Actress. She began performing at the age of two and a half, and from 1924 to 1935 she and her older sisters performed as a singing trio that toured all over the country. In 1935, the group split up due to marriage by the oldest sister in the group. This was not exactly unwelcome news, since reviews of the trio always singled out the youngest, Judy, with lofty praise. She was billed as "the little girl with the big voice," and soon drew the attention of casting agents. In September of 1935, she signed with MGM, and went on to be their biggest female star. Her time at MGM produced the studio's greatest musicals, such as "The Wizard of Oz," "Meet Me In St. Louis," and "Easter Parade." She also appeared with Mickey Rooney in a dozen films. She was the first celebrity to offer her services as an entertainer in World War two, and was the first female to be named an Honorary Corporal for her war efforts. Between 1937 and 1950 her films grossed over one hundred million dollars. In 1950, Garland asked to be released from her film contract, and the release was granted. She was the first film performer in history to cross over from film to live performances. She would go on to make some critically acclaimed films (such as the 1954 remake of "A Star Is Born"), but her first love remained the live concert stage, despite making over 30 films in her lifetime. From 1963-64 she hosted her own weekly television series. From 1964-69 she became primarily a live performer, peppering her live concerts with television appearances. In the last two years of her life she completed 120 concerts. In the early morning of June 22, 1969, she died as a result of an accidental overdose of a prescription sleeping aid. Over 22,000 people filed past her open, glass-covered casket during a 24 hour wake. Judy Garland was nominated for two Academy Awards, and won a special Academy Award for her performance in "The Wizard of Oz." She won five Grammy awards, a Tony award, and was nominated for ten Emmy awards. Of her audiences, Judy said, "I just want them to know that I have been in love with them for all my life, and I tried to please. I hope I did." In January of 2017, her family had her body moved from Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum in Hartsdale, New York, to Hollywood Forever cemetery in California.
Bio by: Eric Hemphill