of whom are singers.

Young Judy could work only four hours a day while making The Wizard of Oz. She had to have three hours of schooling and an hour of recreation.

She was left-handed and studied best with her left shoe off.

In 1939, it was announced Garland had reached the 'pinnacle of fame' when the landmark Reuben’s Restaurant and Delicatessen in New York named a sandwich after her.

In her spare time, Judy enjoyed reading the 'funny papers.' One of her favorite comic characters was Popeye the sailor.

Garland's best color was green. She enjoyed drawing and drew Toto’s portrait as a pastel sketch while getting acquainted with her canine Wizard of Oz co-star.

Garland was frightened of thunderstorms and earthquakes.

Garland knitted a pink wool sweater for the electrician's baby on The Wizard of Oz'. She also began designing clothes for animals. Mickey Rooney placed an order for a hat for his parrot.

Garland starred in the 1939 classic 'The Wizard of Oz' and was paid $500 for the project.

Garland was so busy that she only saw 'The Wizard of Oz' for the first time in its entirety a year after it was released.

Garland was a well developed 16 year old when she filmed ‘The Wizard of Oz’, so she had to wear a tight-fitting corest-type device.

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."

"I've never looked through a keyhole without finding someone was looking back."

"As for my feelings toward 'Over the Rainbow', it's become part of my life. It is so symbolic of all dreams and wishes…"

"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."

"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."

"We cast away priceless time in dreams, born of imagination, fed upon illusion, and put to death by reality."

"I can live without money, but I cannot live without love."

"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 we'd like each other a little bit more."

"How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child."

"The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart."


On June 22, 1969, Judy Garland, aged 47 years, passed away in London. She was laid to rest at Ferncliff Cemetery in New York, but her grave site was a common pilgrimage for her many fans. At the insistence of her children, in 2017, Garland's remains were re-interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, California, USA.

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