Screen and music legend Judy Garland (1922-1969) was always first-rate to her fans. Born Frances Ethel Gumm on this day in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, her vaudeville parents introduced her to the stage at three and her first film was Pigskin Parade (1936).
"I hope to spend the rest of my life in pictures," she said in an interview at the time.
The camera loved her. In Broadway Melody (1937) she stole the show when she sang You Made Me Love You to a photograph of Clark Gable.
Two years later, she catapulted to international stardom with her performance as Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz. With wide-eyed innocence, she made the world believe in the possibilities Somewhere over the Rainbow.
"There wasn't a thing that gal couldn't do," observed entertainer Bing Crosby, "except look at herself."
Beset with a series of personal problems, illnesses, and breakdowns, the 4'11" Garland lived her life with powerhouse intensity. "Insofar as I'm concerned," she told Modern Screen in 1950, "the world is good, golden, and glorious. My best years and my best work lie ahead of me, and I'm going to give them everything I've got."
She triumphed in "comeback" concerts in London's Palladium and New York's Carnegie Hall. A dramatic singer, on stage she oozed charisma. Her concerts were charged with great emotion and energy that many called courageous. Her passionate style and her voice, with its trembling, first-rate vibrato, endeared her to her audiences... then and now.
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More Film-Making Quotations | Somewhere Over the Rainbow