Judy Garland Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

Have you ever watched the movie 'The Wizard of Oz'? If so, you know who Judy Garland is - she played the part of Dorothy! This lesson will teach you all about the life of Judy Garland, from her acting to her singing to her hectic personal life.

Birth and Childhood

Judy Garland was born on June 10, 1922 in the town of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. But did you know that Judy Garland was just her stage name, the name that she used publicly? Her birth name was actually Frances Gumm! Her parents were both performers and owned their own theater in Grand Rapids, called The New Grand Theater. Judy had her first performance on that stage when she was just two and a half years old.

Judy did not have a happy childhood because her mother forced her to be on stage from such an early age. Her father was also gay in a time when it was very difficult to be honest about your sexuality and so had affairs with many men, which forced their family to move often and sometimes live out of their car.

She continued to perform as a child, and in 1935, when she was just 13 years old, Judy was signed to be an actress with MGM studios, which is still a popular studio today.

Adult Acting Career

Judy Garland in Meet me in St. Louis. Judy is on the right.
judy garland

Something that was special about Judy Garland was that she was both a singer and an actress. This made her very popular and got her lots of roles - she was in 23 movies in just the 1940s alone! Two of her most famous movie roles were her parts in The Wizard of Oz and Meet Me in St. Louis.

In The Wizard of Oz, she sang the song 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow,' which is one of the most famous movie songs of all time. She even won an Academy Award for her role in The Wizard of Oz.

Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz
judy garland

She continued to act in movies throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, and one of her most famous moments was when she starred in the musical A Star is Born in 1954. This was a three hour musical that showcased her talents in acting, singing, and dancing. She also had a TV show called The Judy Garland Show that aired in 1963 and 1964.

Personal Issues and Death

Judy Garland lived a very busy, hectic life from a very young age since she did so many performances and had so many acting roles. This caused her to have chronic, or ongoing, stress and health issues throughout her life. She also was given pills to keep her weight steady as a teenager, and this began her issues with drug and alcohol dependence.

Judy Garland
judy garland

She was married five times and had three children. She had many affairs while she was married and these contributed to her many divorces.

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