In the spirit of the Oscars, I am counting down the next seven days by honoring some of the strongest women in Classic Film. On and off the screen they all showed beauty, grace, talent and undying resolve.

My inspiration comes from – oddly – Nancy Meyer’s movie “The Holiday”. Iris-a journalist, played by Kate Winslet, switches homes with an L.A. movie trailer producer, Amanda, played by Cameron Diaz. Iris’ passion for the Greats – the women with gumption- is contagious. These women inspire Iris to find her own voice – her own gumption – to throw out a man who never really saw her greatness. I always yearn for Classic Hollywood when I watch this film.

*By the way, the Red Carpet was rolled out today and the statues are out for their annual shining. Love it!

Anyway, I digress. 🙂 Today, I honor Judy Garland.

Judy Garland

  • Offered the lead role in The Three Faces of Eve (1957), but turned down the role because the storyline bore too many resemblances to her own personal life. The role was then given to Joanne Woodward who went on to win the Best Actress Oscar for her performance.
  • Best known for Wizard of Oz (1939), Meet me in St. Louis (1944) and the Andy Hardy films with Mickey Rooney
  • Won a Juvenile Academy Award for Wizard of Oz, Golden Globe Award, and a Special Tony Award. At 39 Judy 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.
  • Was considered for the role of Careen O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939), but the role was eventually given to Ann Rutherford, so Judy immediately began working on The Wizard of Oz (1939), a film which she was considered for as early as 1937.

Did you know? Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe were good friends. They bonded over the fact that neither of them wanted to be alone.

Why I like her: Her talent. All the women I feature on the Countdown to the Oscars were talented, but she really had something. And she wasn’t all glam either. I wish the people managing her had been a bit more kind.

Favorite Quote

Well, we have a whole new year ahead of us. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be a little gentler with each other, and a little more loving, have a little more empathy, and maybe – next year at this time – we’d like each other a little more.

Want to read about the other women I feature in my countdown to the Oscars? Find them here:

Marilyn Monroe: 

Joan Crawford:

Olivia De Havilland: