JUDY HOLLIDAY, American actress, born (nee Judith Tuvim) (d: 1965); Her voice could etch glass, and the blond head that it issued from had the reputed I.Q. of a genius. She stole all the scenes in her first picture right from under the professional noses of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy (no slouches in scene-stealing themselves.)
Hepburn (who may well have been Holliday’s lover) had contrived to get her the part in an effort to prove to the monster mogul Harry Cohn that Holliday should be given the starring role in Born Yesterday, the play that had made her a Broadway sensation. Her 1950 “Drop Dead” was as famous as Clark Gables’ “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” of 1939, but infinitely funnier. Her reign as a top screen comedienne was all too brief because she died young, of cancer. Judy Holliday is included here because, as her biographer has shown, she was torn between her many affairs with women and her love of men.