Judy Garland

Actress and Singer Judy Garland

Full Name: Frances Ethel Gumm
Profession: Actress and Singer

United States of America

Biography: Described by Fred Astaire as "the greatest entertainer who ever lived" and renowned for her contralto voice, she will always be synonymous with "The Wizard of Oz".

Born into a family of vaudeville entertainers, Frances, known as "Baby", joined her family's act as part of "The Gumm Sisters". A name change and movie contract made her a reliable box-office draw as a teenager, in musicals co-starring Mickey Rooney made her famous.

Her biggest role was as Dorothy in the M-G-M musical adaption of "The Wizard of Oz" in 1939. She continued in film as an adult, excelling in musical, comedic, and dramatic roles, while also becoming a concert attraction.

With the advent of television, she found a new field to conquer, as host of her own variety show and storied guest on late-night talk shows.

Over her career, she won an Academy Award, 2 Grammy Awards and Lifetime Achievement plaudits from the Oscar, Grammy, and Tony organizations. Two of three children, daughters Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft, followed her footsteps into the footlights.

Recurrent substance abuse and relationship traumas led to financial distress and her premature death of long-term habitual barbiturate use.

Born: June 10, 1922
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Dog
Star Sign: Gemini

Died: June 22, 1969 (aged 47)
Cause of Death: Her coroner determined the cause as an unintentional, incautious barbiturates.

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1941-07-27 American singer and actress Judy Garland (19) weds British-American musician David Rose (31); divorce in 1944
  • 1945-06-15 American singer and actress Judy Garland (23) weds American director Vincente Minnelli (42); divorce in 1951
  • 1952-06-08 American singer and actress Judy Garland (29) weds American producer Sidney Luft (36) in Hollister, California; divorce in 1965
  • 1965-11-14 American singer and actress Judy Garland (43) weds American actor Mark Herron (37); divorce in 1969
  • 1969-03-15 American singer and actress Judy Garland (46) weds American nightclub manager Mickey Deans, at Chelsea Register Office, London, England

Historical Events

  • 1924-12-26 Frances Gumm (later Judy Garland), age 2½, billed as 'Baby Frances', makes her show business debut
  • 1939-08-15 "The Wizard of Oz", American musical fantasy film adaptation of L. Frank Baum's book, premieres at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood; directed by Victor Fleming and King Vidor with cast featuring Judy Garland (Dorothy), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Tin Man), Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion), Frank Morgan (Wizard), Billie Burke (Glinda), and Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch); songs by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg
  • 1939-08-17 Musical film "The Wizard of Oz", starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, and Margaret Hamilton opens at Loews Capitol Theatre, NYC
  • 1940-09-29 Musical film "Strike Up the Band" starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland opens
  • 1943-11-26 MGM releases last of 9 Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney movies - "Girl Crazy", a film adaptation of George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin's stage musical
  • 1944-11-22 Film musical "Meet Me In St Louis", starring Judy Garland, and directed by Vincente Minnelli, premieres at Loew’s State Theater on Washington Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri
  • 1954-09-29 The first remake of "A Star Is Born", starring Judy Garland & James Mason premieres at the Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles
  • 1955-02-24 12th Golden Globes: "On The Waterfront", Marlon Brando, & Judy Garland win
  • 1955-09-24 "The Judy Garland Special" kicks off the anthology performance series "Ford Star Jubilee" on CBS-TV
  • 1961-04-23 Singer Judy Garland appears in concert at Carnegie Hall, NYC; event is recorded for a double live album, wins Grammy Award for Album of the Year (the first such win by a female artist)
  • 1963-09-29 "The Judy Garland Show" debuts on CBS-TV
  • 1963-10-06 Barbra Streisand appears on "The Judy Garland Show"
  • 1965-12-17 1st concert event at Houston Astrodome: Judy Garland headlines, with The Supremes as opening act
  • 1968-07-20 Judy Garland headlines concert also featuring Count Basie and Jackie Wilson at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; her last US concert
  • 1970-05-17 Anonymous buyer purchases one of the pairs of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" for $15,000 at MGM Studio auction, and donates them to the Smithsonian Institution