"I was born at the age of 12 on a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot." - Judy Garland
A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' American Legends series, listeners can get caught up to speed on the lives of America's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
In many ways, Judy Garland's rise to fame seems almost predestined. Not only was she a national sensation at a young age, but her parents and sisters were all vaudeville entertainers. On top of that, Garland's parents owned and operated a movie theater, making it all the easier to draw the conclusion that singing and acting were simply professions which she was born into by virtue of her pedigree. Judy's early childhood quickly demonstrated that she had a gifted voice that developed well beyond its years and seemingly did not require any formal training in order to achieve success; her first performance before a public audience came when she was still a toddler, and she would continue to act up until her death, never pausing for more than a few months at a time.
That Garland was able to secure starring roles almost immediately after signing a contract with MGM in 1935 only corroborates the belief that Garland was practically born with the ability to succeed in show business and the motion picture industry.
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Not what you would expect.