Hollywood icon Judy Garland, star of "The Wizard of Oz" and "A Star is Born," would have been 90 today. The former child star, who died in 1969 of a drug overdose at the age of 47, was one of the most beloved stars of Hollywood's golden era.
One of cinema's original "triple threats," the talented star sang, danced and acted in a number of musicals that are still celebrated today. If you only know her from "The Wizard of Oz" or "Meet Me in St. Louis," here are a number of films I recommend to get to know her better.
Happy Birthday, Judy.
1. "A Star is Born" (1954) The second re-telling of the classic Hollywood tale of ambition and downfall, Judy stars as a rising star whose marriage to a fading actor (James Mason) ends in tragedy. Standout scenes: Judy's heartbreaking rendition of "The Man That Got Away," and the scene where she receives an Oscar, only for her speech to be crashed by her drunken husband who inadvertently backhands her as he begs Hollywood for a job.
2. "The Pirate" (1948) A completely joyous film in which a young girl who's about to be married to the town's mayor daydreams of Macoco, a legendary pirate instead. Enter a dashing young actor (Gene Wilder) who plays into her fantasies by pretending to be Macoco.
3. "The Harvey Girls" (1946) This classic MGM musical was one of Garland's first lead roles without co-star Mickey Rooney. In it, she travels to the wild west, serves up coffee and pie, sings "On the Atchinson Topeka and the Santa Fe," and faces off against the villainous Angela Lansbury.
4. "The Clock" (1945) An incredibly sweet romance in which Garland impulsively marries soldier Robert Walker. This charming (if bittersweet) tale of whirlwind courtship was directed, like "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "The Pirate," by Garland's then-husband Vincente Minnelli.
5. "Summer Stock" (1950) Judy as a reluctant performer who must be coached onto the stage is a bit of a stretch, but seeing her reunited with Gene Kelly is a delight, especially when she sings "Get Happy."