Sunday, March 2, 2014

Doll-A-Day 61: Oscar Week: Effanbee Legend series Judy Garland

  Tonight is the 86th Academy Awards,(The Oscars), so we are celebrating with a week of Oscar winners.Today's doll is Judy Garland by Effanbee.

The doll is a Limited Edition made in 1984 as part of Effanbee's Legend series.

She's approximately 14" tall. She's one of the best likenesses of Judy Garland I've ever seen in doll form. All of the Effanbee Legends dolls are really good likenesses.
Her head is a little bit big for her body though.

They did pretty well with the detail in her dress, and they did get the twist in her hair at the sides. A lot of dolls just have the hair pulled back.They did make a really common mistake though: Dorothy did NOT have braids. She just had ringlet-ish ponytails.

 The other inaccuracy is sort of necessary: The white in Dorothy's famous blue and white gingham dress was actually a very pale pink, since white was hard to film in early Technicolor.If you ever see a good close-up of the actual dress worn in the film,or are lucky enough to see it on display somewhere, (It still exists.),you can see that it's pink.
  Anyway, they did a good job with Dorothy. Toto, not so much...
Ahhh! Scary eyes!

Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm,(No wonder she changed it!), on June 22nd, 1922, in Grand Rapids Michigan. Her parents were ex-vaudevillians who retired to Michigan and ran a theatre.Judy first performed on stage at the age of two and a half, when she sang in a Christmas show at her parents' theatre.
  MGM had originally wanted Shirley Temple to play Dorothy. Months of negotiation between MGM and Shirley's studio, Twentieth Century Fox,resulted in an agreement for MGM to loan Fox it's two biggest stars,Clark Gable and Jean Harlow, in exchange for Shirley for Oz. When Jean Harlow unexpectedly died in 1937 the exchange fell through and MGM eventually decided to go with one of their own contract actresses and Judy Garland got the role.
  At the Academy Awards in 1940 she was given a Juvenile Oscar for her 1939 work. After 9 year old Jackie Cooper, the first child nominated for an award, (Best Actor for Skippy, 1931),lost to Lionel Barrymore it was decided by the Academy that it was unfair to have children compete against experienced adults, so the Juvenile award was invented. The statue was about 7" tall, half the size of the full size award.Since it was so small, many winners, including Judy Garland, lost theirs over the course of time. (How do you lose your Oscar?! I'd be sitting on that thing! It wouldn't be going anywhere!) The award wasn't given out every year, only when the Academy felt like it apparently.Between the first Juvenile Oscar in 1935, (Given to Shirley Temple for her 1934 work. The Academy eventually gave Shirley a full size Oscar because they felt they had short changed her.), and the last, (Given to Haley Mills for "Pollyanna", and by the way, she lost hers too.),there were only 12 Juvenile Oscars awarded.The idea was scrapped in 1961, and juveniles were nominated in the regular categories alongside adults.In 1963 16 year old Patty Duke became the first 'juvenile' to win an Oscar in a regular adult category, Best Supporting Actress. If you want to see what a Juvenile Oscar looks like, go to the official web page of Margaret O'Brien,awarded a Juvenile Oscar for her 1944 work, including her role as Tootie in Meet Me in St. Louis, with Judy Garland playing her older sister. She actually sells an autographed  photo of it. For the fascinating story of Margaret's Oscar being stolen,found 50 years later, and returned to her,check out her Wickipedia page.
  The Wizard of Oz itself won several Oscars, including Best Song, (Over the Rainbow, which ironically was originally deleted from the film because it was felt that the film was too long, the song slowed down the action too much, and it was degrading for Judy to sing in a barn yard!), and Best Original Music Score.  It was beaten out for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and Best Picture to another giant success of 1939: Gone With the Wind.
  My favourite bit of Oz trivia is this: The costume department was looking for the perfect coat for Professor Marvel, sort of elegance gone to seed. They finally found such a coat in a second hand store. It fit actor Frank Morgan, playing Professor Marvel, perfectly. One day on the set, Morgan happened to turn out one of the coat pockets. Inside he found a label bearing the name 'L. Frank Baum'. L. Frank Baum was, of course, author of the 17 original Oz books. The ownership of the coat was later confirmed by Baum's tailor and his widow. (Baum died in 1919.) The coat was presented to his widow after the completion of filming.
  All my kids went through their Oz stage. They all were Oz characters for Halloween, all of them more than one. (Emma was Tin Man, Dorothy, and Glinda. Fuzz was Tin Man and Scarecrow.Ivy was Dorothy and Glinda. Luckily for Ivy my sewing was much better by the time I made her Glinda costume. It turned out to be one of the best I've made. She got really mad though, because adults at the houses she Trick or Treated at thought she was "The Good Fairy"! Emma and Fuzz actually won a costume contest at Walmart the year they were Dorothy and Scarecrow.) Emma and Fuzz once had a Wizard of Oz party, a general one because we just didn't want to have two Oz birthday parties. We'd done that with Star Wars. I spent ages making yards of Yellow Brick Road to lay around the yard,and various bits and pieces for Oz themed games.Fuzz still hasn't forgiven me for the fact that he didn't get one of the Courage medals I made!
  Tomorrow we continue Oscar Week with another doll.

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