Pushed by an ambitious stage mother, singer-actress Judy Garland reached the pinnacle of Hollywood stardom in her late teens with her portrayal of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. An instinctive performer, she brought a vitality to her performances that gave her a large and dedicated following. Also fueling her celebrity was the chronic unhappiness of her personal life which, in juxtaposition with her enormous talent, ultimately turned her into a tragic legend.
Taken on the set of A Star Is Born-which one critic proclaimed "just about the greatest one-woman show in modern movie history"-this photograph records Garland at both her best and her worst. On the one hand, she was in the midst of crafting one of the most memorable performances of her career. However, her tantrums and unreliability were rapidly escalating the film's costs to a near-record high in Hollywood.