Judy Holliday was born Judith Tuvim in New York City on June 21, 1921. Her mother, a piano teacher, was attending a play when she went into labor and made it to the hospital just in time. Judy was an only child. By the age of four, her mother had her enrolled in ballet school which fostered a life-long interest in show business. Two years later her parents divorced. In high school, Judy began to develop an interest in theater. She appeared in several high school plays. After graduation, she got a job in the Orson Welles Mercury Theater as a switchboard operator. Judy worked her way on the stage with appearance in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and New York City. Judy toured on the nightclub circuit with a group called “The Revuers” founded by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. She went to Hollywood to make her first foray into the film world in Greenwich Village (1944). Most of her scenes ended up on the cutting room floor. Disappointed, but not discouraged, Judy earned two more roles that year in Something for the Boys (1944) and Winged Victory (1944). In the latter, Judy had a few lines of dialogue. Judy returned to New York to continue her stage career. She returned to Hollywood after five years to appear in Adam’s Rib (1949) as Doris Attinger opposite screen greats Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Tom Ewell. With her success in that role, Judy was signed to play Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday (1950), a role which she originated on Broadway. She was nominated for and won the best actress Oscar for her performance. After filming The Marrying Kind (1952), Judy was summoned before the Un-American Activities Committee to testify about her political affiliations. Fortunately for her, she was not blacklisted as were many of her counterparts, but damage was done. Her film career was curtailed somewhat, but rebounded. She continued with her stage and musical efforts, but with limited time on the screen. After filming The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956), she was off-screen for four years. Her last film was the MGM production of Bells Are Ringing (1960) with Dean Martin and it was one of her best. Judy died two weeks before her 44th birthday in New York City on June 7, 1965.
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