Judy Holliday's film career began as badly and inauspiciously as one can possibly imagine. Through the magic of editing, she was reduced from supporting performer to background extra in her debut film Greenwich Village. Her second film, called Something For The Boys, netted her just one line of dialogue: "I knew a girl once who had carborundum in her teeth, and she turned into a radio receiving set." For a rising starlet who was heavily courted by several major film studios, this hardly seemed like the path to movie stardom. Eventually, she would be dropped from the studio's roster. Chewed up and spit out by Hollywood's star-making machine, it looked as though celluloid success was an unlikely, if not unattainable, goal.
It would take another 6 years, but she would return to Hollywood, this time though she was a Broadway star. She wasted little time showing the town exactly what they had been missing out on. A scene-stealing supporting turn in Adam's Rib and her breakthrough performance in Born Yesterday were validated with a Golden Globe and a Best Actress Oscar. In the process, she managed to beat out established Hollywood heavyweights, Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson, in two of the biggest films of their storied careers.
What should have been starting point of a tremendous career in films wound up being the high point. After having her name and reputation smeared in the Communist witch hunts, she felt a need to be loyal to the movie studio who stuck by her during the trying times. As a result of her loyalty, she accepted the scripts they offered her with little to no resistance. These were invariably light comedies with very similar lead characters. While the films were respectable, enjoyable and modestly successful, Judy longed to break out of the stereotypical innocent, "dumb" blonde roles and attempt more challenging parts. She thought there would be plenty of time to do those kinds of roles once her contract with Columbia Pictures ran out. Sadly, due to her illness, there wasn't.
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