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Judy Garland (1922 - 1969)

A photo of Judy Garland
Judy Garland
1922 - 1969
Born
June 10, 1922
Grand Rapids, Minnesota, United States
Death
June 22, 1969
London, United Kingdom
Other Names
Frances Ethel (Gumm)
Summary
Judy Garland was born on June 10, 1922 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota United States to Ethel Marion Gumm and Francis Avent Gumm, and had siblings Suzanne (Gumm) Cathcart and Virginia (Gumm) Thompson. She married Sidney Luft on June 8, 1952 and they later divorced on May 19, 1965. They had children Lorna Luft and Joey Luft. Judy's partner was mickey deans on March 15, 1969 at londen in London, Greater London County, England us. They had children Liza Minnelli and joey luft. Judy's partner was Vincente Minnelli, and they had a child Liza May Minnelli. Judy Garland died at age 47 years old on June 22, 1969 in London United Kingdom, and was buried in 1969 at Ferncliff Cemetery 280 Secor Rd, in Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York United States.
Updated: December 7, 2022
Biography ID: 1242920

Judy Garland's Biography

Family, friend, or fan this Collaborative Biography is for you to show & tell Judy's life so that she is always remembered.
About Judy

Introduction

She was so close to Si Seadler that after her opening at the Palace we were invited to her party at El Morocco. She said, "Si. You have to dance with me." It was a wonderful night.

Born June 10, 1922 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA
Died June 22, 1969 in Belgravia, London, England, UK (barbiturate overdose)
Birth Name Frances Ethel Gumm
Nicknames Baby Gumm
Miss Show Business
Joots
Height 4' 11½" (1.51 m)

One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals.

She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in Minnesota, the youngest daughter of vaudevillians Ethel Marion (Milne) and Francis Avent Gumm. She was of English, along with some Scottish and Irish, descent. Her mother, an ambitious woman gifted in playing various musical instruments, saw the potential in her daughter at the tender age of just 2 years old when Baby Frances repeatedly sang "Jingle Bells" until she was dragged from the stage kicking and screaming during one of their Christmas shows and immediately drafted her into a dance act, entitled "The Gumm Sisters", along with her older sisters Mary Jane Gumm and Virginia Gumm. However, knowing that her youngest daughter would eventually become the biggest star, Ethel soon took Frances out of the act and together they traveled across America where she would perform in nightclubs, cabarets, hotels and theaters solo.

Her family life was not a happy one, largely because of her mother's drive for her to succeed as a performer and also her father's closeted homosexuality. The Gumm family would regularly be forced to leave town owing to her father's illicit affairs with other men, and from time to time they would be reduced to living out of their automobile. However, in September 1935 the Gumms', in particular Ethel's, prayers were answered when Frances was signed by Louis B. Mayer, mogul of leading film studio MGM, after hearing her sing. It was then that her name was changed from Frances Gumm to Judy Garland, after a popular '30s song "Judy" and film critic Robert Garland.

Tragedy soon followed, however, in the form of her father's death of meningitis in November 1935. Having been given no assignments with the exception of singing on radio, Judy faced the threat of losing her job following the arrival of Deanna Durbin.
Knowing that they couldn't keep both of the teenage singers, MGM devised a short entitled Every Sunday (1936) which would be the girls' screen test. However, despite being the outright winner and being kept on by MGM, Judy's career did not officially kick off until she sang one of her most famous songs, "You Made Me Love You", at Clark Gable's birthday party in February 1937, during which Louis B. Mayer finally paid attention to the talented songstress.

Prior to this her film debut in Pigskin Parade (1936), in which she played a teenage hillbilly, had left her career hanging in the balance. However, following her rendition of "You Made Me Love You", MGM set to work preparing various musicals with which to keep Judy busy. All this had its toll on the young teenager, and she was given numerous pills by the studio doctors in order to combat her tiredness on set. Another problem was her weight fluctuation, but she was soon given amphetamines in order to give her the desired streamlined figure. This soon produced the downward spiral that resulted in her lifelong drug addiction.

