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" Final Resting Place of Judy Holliday"
21st June 1921 - 7th June 1965
Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings, New York
Judy Holliday was an Academy Award-winning American actress.
Born Judith Tuvim ("Tuvim" is Yiddish for "Holiday") in New York City, she was the only child of Abe and Helen Tuvim, who were Jewish immigrants from Russia. Her first job was as an assistant switchboard operator at the Mercury Theatre run by Orson Welles and John Houseman. She began her show business career in December, 1938, as part of a nightclub act called "The Revuers". The other four members of the group were Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Alvin Hammer and John Frank. The Revuers were a staple of the New York nightlife scene until they disbanded in early 1944.
Holliday made her Broadway debut on March 20, 1945, at the Belasco Theatre in Kiss Them for Me and was one of the recipients that year of the Clarence Derwent Award. In 1946 she was back on Broadway as the scatterbrained "Billie Dawn" in Born Yesterday.
Author Garson Kanin wrote the play specifically for his friend, the brilliant but difficult Jean Arthur. Arthur played the role of "Billie" out-of-town, but after many complaints and illnesses, resigned. Kanin chose Holliday as her replacement. In 1949, she was cast in a supporting role opposite Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy on film in one of the year's biggest comedies, Adam's Rib.
The part gave her the chance to star in the film version of Born Yesterday the following year for which she won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Actress, beating out such formidable competitors as Gloria Swanson, who was nominated for Sunset Boulevard and Bette Davis, who was nominated for All About Eve.
Investigated for Communism
In 1950, Holliday was the subject of an FBI investigaton looking into allegations that she was a Communist. The investigation "did not reveal positive evidence of membership in the Communist Party" and was concluded after 3 months. Unlike many others that were tainted by the Communist scandal, she was not blacklisted from the movie business, but she was blacklisted from performing on radio and television for almost 3 years.
In 1952, she was called to testify before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee to "explain" why her name had been linked to Communist front organizations. She was advised to play dumb, like one of her film characters and did so excellently. She used this technique to avoid giving up names of people that she knew to be Communists.
Later Life and Career
In 1956 she starred in The Solid Gold Cadillac, and, in 1960 in Bells Are Ringing, in the role she had originated on Broadway in 1956, and for which she had won the 1957 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.
The biography of Katharine Hepburn by Darwin Porter claims that she had an affair with Judy Holliday.
In 1965 she died from breast cancer at the age of 43, survived by her young son. She was interred in the Westchester Hills Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.