Oscar Scandals: How Judy Garland Lost the Oscar to Grace Kelly

The Country Girl The Country Girl

The great Judy Garland had experienced several Oscar defeats. Of her first nomination, for Cukor’s brilliant drama, “A Star Is Born” (1954)), in the lead category, biographer Gerold Frank writes: “It was inevitable that Judy be nominated, with almost everyone agreeing she was sure to get it. Though Judy had received a juvenile award for “The Wizard of Oz,” in 1939, this was the real thing, and if it were to come true, what a triumph after everything.”

Prior to her nomination, husband Sid Luft went to an analyst, to help him cope with Judy “as the time drew nearer not only to the birth of her third child but to the resolution of the mounting uncertainty as to whether she would win the Oscar.”
 
Garland was determined to attend the ceremonies.  However, unexpectedly, she went into labor and gave birth on March 29, 1955, the night before the Oscar show.  Even so, extensive preparations were made at the hospital, with television cameras in her room. The idea was that if Garland won, she would talk to Bob Hope from herhospital  bed.
 
After she learned of her loss, to Grace Kelly in a mediocre performance for the melodrama “The Country Girl,” Garland said: “I knew I wouldn’t get it. They wouldn’t give it to me, although I deserved it.”
 
Judy's consolation was her newborn son, Joey, whom she jokingly labeled "My Private Academy Award." Close friends said that Garland’s disappointment was profound as she had always wanted to get recognition as a dramatic actress, not a musical star. Thus, she accepted what was much more of a disaster to her than everyone knew.
 
Comedian Groucho Marx sent her a consolatory telegram: “Dear Judy. This is the biggest robbery since Brink’s.”

In 1961, Judy was nominated for the Supporting Actress Oscar for "Judgment at Nuremebrg," directed by Stanley Kramer.  Once again, she lost, this time around to Rita Moreno, who benfited from the sweep factor of the musical "West Side Sttory."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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