Following the Yellow Brick Road: The Life of Judy Garland
#: CBEP    ID: 9154    Section: 053023C19
For Judy Garland, her life consisted of many steps. Just as her character Dorothy did, in real life Garland followed the ups and downs of the yellow brick road in her rise to fame. While Dorothy battled monkeys and a wicked witch to finally reach her heart’s desire of returning home, Garland would battle life struggles and stardom in her desire to balance the approval of Hollywood fame with her own everyday life, hopes and dreams.  Born on June 10, 1922 in Grand Rapids Minnesota, Frances Ethel Gumm (whose name was later changed to “Judy Garland”), was lovingly nicknamed “Baby” by her vaudevillian parents and siblings. She began performing at age 2 ½ singing “Jingle Bells” alongside her sisters. The three girls were known as the “Gumm Sisters” and later, the “Garland Sisters,” appearing in various movies, television and vaudeville shows. At age 13 in September 1935, Judy Garland signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) which began her rise to fame. However, it was not an easy road ahead of her as she was constantly criticized for her looks. Garland was told she needed to be more glamorous like the other famous female stars she went to school with such as Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor. Even in the peak of Garland’s stardom, the pressure from others to be more and do more was intense until the day she died.  

Historian Jim Gibbons will discuss the beautiful yet tragic life of Judy Garland. Gibbons will explain how Garland would receive worldwide fame for her role as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz. He will explain how she went on to star in other notable movies such as Meet Me in St. Louis; The Harvey Girls; Easter Parade; and Summer Stock. Gibbons will discuss how Garland was let go from MGM in 1950 for personal struggles, yet went on to star in the Emmy-nominated television show, The Judy Garland Show and was the first female to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. She was also awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award after her death, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and was placed on the Top 10 Greatest Female Stars of the American Cinemas list by the American Institute.
Bring to Class:
Online via Zoom, link will be sent via email prior to the class
10:00 AM
Registration Cutoff Date:
Dates & Times:
5/30/2023   10:00AM - 11:30AM