Judy Garland: a Biography

Topics: Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Deanna Durbin Pages: 4 (1171 words) Published: February 9, 2008
"I love to work, I love to sing, I love to act—I get restless when I don't….If I had to do it all over again, I would probably make the same choices and the same errors. These are a part of living." These words were once spoken by the timeless vocalist, Judy Garland.

On June 10, 1922, Frances Ethel Gumm was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota to Frank Gumm and Ethel Meglin. Frank and Ethel were hoping Frances would be a boy, but this wasn't the case. In fact, on the original birth announcement, her name is spelled Francis with an ‘I', the male version, rather than Frances with an ‘e'. She was the youngest of her siblings, Mary-Jane, 7 years her major, and Virginia, 2 years her major. Frances was born into a show-business family. Frank was the manager of the local theater. He and Ethel started off as a vaudeville team & both of Frances' older sisters were in preparation to sing duets on stage with Ethel on piano.

On Christmas Eve of 1924, when Frances was only two-and-a-half, it was amateur night at her father's theatre. She went on stage & sang jingle bells until her father was forced to go up and carry her off stage.

By 1927, the Gumm family moved to Lancaster, California. There, they started The Gumm Sisters vaudeville circuit. This new act performed before George Jessel, who was at the top of the bill, at the Oriental Theater in Chicago. On the program, though, it was written as ‘The Glumm Sisters.' Jessel noticed this and takes credit for creating Frances' stage name ‘Judy Garland,' as we all know her today. The Gumm Sisters proceeded to change their name to The Garland Sisters.

In 1931, the vaudeville circuit began to collapse and so did Frank's health. Frank and Ethel's relationship was a rocky one. Frank and Ethel were separating & getting back together all the time. Frank had been gay when they married, and turned bisexual once they moved to California. Frank moved out and began using the money earned by his daughters to pay his rent....
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