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Judy Holliday (Born Judith Tuvim, June 21, 1921 – June 7, 1965) was an American actress, comedian, and singer. She has been romantically linked to Katherine Hepburn.
She began her career as part of a nightclub act before working in Broadway plays and musicals. Her success in the 1946 stage production of Born Yesterday as Billie Dawn led to her being cast in the 1950 film version for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. She appeared in several films during the 1950s. She was noted for her performance on Broadway in the musical Bells Are Ringing, winning a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical and reprising her role in the 1960 film.
During the 1940s Holliday lived with a policewoman, and Darwin Porter's biography of Katherine Hepburn claims that Hepburn had an affair with Holliday.
In 1948 Holliday married clarinetist David Oppenheim, who was later a classical music and television producer and academic. The couple had one child, Jonathan, before they divorced in 1958. She then had a long-term relationship with jazz musician Gerry Mulligan, but she never married him. Musically talented herself, Holliday supplied lyrics to Mulligan for the theme song he composed for the 1965 film A Thousand Clowns.
In 1952, Holliday was called to testify before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee to answer claims she was associated with communism. Apparently she had a girlfriend named Yetta Cohn, a well-known Village person. She was Holliday’s girlfriend, for quite a while until Judy became better known. Cohn played the Village Vanguard with a group called the Revuers that was kinda leftie. The FBI may have been after Yetta previously but Angela Calomiris chatted up her FBI connections. She chatted up the NYPD, saying that Yetta was a Henry Wallace supporter. Wallace was Vice President under FDR. He was too radical. That’s when they put in Truman, the guy from Missouri. Angie ratted out Yetta and Yetta lost her job. She had been editor of an NYPD newsletter. She was not a policewoman walking the beat. Another old Village person who knew Yetta said that Yetta had gone a long time with no work and had practically had a nervous breakdown. Judy helped her out.
A long-time, "heavy smoker", Holliday died from breast cancer on June 7, 1965, just two weeks before her 44th birthday. She was interred in the Westchester Hills Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. Five years prior to her death, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
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