Judy Garland

Judy Garland

Born Frances Gumm in 1922, Judy Garland was only two and a half when she began performing on stage with her family. At six, she was outshining her two older sisters who, with her, made up The Gumm Sisters. Her voice was huge for her size and filled with a maturity and melancholy far beyond her years. She was quickly snapped up by MGM and became one of the biggest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era. Both in films and in her later cabaret career, Garland sang the Gershwins' songs with impeccable style. She is inextricably associated with some of their biggest hits including, I got Rhythm and Embraceable You.

The stresses of Hollywood stardom eventually overcame Garland and after a series of breakdowns (partly fuelled by the drug addiction dating from her childhood, when the studio pumped her with pills to keep her to its grinding work schedules,) the studio cancelled her contract. She then set out to rebuild her career on television and on stage. This photograph by Harry Hammond shows her in the 1950s, when she was wowing audiences worldwide in cabaret and with her stage show.