Celebrate what would have been Judy Garland's 100th birthday with a look at the most stunning images from the iconic star's youth

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That gingham dress, those auburn ringlets, that satin hair bow: Judy Garland will forever be Dorothy Gale, the velvet-voiced Kansas girl who discovers there’s no place like home, from the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz.” But her life story — from child performer to global superstar to tragic figure — became a cautionary tale about the perks and perils of young stardom. The supremely talented singer, actress and dancer never found her happy ending; she married five times, struggled with substance abuse and died of an accidental overdose on June 22, 1969, at just 47. But as we celebrate what would have been Judy’s 100th birthday on June 10, 2022, join Wonderwall.com in looking back at the most stunning, iconic and delightful photos from the actress’s younger days.

Keep reading to see the most incredible photos of a young Judy Garland…

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Oh, baby! Cute-as-a-button Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. She was the youngest child of Ethel and Frank Gumm, vaudevillian performers who ran a movie theater that featured vaudeville acts.

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Young Frances Ethel Gumm, aka Judy Garland (seen here in a 1926 portrait), was nicknamed “Baby” by her parents and big sisters Mary Jane and Dorothy Gumm. They all shared a flair for singing and dancing, and from the age of 2, Judy performed with her siblings in their native Minnesota as The Gumm Sisters before the family moved to California.

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Frances Ethel Gumm — who would become known to the world as Judy Garland — had toured the vaudeville circuit with older sisters Dorothy Gumm and Mary Jane Gumm for years by the time they made their silver screen debut in the 1929 short film “Big Review.” Keep reading for another amazing portrait of the trio…

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Judy Garland (center) was still Frances Ethel Gumm when she posed with sisters Dorothy Gumm and Mary Jane Gumm, aka The Gumm Sisters, for this 1926 portrait.

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Frances Ethel Gumm, pictured here on the far right with sisters Mary Jane Gumm and Dorothy Gumm around 1930, often stole the show while performing as The Gumm Sisters. The group transformed into the Garland Sisters at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1934, and Frances took on a new name: Judy Garland.

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Judy Garland was a singing and acting powerhouse. But her appearance was a dilemma for MGM, the studio that signed her in 1935 when she was 13. At 4 feet, 11 inches tall, Judy’s girl-next-door looks set her apart from her screen siren contemporaries including Ava Gardner, Lana Turner and Elizabeth Taylor. The young actress (seen here in a portrait taken circa 1936) was often photographed in plain garments or frilly girlish clothes to match her youthful image.

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Judy Garland (seen here with, from top, Lana Turner and Hedy Lamarr, her co-stars in 1941’s “Ziegfeld Girl”) was talented and beautiful — but deeply insecure about her looks. Her insecurities were exacerbated by the attitude of MGM chief Louis B. Mayer, who cruelly referred to her as his “little hunchback.”

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Judy Garland often was made to wear removable caps on her teeth and rubberized discs to reshape her nose when she was photographed publicly. “Judy was the big moneymaker at the time, a big success, but she was the ugly duckling,” Charles Walters, who directed her in a number of films, later revealed. “I think it had a very damaging effect on her emotionally for a long time. I think it lasted forever, really.”

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Fresh-faced teenager Judy Garland posed with a gaggle of canines in this 1937 promotional photo one of multitudes she would take at the request of the film studio that signed her, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

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Judy Garland looked radiant playing baseball with fellow child stars Freddie Bartholomew and Cora Sue Collins in this 1935 photo.

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This undated portrait of young Judy Garland from early in her career shows a serious side of the star that didn’t always come through in the set-up studio shots of her playing with dogs, horsing around with fellow child stars and engaging in traditional youthful activities like baseball and jumping rope.

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A radiant, more confident Judy Garland posed for a studio portrait around 1945.

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Howdy, partner! Judy Garland wore a girlish smile — and a cowgirl costume — in this undated portrait from around 1937.

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Two years after “The Wizard of Oz” brought her international acclaim, Judy Garland experimented with a glam look in a curly updo and black evening dress in this portrait from 1941.

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Judy Garland wore a pretty dress to pose for a portrait around 1935, the year she was signed by MGM.

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Adolescent Judy Garland, in a romper and headscarf, showed off her handstand skills in this photo taken in August 1936. During the ’30s, Judy’s carefully cultivated public image earned her the nickname “America’s favorite kid sister.”

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Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin, her friend and co-star in the 1936 MGM musical short “Every Sunday,” jumped rope like typical American teens in this undated promotional photo.

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Natural beauty Judy Garland looked confident and content in this undated portrait.

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Judy Garland had no formal vocal training when she became a star, but she was a natural talent who lit up in front of an audience (as she did here, performing in the 1936 film “Pigskin Parade”). “A really great reception makes me feel like I have a great big warm heating pad all over me,” she explained in 1961. “I truly have a great love for an audience, and I used to want to prove it to them by giving them blood. But I have a funny new thing now, a real determination to make people enjoy the show.”

