The Wizard of Oz (1939) made Garland a star at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer where she reigned as the studio’s top musical star. At her home studio she starred in For Me and My Gal (1942), Presenting Lily Mars (1943), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), The Harvey Girls (1946), Till The Clouds Roll By (1946), Easter Parade (1948), In the Good Old Summertime (1949), and Summer Stock (1950).
|Margaret O'Brien and Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis|
Garland also excelled in dramatic roles like The Clock (1945), but the studio loved Garland and musicals because they were big business. Meet Me in St. Louis was M-G-M’s biggest hit since Gone With the Wind* (1939). In 1950 Garland and M-G-M parted ways. She appeared on television in the 1950s and started performing in live concerts that were very popular. In 1954 Garland starred in a musical remake of A Star is Born (1954). The film was a hit with the public and critics, but it lost money due to its huge budget. In spite of this Garland was nominated for Best Actress. Many thought Garland was the favorite to win, but Grace Kelly bested her for her performance in The Country Girl.
|Garland in The Harvey Girls|
Garland had a dramatic success in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg for which she was Golden Globe and Oscar- nominated for Best Supporting Actress. She starred alongside Burt Lancaster in A Child is Waiting (1963), and with Dirk Bogarde in I Could Go On Singing (1963), which was her last film. In 1967, Garland was cast as Helen Lawson in the movie version of Valley of the Dolls. Garland was fired for missing rehearsals and was replaced by Susan Hayward.
Garland died on June 22, 1969 of an overdose of barbiturates.
*GWTW was co-produced with Selznick International Studios