... that Judy Garland got her start in the early 30's as part of a vaudeville act with her two sisters Mary Jane and Virginia. The girls were billed under the name The Gumm Sisters Kiddie Act. Judy Garland's early life was dominated by her mother's relentless pursuit of fame for her daughters - the woman is often compared to Rose in the movie Gypsy. Here is a rare treat, The Gumm Sisters performing "That's the Good Old Sunny South" in 1929 when Judy was only seven years old (she's the littlest one in the clip. Enjoy ...
... that the Gumm sisters changed their last name to Garland when fellow vaudevillian George Jesell said that Gumm was too unattractive of a name for a trio of girls who were pretty as a garland of roses. Later Frances would choose Judy as her new first name because she thought it was sounded peppy.
... that early on in Judy Garland's career, when MGM wasn't quite sure what to make of the talented teenager - they put her in a string of musicals with fellow song and dance teen Mickey Rooney. Mickey and Judy would make ten movies together - most of them with the same "Let's put on a show!" plotline. See them sing and dance their hearts out in Andy Hardy Meets a Debutante, Babes in Arms (pictured here), Babes on Broadway, Girl Crazy, Life Begins for Andy Hardy, Love Finds Andy Hardy, Strike Up the Band, Thoroughbreds Don't Cry, Thousands Cheer and Words and Music. Here is a clip of an Mickey Rooney interview where he talks about working with Judy Garland during those early days:
... that MGM actually wanted child star Shirley Temple for the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Judy Garland was only reluctantly given the part when the deal with Temple's studio went sour. In the words of screenwriter William Goldman - nobody knows anything. Her performance was star-making and rightly honored by the Academy of Motion Picture and Science with a special juvenile Oscar. Learn more in our Tribute to The Wizard of Oz.
... that critics and movie connoisseurs consider Judy Garland's performance as Mrs. Norman Maine in A Star is Born her all-time best and so did she. She was heartbroken when she lost the Best Actress Oscar to Grace Kelly who gave the performance of HER life that same year in The Country Girl.
... that both of Judy Garland's daughters Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft have inherited their mother's golden vocal cords and are talented musical performers in their own right. Don't miss our Spotlight on Liza Minnelli.
Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
In the early 1960's, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce developed the idea of the "Hollywood Walk of Fame." The sidewalks of the most famous streets in the heart of Hollywood were lined with "stars" recognizing celebrities' life-long contributions to the entertainment industry. Receiving a star is still to this day considered a huge honor. Here's where you can find Judy Garland's stars:
Walk of Fame Star (Motion Pictures)
1715 Vine St.
Walk of Fame Star (Recording)
6764 Hollywood Blvd.
Childhood Home of Judy Garland
1231 Stone Canyon Rd.
Bel Air, CA SEE MAP
Former Home of Judy Garland
934 Bel Air Road
Bel Air, CA SEE MAP
Judy Garland Museum and Birthplace
P.O. Box 724
Grand Rapids, MN 55744 Official Site
The museum is open for visitors seven days a week between May 12th and Oct. 14. The rest of the year you must make an appointment to tour the museum.