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Judy Garland was picture-perfect as she struck a casual pose on the tennis court for a promotional photo when she was 17.

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Judy Garland gained new confidence in her 20s thanks in large part to MGM makeup artist Dorothy “Dottie” Ponedel. Judy was 21 when she met Dottie while starring in “Meet Me in St. Louis.” After reviewing the tooth caps and rubber discs the star was made to use to change the look of her nose, the makeup artist told Judy — seen here getting a wardrobe and makeup touch-up on the set of the 1944 film — that the devices weren’t needed, as she was “a pretty girl.” Dottie became Judy’s longtime makeup artist. Keep reading to see Judy’s final look in the film…

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Judy Garland, seen here with young Margaret O’Brien in 1944’s “Meet Me in St. Louis,” would go on to marry the film’s director, Vincente Minnelli.

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Judy Garland did her best to look candid as she perused the lunch menu at famed Hollywood eatery the Brown Derby in 1937 with fellow child star Jackie Cooper, with whom she would star in 1941’s “Ziegfeld Girl.”

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A radiant Judy Garland skimmed the surface of a pool in this undated portrait from her youth.

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Judy Garland was signed by MGM in 1935 but she grabbed the attention of studio executives when she sang a special arrangement of “You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want to Do It)” to Hollywood heartthrob Clark Gable at a birthday party the studio had arranged for the actor. Her version was so incredible that she was asked to perform the song in the film “Broadway Melody of 1938.”

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Judy Garland’s star was rising quickly when she appeared in the all-star extravaganza “Broadway Melody of 1938.”

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Judy Garland was friends with fellow child star Mickey Rooney for years before they were cast together as supporting characters in 1937’s “Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry.” They would go on to appear in nine more films together — including 1940’s “Strike Up the Band,” which they were promoting in this undated photo.

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Judy Garland looked stunning in a scene from the 1942 musical “For Me and My Gal.” The actress battled with her weight for most of her life after MGM demanded that she constantly diet and reportedly would serve her only a bowl of soup and a plate of lettuce when she ordered a regular meal.

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In 1938 at 16, Judy Garland was cast as Dorothy Gale in “The Wizard of Oz,” the film based on the 1900 children’s book by L. Frank Baum. MGM initially wanted to cast Shirley Temple, but she was working for 20th Century Fox and wasn’t available — allowing Judy, and her timeless rendition of “Over the Rainbow,” to become instant classics. Here the young actress is seen in a costume test photo for the movie.

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Canine icon! A smiling Judy Garland cuddled Terry, the 6-year-old cairn terrier who played Toto in “The Wizard of Oz,” on the 1939 film’s set. After the movie, Terry’s owner formally changed the pooch’s name to Toto.

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Judy Garland had fans seeing double in this pretty 1942 portrait.

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Judy Garland shared a special bond — but never a romantic relationship — with her pal and frequent co-star Mickey Rooney. “There was more than a love affair,” Mickey once explained. “It was so special. It was a forever love.” Judy credited Mickey, who was more established professionally when they met in 1935, with giving her some of the best acting advice of her career: He told Judy to perform her lines “like you’re singing it.”

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Judy Garland — and her shadow — struck a serious pose in this portrait from February 1939.

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Judy Garland starred with Gene Kelly in his screen debut, the 1942 film “For Me And My Gal.”

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Judy Garland became a mom for the first time on March 12, 1946, when she welcomed daughter Liza Minnelli with her second husband, director Vincent Minnelli. “One of the biggest misconceptions about my mama is that she didn’t provide me with a happy childhood,” Liza once said. “There were highs and lows, for sure, but I can say I was very happy.”

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Judy Garland was glammed up by MGM for 1943’s “Presenting Lily Mars.” Instead of childish dresses, the actress — seen here in a publicity portrait for the film — was costumed in grown-up gowns and her hair was lightened and styled to look more like a classic Hollywood bombshell. Keep reading to see her look in the movie…

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Ditching the girl-next-door image the studio had cultivated for years, Judy Garland cut a glamorous figure in the 1943 film “Presenting Lily Mars.”

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The adoration of fans meant everything to Judy Garland, pictured here entertaining civilian employees at the Philadelphia Navy Yard during a war bond drive in Philadelphia in 1944. But she found happiness elusive and once asked, “If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?”

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Judy Garland was in full siren mode in this gorgeous undated portrait taken circa 1943.

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“My fondest memory of my mama was the conversations we had,” two-time Oscar winner Liza Minnelli, seen here with mom Judy Garland in 1948, told Closer magazine in 2021. “As a teenager, I became her best friend and confidante. We would laugh and talk for hours.”

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Judy Garland got decked out in a voluminous black gown for a 1943 portrait.

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“What I have sought is what the little girl I portrayed in the film was searching for in that land over the rainbow,” Judy Garland (pictured with, from left, Ray Bolger as Scarecrow, Jack Haley as Tin Man and Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion) once said. “Happiness, contentment and peace of mind.”












































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