Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was an American singer, actress, and vaudevillian. She began performing as a child and her singing and acting abilities gained her international stardom, spanning the rest of her life as a performer in both musical and dramatic roles, and through many live concerts and acclaimed albums.
Garland began performing in vaudeville with her two older sisters and was signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a teenager. She made more than two dozen films with MGM, including nine with Mickey Rooney. Garland had several well-remembered film appearances. At age seventeen, she played her most famous role, that of Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939). In the height of her film career, Garland was starring in three to four pictures every year for MGM, with roles in film classics including Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), The Harvey Girls (1946), Easter Parade (1948) and Summer Stock (1950). After 15 years, she was released from her contract with the studio and made record-breaking concert appearances, had a successful recording career and her own Emmy-nominated television series. Garland had fewer film appearances in the later years of her career, but she did appear in two Academy Award-nominated performances in A Star Is Born (1954) and Judgment at Nuremberg (1961).
Garland received a Golden Globe Award, a Juvenile Academy Award, and a Special Tony Award. At age 39, she became the youngest and first female recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in the film industry. She was the first woman to win a Grammy for Album of the Year for her live recording of Judy at Carnegie Hall. In 1997, Garland was posthumously awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Several of her recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 1999, the American Film Institute placed her among the 10 greatest female stars of classic American cinema.
Despite profound professional success, Garland struggled largely in her personal life from an early age. The pressures of adolescent stardom affected her physical and mental health from the time she was a teenager; her self-image was influenced and constantly criticized by film executives who believed that she was physically unattractive. Those same executives manipulated her onscreen physical appearance. Additionally, she was a victim of Hollywood's sexual predators. She was raped by Spencer Tracy at the age of fourteen, when she was unable to legally consent to the affair.  She was plagued into her adulthood by alcohol and substance abuse as well as financial instability; she often owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. Her lifelong addiction to drugs and alcohol ultimately led to her death in England from a barbiturate overdose at age 47.