In 1939, Judy shot immediately to stardom with The Wizard of Oz (1939), in which she portrayed Dorothy, an orphaned girl living on a farm in the dry plains of Kansas who gets whisked off into the magical world of Oz on the other end of the rainbow. Her poignant performance and sweet delivery of her signature song, 'Over The Rainbow', earned Judy a special juvenile Oscar statuette on 29 February 1940 for Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor. Now growing up, Judy began to yearn for meatier adult roles instead of the virginal characters she had been playing since she was 14. She was now taking an interest in men, and after starring in her final juvenile performance in Ziegfeld Girl (1941) alongside glamorous beauties Lana Turner and Hedy Lamarr, Judy got engaged to bandleader David Rose in May 1941, just two months after his divorce from Martha Raye. Despite planning a big wedding, the couple eloped to Las Vegas and married during the early hours of the morning on 28 July 1941 with just her mother Ethel and her stepfather Will Gilmore present. However, their marriage went downhill as, after discovering that she was pregnant in November 1942, David and MGM persuaded her to abort the baby in order to keep her good-girl image up. She did so and, as a result, was haunted for the rest of her life by her 'inhumane actions'. The couple separated in January 1943.

Vincente began to mold Judy and her career, making her more beautiful and more popular with audiences worldwide. He directed her in The Clock (1945), and it was during the filming of this movie that the couple announced their engagement on set on 9 January 1945. Judy's divorce from David Rose had been finalized on 8 June 1944 after almost three years of marriage, and despite her brief fling with Orson Welles, who at the time was married to screen sex goddess Rita Hayworth, on 15 June 1945 Judy made Vincente her second husband, tying the knot with him that afternoon at her mother's home with her boss Louis B. Mayer giving her away and her best friend Betty Asher serving as bridesmaid. They spent three months on honeymoon in New York and afterwards Judy discovered that she was pregnant.

On 12 March 1946 in Los Angeles, California, Judy gave birth to their daughter, Liza Minnelli, via caesarean section. It was a joyous time for the couple, but Judy was out of commission for weeks due to the caesarean and her postnatal depression, so she spent much of her time recuperating in bed. She soon returned to work, but married life was never the same for Vincente and Judy after they filmed The Pirate (1948) together in 1947. Judy's mental health was fast deteriorating and she began hallucinating things and making false accusations toward people, especially her husband, making the filming a nightmare. She also began an affair with aspiring Russian actor Yul Brynner, but after the affair ended, Judy soon regained health and tried to salvage her failing marriage. She then teamed up with dancing legend Fred Astaire for the delightful musical Easter Parade (1948), which resulted in a successful comeback despite having Vincente fired from directing the musical. Afterwards, Judy's health deteriorated and she began the first of several suicide attempts. In May 1949, she was checked into a rehabilitation center, which caused her much distress.

She soon regained strength and was visited frequently by her lover Frank Sinatra, but never saw much of Vincente or Liza. On returning, Judy made In the Good Old Summertime (1949), which was also Liza's film debut, albeit via an uncredited cameo. She had already been suspended by MGM for her lack of cooperation on the set of The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), which also resulted in her getting replaced by Ginger Rogers. After being replaced by Betty Hutton on Annie Get Your Gun (1950), Judy was suspended yet again before making her final film for MGM, entitled Summer Stock (1950). At 28, Judy received her third suspension and was fired by MGM, and her second marriage was soon dissolved.

Spouse (5)
Mickey Deans (15 March 1969 - 22 June 1969) ( her death)
Mark Herron (14 November 1965 - 9 January 1969) ( divorced)
Sidney Luft (8 June 1952 - 19 May 1965) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Vincente Minnelli (15 June 1945 - 29 March 1951) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
David Rose (28 July 1941 - 8 June 1944) ( divorced)
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Judy Garland
Most commonly known as
Judy Garland
Full legal name
Frances Ethel (Gumm)
Other names or aliases

Name & aliases

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Last place lived

Last residence

June 10, 1922
Birthday
Grand Rapids, Minnesota United States
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Ethnicity & Family History

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Nationality & Locations

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Education

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dd/mm/yyyy
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Unknown
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Professions

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Personal Life

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Military Service

Did Judy serve in the military or did a war or conflict interfere with her life?
June 22, 1969
Death date
Accidental barbiturate overdose.
Cause of death
London United Kingdom
Death location

Death details

1969
Funeral date
Ferncliff Cemetery 280 Secor Rd, in Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York 10530, United States
Burial location

