: How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child.
Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm) was an actress, singer, and dancer. During a career that spanned 45 years, she attained international stardom as an actress in both musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist, and on the concert stage.
Garland began performing in vaudeville as a child with her two older sisters and was later signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a teenager. She appeared in more than two dozen films for MGM and is best remembered for her portrayal of Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz.
Garland was a frequent on-screen partner of both Mickey Rooney and Gene Kelly and regularly collaborated with director and second husband Vincente Minnelli. Other notable film appearances during this period include roles in Meet Me in St. Louis, The Harvey Girls, and Summer Stock.
Garland was released from MGM in 1950, after 15 years with the studio, amid a series of personal struggles that prevented her from fulfilling the terms of her contract.
Garland struggled in her personal life from an early age. The pressures of early stardom affected her physical and mental health from the time she was a teenager; her self-image was influenced and constantly criticized by film executives who believed that she was physically unattractive and who manipulated her onscreen physical appearance.
Throughout her adulthood she was plagued by alcohol and substance use disorder as well as financial instability, often owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes.
Her lifelong struggle with substance use disorder ultimately led to her death in London from an accidental barbiturate overdose at age 47.