Judy Garland was an American Academy Award, Tony Award and Golden Globe-winning actress (film and stage) and singer. Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years, Garland attained international stardom as an actress in both musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage.
After appearing in vaudeville with her sisters, Garland was signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a teenager. There she made over two dozen films, including nine with Mickey Rooney, and the film with which she would be most identified, The Wizard of Oz (1939). After 15 years, Garland was released from the studio but gained renewed success through record-breaking concert appearances, including a critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall concert, a well-regarded but short-lived television series and a return to film acting beginning with A Star Is Born (1954).
Despite her professional triumphs, Garland battled personal problems throughout her life. Insecure about her appearance, her feelings were compounded by film executives who told her she was unattractive and overweight. Plied with drugs to control her weight and increase her productivity, Garland endured a decades-long struggle with addiction. Garland was plagued by financial instability, often owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. Married five times, four of her marriages ended in divorce. She attempted suicide on a number of occasions. Garland died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of forty-seven, leaving children Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joey Luft.