Gravesite & burial

Obituary

June 23, 1969 OBITUARY Judy Garland, 47, Star of Stage and Screen, Is Found Dead in Her London Home Special to The New York Times London, June 22--Judy Garland, whose successes on stage and screen were later overshadowed by the pathos of her personal life, was found dead in her home here today. The cause of death of the 47-year-old singer was not immediately established, and an autopsy was scheduled. [Reuters reported that police sources said a preliminary investigation revealed nothing to suggest that Miss Garland had taken her own life.] Miss Garland's personal life often seemed a fruitless search for the happiness promised in "Over the Rainbow," the song she made famous in the movie "The Wizard of Oz." Her father died when she was 12 years old; the pressures of adolescent stardom sent her to a psychiatrist at the age of 18; she was married five times; she was frequently ill; her singing voice faltered, and she suffered from the effects of drugs she once said were prescribed either to invigorate or tranquilize her. She came here at the end of last year to play a cabaret in another of the "comeback" performances that dotted her last 15 years. Three months ago she married Mickey Deans, a discotheque manager. It was Mr. Deans, her fifth husband, who found Miss Garland dead on the bathroom floor in their home in the Belgravia district. Also surviving are three children, Liza Minnelli, the singer and actress, and Lorna and Joseph Luft. Moved by Compulsion Judy Garland's career was marked by a compulsive quality that displayed itself even during her first performance at the age of 30 months at the New Grand Theater in Grand Rapids, Minn. Here, the story is told, Frances Gumm--both her parents were vaudeville players--sang "Jingle Bells" on a Christmas program. She responded so favorably to the footlights that her father was forced to remove her after she had repeated the song seven times. She made more than 35 films, once set a New York vaudeville record with an engagement of 19 weeks and 184 performances, cut numerous records and in recent years made frequent television appearances. Her other films include, "Every Sunday," "Babes In Arms," "Little Nellie Kelly," "For Me and My Gal," "The Harvey Girls," "Meet Me in St. Louis," "The Pirate," "Easter Parade," "A Star Is Born," "Judgment at Nuremberg," and "A Child Is Waiting." She was the kind of movie personality whose private life defined much of her public response. Whenever she stepped out on a stage in recent years, she brought with her, whether she welcomed it or not, all the well-publicized phantoms of her emotional breakdowns, her career collapses and her comebacks. The pressures of performing began for her at an early age. When she was 18 and Louis B. Mayer's favorite at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios making $150,000 a picture, she was already seeing a psychiatrist. Recounts Experience She wrote about the experience years later: "No wonder I was strange. Imagine whipping out of bed, dashing over to the doctor's office, lying down on a torn leather couch, telling my troubles to an old man who couldn't hear, who answered with an accent I couldn't understand, and then dashing to Metro to make movie love to Mickey Rooney." It was during this period that she also began taking stimulants and depressants. "They'd give us pep pills," she wrote. "Then they'd take us to the studio hospital and knock us cold with sleeping pills . . . after four hours they'd wake us up and give us the pep pills again . . . "That's the way we worked, and that's the way we got thin. That's the way we got mixed up. And that's the way we lost contact." Less than 10 years after these experiences, at the age of 28, the singer attempted suicide. The unhappiness that plagued her during the last few years alone included the breakup of her 13- year marriage to Sid Luft, a film director and the third of her five husbands; a subsequent bitter custody fight over their children, Lorna and Joseph, with Mr. Luft accusing her of having attempted suicide on at least 20 occasions; sudden hospitalizations for causes ranging from paralysis to unconsciousness after a fall in a hotel room, and the breaking of her voice during appearances in several cities. Miss Garland was born in Grand Rapids on June 10, 1922, the youngest of three daughters of Frank Avent and Ethel Marian Gumm. Her parents billed themselves in vaudeville as Jack and Virginia Lee. Garland was her mother's maiden name. When the family arrived in Hollywood in 1936, the 14- year-old singer, who made her feature film debut in "Pigskin Parade," was billed as Judy Garland. At 17, playing the pig-tailed girl in "The Wizard of Oz," she sang the song that became her trademark, "Over the Rainbow"--a wistful pursuit of happiness that seemed, to her, unattainable. In 1939, "The Wizard of Oz" earned her a special Oscar. Ray Bolger, the dancer, actor and singer, who played the Scarecrow in "The Wizard," made it plain yesterday that Miss Garland's charisma was notable even when they made that film. Three months after she had signed the contract with M-G-M, By 1942, Miss Garland had passed the awkward age through a popular series of musical comedies with Mr. Rooney, and was playing love scenes with Gene Kelly in "For Me and My Gal." She was already one of the top box-office stars at the most celebrated star studio in Hollywood. Her personal troubles had already begun. She was married to the composer-pianist David Rose in 1941. They were divorced three years later. The next year she was married to her director, the gifted musical specialist, Vincente Minnelli. Under her husband's guidance, her career flourished. She sang "The Trolley Song" in "Meet Me in St. Louis" and was praised for her first nonsinging dramatic performance, in "The Clock." By 1948, when Miss Garland played with Gene Kelly in "The Pirate," and Fred Astaire in "Easter Parade," she was indisputably the leading musical star in films. In January 2017, Garland’s children, Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joe Luft, brought their mother’s remains “home to Hollywood” from her original burial site at New York’s Ferncliff Cemetery to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles California.

