Garland, Judy [Gumm, Frances Ethel]
- Patrick O’Connor
[Gumm, Frances Ethel]
(b Grand Rapids, MN, June 10, 1922; d London, June 22, 1969). American popular singer and actress. With her elder sisters, Virginia and Suzy, she became one of the Gumm sisters, making her vaudeville début at the age of three. Her father was a cinema and theatre owner-manager who eventually settled in California. At first she took the stage name Frances Garland, but after a period studying at a theatre school in Los Angeles, she became Judy Garland, billed as ‘the little girl with the great big voice’. She appeared in her first film in 1929 (The Meglin Kiddlie Revue), and in 1934 after a meeting with the composer Harry Akst she auditioned for Louis B. Mayer at MGM and was put under contract. She made several successful films including Broadway Melody of 1938, in which she sang ‘You made me love you’, before gaining stardom in ...