She had one of the shortest yet memorable Hollywood film careers. And she didn’t live all that long, either — succumbing in 1965 to breast cancer three weeks before her 44th birthday.
She embraced the extremes of her brief career (just 16 movie and tv credits) with grace — she found herself blacklisted at one point, and the winner of a best actress Oscar (beating out Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson) at another. Truth is that Holliday was as much a stage star as movie personality.
Born Judith Tuvim in New York City, she was an artistically indulged only child who found herself in ballet classes at age four, and got the acting bug in high school. Her talents were not always appreciated; she tried to get in Yale Drama School but failed to do so. As a teenager she went to work, as a telephone switchboard operator, for the theatrical troupe run by a man who much later would be considered a directoral genius (see Question 2 below).
Ok, let see how much you know about this memorably beguiling actress, As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow.
1) Question: A prominent studio mogul once referred to a young Holliday as “that fat Jewish broad.” Who was he? a) Darryl Zanuck; b) Louis B. Mayer; c) Herbert Yates; or d) Harry Cohn.
2) Question: Holliday made her movie debut in 1938 by appearing as a teenaged extra in a short film made by perhaps Hollywood’s most illustrious director. Who was he? a) Cecil B. DeMille; b) William Wyler; c) Orson Welles; or d) D.W. Griffith.
3) Question: Holliday was renowned for playing dumb blonds on the screen. Offscreen, however, she was highly intelligent, and sharp as a tack. a) True; or b) False?
4) Question: Which of the following Holliday movies won for her a best actress Oscar? a) 1960’s Bells Are Ringing; b) 1949’s Adam’s Rib; c) 1952’s The Marrying Kind; or d) 1950’s Born Yesterday.
5) Question: In the final analysis, Holliday playing nothing but dumb blonds in all her movies. A) True; b) False?