Average Age & Life Expectancy

Judy Garland lived 24 years shorter than the average Garland family member when she died at the age of 47.
The average age of a Garland family member is 71.
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Memories: Stories & Photos

Who is Judy Garland to you? Share memories and family stories, photos, or ask questions.
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Judy Garland as Dorothy Wizard of Oz
Photo of a young Judy Garland during her role as Dorothy in the the 1939 film Wizard of Oz.

Judy Garland, was born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922 and died on June 22nd, 1969. Her career lasted approximately 45 years and included numerous awards such as the Juvenile Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Grammy Awards, and a Special Tony Award. She was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and for Best Supporting Actress.
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Frances Ethel Gumm? I had no idea that was her name!
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Wizard of Oz - MGM Studios
Snapshot of the Wizard of Oz cast at MGM Studios including Judy Garland, born Frances Ethel Gumm. I do not recognize the man who is directing the 'munchkin'. Is this Victor Fleming, Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson or Edgar Allan Woolf?
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It looks like the "Wizard" - Frank Morgan. He also played the carnival professor and the doorman at the gates of Oz.
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I can kind of see that it might be the wizard! If we are certain I will update the description. Thank you!
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Tom Drake
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Earl Wilson
Earl Wilson with Judy Garland.
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Tom Drake
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Tom Drake
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Tom Drake
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Tom Drake
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Ray Bolger
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Judy Garland & family circa 1936
Judy Garland & family: This photo was taken about 1936, left to right back row is Judy (who had recently been signed to MGM and lost her father in a matter of months), her father's eldest brother, Bob Gumm, her mother, Ethel Gumm, her oldest sister, Susie Gumm, (front row) middle sister, Jimmie Gumm, Aunt Belle (Bob's wife, born Smith), Susie's husband, Lee Kahn, and Judy's cousin, Richard (son of Bob & Belle). The family was close and often came to visit. When Bob's theater was in trouble, against MGM's rules, Judy went and sang there to bring in business. Photo from Bob Gumm's family archives and included in my book, From Tennessee to Oz, Part 2 - The Amazing Saga of Judy Garland's Family History by Michelle Russell. This was an eight year adventure!
People in photo include: Bob Gumm, Ethel Gumm, Susie Gumm, Jimmie Gumm, Belle (Smith) Gumm, Lee Kahn, and Richard Gumm
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Judy Garland
Judy Garland adored Silas Seadler from MGM. He was a great dancer. After her opening at the Palace there was a party at El Morocco and she said, "I have to do my first dance with you, Si." That was such a treat watching her dance with my guy Si.
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Judy Garland
A photo of Judy Garland
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Ray Bolger
A photo of Ray Bolger
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Judy Garland
A photo of Judy Garland
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Judy Garland and friend MGM's Silas Seadler.
A photo of Judy Garland and Silas Seadler.

We went to her opening night at the Palace and then she danced with Si at El Morocco afterwards.
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Judy Garland
A photo of Judy Garland
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Judy Garland
A photo of Judy Garland
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Judy Garland
A photo of Judy Garland
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Judy Garland
A photo of Judy Garland
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Judy Garland
A photo of Judy Garland
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Judy Garland
A photo of Judy Garland
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Judy Garland
A photo of Judy Garland
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Gene Kelly and Judy Garland
A photo of Gene Kelly and Judy Garland
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Charles Walters, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly
A photo of Charles Walters, Judy Garland & Gene Kelly
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Mickey Rooney, Entertainer
Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in 1938 - great friends, together again.

Mickey Rooney, Jr (birth name Joe Yule, Jr) was born September 23, 1920 to Joe Yule (Ninnian Joseph Ewell) and Nellie W. (Carter) Yule in Brooklyn New York. His father was from Scotland and his mother was from Missouri.

