Family & Companions
This spirited, intelligent actress of stage and screen played variations of the squeaky-voiced 'dumb blonde' role in a number of breezy comedies of the 1940s and 50s. Under her own name, Judith Tuvim, she formed a comedy troupe called "The Revuers," with Betty Comden and Adolph Green. This led to bits in the films "Winged Victory" and "Greenwich Village" (both 1944) and "Something for the Boys" (1945). But it took two Broadway shows, "Kiss Them for Me" and, notably, as the intellectually ambitious moll in "Born Yesterday," to make the newly-renamed Judy Holliday a star.
She returned to films with a memorable supporting role in the Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn comedy, "Adam's Rib" (1949), then vaulted to stardom the following year when she recreated her stage triumph of "Born Yesterday" in George Cukor's film adaptation. As the airheaded mistress of a shady and rather dull-witted tycoon who turns the tables on him once she's educated, Holliday won an Oscar as Best Actress of 1950 (beating out Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Boulevard" and Bette Davis and Anne Baxter in "All About Eve").
For the rest of the 50s, signed with Columbia, Holliday made a handful of films, delighting audiences as ditzy but surprisingly shrewd types in "The Marrying Kind" (1952), the delightful media satire "It Should Happen to You" and "Phfft!" (both 1953), "The Solid Gold Cadillac" and "Full of Life" (both 1956). Holliday's last film was recreating her stage role in the musical "Bells Are Ringing" (1960). She returned to the stage in the straight play "Laurette" (Taylor) and the musical "Hot Spot" (1952). A heavy smoker, Holliday died of throat cancer in 1965 at the age of 43.
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Rejected by Yale; went to work for Mercury Theater as a switchboard operator
Co-founded, made stage acting debut with "The Revuers" cabaret group, featuring Adolph Green and Betty Comden, Al Hammer and John Frank
The Revuers moved to L.A.
Began in feature films with roles in "Greenwich Village", "Something for the Boys" and "Winged Victory"
Broadway debut, "Kiss Them for Me", playing the first of her signature "dumb blonde" roles
Breakthrough stage role replacing Jean Arthur as Billie Dawn in "Born Yesterday"
Returned to films to play a supporting role in "Adam's Rib"
First starring role in films, "Born Yesterday"; won Best Actress Oscar
Starred in "Dream Girl" on Broadway
Signed with Columbia
Called to testify before HUAC
Co-starred with Jack Lemmon in "It Should Happen to You"
Returned to Broadway as the lead in the musical "Bells Are Ringing"; won Tony Award
Starred in "The Solid Gold Cadillac"
Last film, recreating stage role in "Bells Are Ringing"
Final Broadway show, "Hot Spot"