The tragic, real-life story of Judy Garland
Frances Ethel Gumm is not a widely recognized name, but under her stage name — Judy Garland — she became of the best-known film stars of all time. In addition to being a successful actress, Garland was an extraordinary singer and Grammy-award winner. Yet in spite of her phenomenal success, Garland's life was a tragic one, marked by drug abuse, suicidal tendencies, and failed marriages.
She began her career when she was just two and a half years old, performing with her older sisters, Susie and Jimmie. By the time she was 13, she had signed her first movie contract. By the time she was 20, she had several films to her credit and had won a special Academy Award for her role in The Wizard of Oz. By 47, she was dead.
How did one of Hollywood's brightest stars dim so soon? Garland's life was full of pain and tragedy, but the most heartbreaking part is that much of it could have been avoided.