His parents were in vaudeville and that's where he got his start - as a toddler!

Vaudeville led to films and he began as a child actor, transitioning to the teenage Andy Hardy, starring in many films with good friend Judy Garland as well as in the film National Velvet with Elizabeth Taylor.

One of his great performances during this time was in Boy's Town, with Spencer Tracy. He won a special Juvenile Academy Award following this film. During his long career, he also won an Emmy, two Golden Globes, and an Honorary Academy Award. He starred in films, radio, and television.

Only 5 feet two inches, he was a big presence on stage and screen - as well as life. Married 8 times and with 9 children, he died as a single man at the age of 93. He brought laughter to many generations and was loved by his audience.

Some of his films: The Andy Hardy series, Boy's Town, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Captains Courageous, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Babes in Arms, National Velvet, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Pete's Dragon, and Night at the Museum.
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Judy Garland, Actress
The lovely and talented Judy Garland, who was an actress for the vast majority of her life which lasted from June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969
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I hadn't seen this photo of Judy Garland before. I'm glad I ran across it!
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Judy Garland was a stage name, she was Judy Gumm. She was one of the "Gumm Sisters" from Lancaster California.
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Munchkin City - Wizard of Oz
Promotion photo of Munchkin City with all of the munchkins and Dorothey from MGM's 1939 Wizard of Oz classic film.

Interesting fact, Leopold von Singer (born May 3rd, 1877 and died on March 5th, 1951) was the manager of the Singer Midgets; the group that comprised the majority of the Munchkins on the Wizard of Oz.
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Judy Garland 1939
Judy Garland in a "Beyond the Rainbow" musical shot.
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Billie Burke & Judy Garland 1939
Good witch of the West (Billie Burke) with Dorothy (Judy Garland) in the 1939 MGM film Wizard of Oz.
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Judy Garland - MGM
A promotional snapshot of Judy Garland taken by Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) studios. I believe this photo was taken right after Judy Garland's role in the Wizard of Oz.
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John Joseph Haley, 1939
MGM Studio's 1939 Wizard of Oz promotional still of the tin man John Joseph "Jack" Haley, along with Dorothy, Judy Garland, and the scare crow Ray Bolger.
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Judy Garland - Wizard of Oz
MGM Studio photo of Judy Garland, born Frances Ethel Gumm, acting as Dorothy on the Wizard of Oz - 1939.

Judy Garland was born on June 10th, 1922 and died on June 22nd, 1969.
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Family Tree & Friends

Judy's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the Garland family tree.
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Judy's Family Tree

Judy Garland Judy Garland
Partner
Child
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Child
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Sidney Luft

&

Judy Garland

Married: June 8, 1952 - May 19, 1965
Cause of Separation: Divorce
Judy Garland Judy Garland
Child
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mickey deans

&

Judy Garland

Together: March 15, 1969
Status: Together
Began: londen London, Greater London, England us
Judy Garland Judy Garland
Child
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Vincente Minnelli

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Judy Garland

Partners: Date unknown
Status: Together
Judy Garland Judy Garland
Child

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1922 - 1969 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Judy's lifetime.

In 1922, in the year that Judy Garland was born, on December 6th, the Irish Free State, a self-governing dominion of the British Empire, was officially proclaimed. While establishing some independence for the people of Ireland, it did not create a fully independent Ireland and the fighting continued.

In 1938, Judy was 16 years old when on October 30th, a Sunday, The Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast Orson Welles' special Halloween show The War of the World's. A clever take on H.G. Wells' novel, the show began with simulated "breaking news" of an invasion by Martians. Because of the realistic nature of the "news," there was a public outcry the next day, calling for regulation by the FCC. Although the current story is that many were fooled and panicked, in reality very few people were fooled. But the show made Orson Welles' career.

In 1943, when she was 21 years old, on March 31st, the Broadway musical Oklahoma! opened. Written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (the first of their string of successful collaborations), audiences loved it. The musical ran for 2,212 performances originally and was made into a movie in 1954.

In 1952, when she was 30 years old, on July 2, Dr. Jonas E. Salk tested the first dead-virus polio vaccine on 43 children. The worst epidemic of polio had broken out that year - in the U.S. there were 58,000 cases reported. Of these, 3,145 people had died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis.

In 1969, in the year of Judy Garland's passing, one hundred countries, along with the United States and the Soviet Union signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty (NPT). It called for stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and the goal of nuclear disarmament.

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