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Overview for Judy Garland
Judy Garland

Judy Garland



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Also Known As: Baby Gumm,Frances Gumm,Frances Ethel Gumm Died: June 22, 1969
Born: June 10, 1922 Cause of Death: accidental drug overdose
Birth Place: Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA Profession: Cast ... singer actor


yche were beginning to manifest themselves on set, however, and during filming of the latter picture, Garland had a nervous breakdown and was placed in a sanitarium. Although she recovered enough to complete filming, she soon attempted suicide by cutting at her wrists with a broken glass.

The combination of Garlandâ¿¿s mental issues, her increasing dependency on sleeping pills and the pressures of maintaining a Hollywood career took their toll, and her professionalism suffered, with the actress sometimes arriving late, unprepared or unable to work. She was replaced by Ginger Rogers in "The Barkleys of Broadway" (1949), Betty Hutton in "Annie Get Your Gun" (1950) and Jane Powell in "Royal Wedding" (1950), taking the latter setback so hard that she cut her neck with a broken water glass, which was sensationalized into the lurid tale that Garland had slit her own throat. MGM finally dropped her in 1950, and at age 28 with a young daughter and two failed marriages, Judy Garland was set adrift personally and professionally. Under the guidance of new manager Sid Luft â¿¿ who became husband number three in 1952 â¿¿ she began the second phase of her career, embarking on the first of her concert tours with now legendary appearances at Londonâ¿¿s Palladium and a 19-week engagement at Broadwayâ¿¿s Palace Theatre, which shattered all attendance records and garnered her a special Tony Award.

With a rejuvenated career and a second child, daughter Lorna Luft, born in 1952, she set about to reconquer Hollywood with a project dear to her heart: a musical remake of "A Star is Born" (1954). With Moss Hart rewriting the original award-winning script, George Cukor directing, and original songs by Harold Arlen (who had composed "Over the Rainbow") and Ira Gershwin, the film came to be one of the yearâ¿¿s most anticipated. Although Warner Bros. was unhappy with the original three-hour-plus running time and cut more than 30 minutes from the film, it still proved to be an artistic and personal triumph for Garland, who reportedly called the film "the story of my life." The finished motion picture picked up six Oscar nominations including well-deserved ones for Garland as Best Actress, as well as one for the song "The Man That Got Away," which became another of the singerâ¿¿s second signature numbers. The box office success and critical acclaim reaped by the film and the goodwill toward Garland for a spectacular comeback created a near universal belief that she would win the Best Actress Oscar. She took home the Best Actress Golden Globe and was hospitalized after giving birth to her son, Joseph Luft, so was unable to attend the Oscar ceremony. While a television crew waited in her hospital room for the winner to be announced, Grace Kellyâ¿¿s name was called and they packed up and unceremoniously left. Roundly deemed one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history, TIME said Garland had given "just about the greatest one-woman show in modern movie history."

With her film career failing to reignite, Garland returned to live performing, first in Las Vegas and then returning to Broadwayâ¿¿s Palace Theater. Three years later, she collapsed and was hospitalized. The diagnosis was hepatitis and the singer was reportedly told that she would remain a semi-invalid. As if to prove the doctors wrong, Garland resumed her grueling performance schedule, which also included a 1960 Democratic fundraiser for John F. Kennedy, and landed her first screen role in seven years. Cast as a concentration camp survivor called to testify about her experiences in "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961), she offered a heartbreaking performance. Along with the equally troubled Montgomery Clift, Garland was a standout in the large cast and both she and Clift earned Oscar nominations for their supporting roles. It was a fine cap to a year that had also seen her triumph in a concert at Carnegie Hall that was considered by many to be "the greatest night in show business history," spawning the classic two-album setJudy at Carnegie Hall, which won four Grammys and would remain a best-seller for decades.

Sadly, Garland was only able to make three more film appearances. John Cassavetes cast her as a teacher who becomes too involved with one of her mentally challenged students in "A Child is Waiting" (1962), she lent her vocals to the animated meow-sical "Gay Purr-ee" (1962), and single-handedly saved the soap opera-esque "I Could Go on Singing" (1963) with her powerhouse voice. Turning to the relatively new medium of television, she headlined a series of electrifying television specials as well as her own variety series "The Judy Garland Show" (CBS, 1963-64). While not a ratings winner, the show earned her three Emmy nominations and was later considered a time capsule that captured many wonderful performances, including several with Garland singing with daughter Liza. When the show was canceled, Garland found herself drowning in financial and health woes, and she embarked on a disastrous tour of Australia. She was cast as the aging Broadway queen Helen Lawson in "Valley of the Dolls" (1967) but was replaced by Susan Hayward when she unable to show up.

Ever the trouper, Garland continued to perform live up until just before her death of an accidental overdose of prescription pills 12 days after her 47th birthday in 1969. Recognized as one of the greatest stars of all time, Garlandâ¿¿s legacy only continued to grow after her death, especially among the LGBT community, who embraced her as their ultimate icon. In fact, many suggested that Garlandâ¿¿s death and funeral were one of the causes for the influential Stonewall Riots. Considered the ultimate vaudeville and musical performer with historyâ¿¿s most poignant voice, Garland continued to fascinate, inspiring projects such as "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows" (ABC, 2001) and a proposed Anne Hathaway biopic "Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland" (TBD). Although her life and career encompassed enormous amounts of both the sublime and the tragic, Judy Garland gave everything she had to her art and left behind an unparalleled body of work and a bittersweet but still beautiful legacy.

By Jonathan Riggsncy by him in 1942, agreed to a trial separation in January 1943, and they divorced in 1944. No matter how much she glittered onscreen, in her private life, Garland continued to spiral into self-destruction, struggling with addictions and weight issues. With so much barely controlled chaos swirling around her and no other reality than the heightened world of studio life, it was perhaps unsurprising that Garland was becoming quite troubled. Nevertheless, she had been trained that the show must go on, and for her entire life, the consummate performer would power through the pain to entertain.

In 1944, Garland starred as Esther Smith in the warmly nostalgic "Meet Me in St. Louis," directed by her future second husband Vincente Minnelli, whom she would marry in 1945. Onscreen, she seemed to glow as she introduced three new standards, gloriously delivered: "The Trolley Song," "The Boy Next Door" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." The following year, she and Minnelli re-teamed for one of her rare non-singing performances in the unjustly overlooked wartime drama "The Clock" (1945). Her next picture, "The Harvey Girls" (1946), cast her as a frontier waitress and introduced the Oscar-winning song "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," but she also proved effective impersonating stage star Marilyn Miller in that yearâ¿¿s ersatz Jerome Kern biopic "Till the Clouds Roll By." After time off to give birth to daughter Liza Minnelli in 1946, Garland roared back in 1948 with several fine performances despite being overworked. She made a perfect partner for Fred Astaire in the Irving Berlin musical "Easter Parade" (1948), made a final feature appearance with Rooney in "Words and Music" (1948) and filmed "The Pirate" (1948) opposite Gene Kelly. The signs of her fragile ps

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