‘The Wizard of Oz’: How Old Was Judy Garland When She Played Dorothy?

Actress Judy Garland starred many famous films all her life decades. However, by far the most famous is her The Wizard of Oz. Garland started in Hollywood at a young age. How old was she The Wizard of Oz, and how long did her career last?

Judy Garland was in ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939.
Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, 1939. | Silver Screen Collection / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Based on the fantasy novel The Amazing Wizard of Oz, The Wizard of Oz The film was first shown in 1939. The film featured Garland as Dorothy Gale, a young girl who lived with a sister and uncle in Kansas. A tornado takes her to the Land of Oz, where she tries to figure out how to get home (with the help of a few friends).

Today, it is common for teenage characters to be played by adults. But that wasn’t the team The Wizard of Oz. Throughout the filming, from late 1938-early 1939, Garland was only 16 years old. She had signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer at 13 and went to school through the studio with Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor.

Did she have problems as a child on a set?

'The Wizard of Oz'
The Wizard of Oz Silver Screen / Getty Images Collection

The Wizard of Oz he is almost as famous for the content of the film as he is (reportedly) behind the scenes. There are rumors now about a munchkin actor hanging themselves, as well as the constant changes of the cast and the director, which led to a long result. But what about Garland’s own experience?

Again, there are controversial reports. In Making an Oz Wizard, Garland’s constellations remember her as “light,” “totally interesting,” and “one of the happiest people I’ve ever seen.” But years later, Garland herself spoke “bitterly” about the experience, bringing in her closest companions on set.

‘The Wizard of Oz’ starred Garland

Judy Garland will host civilian personnel at the Philadelphia Naval Yard during the 1944 Bond War Drive.
Judy Garland will host civilian personnel at the Philadelphia Naval Yard during the Bond War Drive in 1944. | Bettmann / Fios

At the time, MGM had no idea about that The Wizard of Oz the film would be as successful as it is today. Garland wasn’t the studio’s first choice – or even second choice – for Dorothy’s role. But her retelling of “Over the Rainbow” and the unusual nature of the whimsical story took the actor’s status in Hollywood forever.

Garland won an honorary Academy Award, Academy Youth Award, at 17, for her work there The Wizard of Oz and other films she starred in that year, including Babes in arms. At the time, she continued to film and advertise for MGM films thereafter. And like other stars of that era, she made drugs to keep up with the pace.

How old was Garland when she died?

Judy Garland on 31 December 1968.
Judy Garland on 31 December 1968. | Images C. Maher / Daily Express / Getty

A little over 10 years later The Wizard of Oz first, Garland and MGM separated methods. She revived her career on stage. She later returned to Hollywood, taking part in the 1954 remake of A star is born, winning her an Oscar. Subsequent projects include the Emmy nominated series Judy Garland exhibition.

In 1969, 30 years after his bankruptcy, Garland died at the age of 47. The cause of death was too much. “If she was a normal child, she let go of a normal school and not get into the business until she was an adult,” she said. Making an Oz Wizard author Aljean Harmetz (via Time), “I doubt the tragedy that befell her in her last years would have happened.”

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