During her long career, actress Judy Garland was in a lot of well-known movies. But The Wizard of Oz is by far the one she is best known for. Garland started out in Hollywood when she was young. How old was she when she played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz?
At What Age Judy Garland Starred In ‘The Wizard of Oz’
The Wizard of Oz came out in 1939. It was based on the fantasy book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Garland played Dorothy Gale, a young girl who lived in Kansas with her aunt and uncle. She is taken to the Land of Oz by a tornado, where she tries to figure out how to get back home (with the help of a few friends).
Adults often play teenagers in movies and TV shows today. But that wasn’t The Wizard of Oz’s cast. From late 1938 to early 1939, when the movie was being made, Garland was only 16 years old. She signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer when she was 13. Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor also went to school through the studio.
Is “The Wizard of Oz” Made Garland A Star?
MGM didn’t know at the time that The Wizard of Oz would become the big hit it is today. Garland wasn’t the first or even the second person the studio thought of to play Dorothy. But her version of “Over the Rainbow” and the timeless nature of the story made the actor a permanent star in Hollywood.
Garland won the Academy Juvenile Award, which is an honorary award, at age 17 for her work in The Wizard of Oz and other movies she was in that year, like Babes in Arms. At the time, she was still making movies for MGM and getting the word out about them. She did drugs to keep up with the rest of the stars of the time.