Judy Garland - The Third Choice.
When casting the main role of Dorothy Gale in the Wizard of Oz in 1938, MGM chief Louis B. Mayer tried first to borrow Shirley Temple from 20th Century Fox, but they declined. He then asked Deanna Durbin, but found she was unavailable. So, he reluctantly went with his third choice, Judy Garland, born Frances Ethel Gumm, June 10, 1922. When shooting began in October of 1938, Judy initially was outfitted in a blond wig, but it was disgarded shortly into filming. Her blue gingham dress was chosen for its blurring effect on her figure, which made her look younger. Shooting was completed on March 16, 1939 - the final cost was more than $2 million. Though The Wizard of Oz was a tremendous critical success, its high budget with promotions cost of an estimated $4 million (equivalent to $67.8 million in 2015), coupled with the lower revenue generated by children's tickets, meant that the film did not make a profit until it was rereleased in the 1940s. At the 1940 Academy Awards ceremony, Judy Garland received an Academy Juvenile Award for her performances in 1939, including The Wizard of Oz and Babes in Arms. Following this recognition, she became one of MGM's most bankable stars. Not bad for a third choice.
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