Judy Garland took us somewhere over the rainbow to a land of magic with her enchanting voice.
Born on June 10, 1922 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota to a vaudeville stage family, Judy then known as Frances when she performed with her older sisters Mary Jane and Dorothy. But even at a very young age, Baby Frances had a star quality and powerfully strong voice making her the star of the show. Once she signed with MGM, Frances became Judy Garland.
Her most famous role is Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. But prior to The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland was in a number of Andy Hardy movies with Mickey Rooney. Garland expertly played the small town girl singing and dancing to raise money for her town.
The walk down a yellow brick road in the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz was the journey to stardom for Judy Garland. Ironically, she wasn’t the first choice to play Dorothy. Shirley Temple was who MGM wanted. However, 20th Century Fox refused to release Temple from her contract so the part went to Garland. Readers of the series of Wizard of Oz novels know Judy Garland was older than the character of Dorothy. Although I’m sure Shirley Temple would have made a fine Dorothy, “Over the Rainbow” as sung by Garland is unforgettable, earning her a Juvenile Academy Award for her performance in The Wizard of Oz.
Judy Garland was Esther Smith in the 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis. The movie was directed by Vincent Minnelli, who was Garland’s husband. “Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” to Margaret O’Brien as her youngest sister Tootie were two of the favorites in the film.
Judy Garland appeared in many MGM films before starring in Warner Brothers A Star is Born. She received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for A Star is Born. Her role in A Judgment at Nuremberg was critically acclaimed. Judy Garland films often air on Turner Classic Movies allowing generations to continue to enjoy her work.
Concert goers got to see Judy Garland live at Carnegie Hall. Her television show, The Judy Garland Show captured a new audience.
Judy Garland will forever live in the hearts of those who loved her. She created a lasting legacy through her films.
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