Born Frances Ethel Gumm, it is under the name of Judy Garland
that we best know this American actress, singer and dancer. Born in 1922 and died in 1969, in only 47 years, Judy Garland had a very rich career. Having grown up in an artistic family (her parents were variety actors, her mother played the piano and her father managed the only cinema in Grand Rapids, the city where she spent her very first years), Judy Garland was naturally immersed in this universe and, as young as 3, went on stage to play Jingle Bells. Judy and her sisters formed the Gumm Sisters
, a group that performed at the 1934 Chicago World's Fair when she was only 12 years old. She was spotted by Georges Jessel who suggested that she name herself Garland, while the young artist herself chose her first name a year later. At the age of 13, she joined the child stars of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
, such as Lana Turner and Mickey Rooney. She gradually made her mark in films, but it was at 17 that her career exploded when she played the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz
and sang the famous song Over the Rainbow
(see our piano sheet music). Judy Garland then went on to make some successful films, but her fragile health, drug use and depression too often kept her away from the studios. After a suicide attempt in 1950, she returned to the stage and played in A Star is Born
, which earned her an Oscar nomination. Her career ended in television shows.