Judy Garland’s first house in Los Angeles is overlooked in most of the historical accounts of her life. In fact they completely skip over the fact the Gumm family made a stop in LA on the way to Lancaster.
Judy Garland was born as Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota to a theatre family. When Frances was just four years old the family moved to Los Angeles after discreditable rumors started to circulate about her father.
The Gumm Family moved into this house at 3150 Glenmanor Place in Los Angeles in 1926. The small two bedroom home is in a charming community known as Atwater Village that’s nestled between Silver Lake and Glendale. The house is actually not far from Walt Disney’s first home (that he owned) in Los Angeles. The Atwater Village, Silver Lake and Los Feliz area was where show people were drawn to prior to Hollywood.
Some historic accounts miss this house and state the Gumm family moved from Grand Rapids straight to Lancaster California. This is probably because baby Judy Garland only lived here from November 1926 until April 1927. The family then moved on to Lancaster where they lived in three different homes until 1933.
In September 1935 Judy Garland (still known as Frances Gumm) was performing at the majestic Orpheum Theatre in the downtown Los Angeles Broadway Theatre District where a scout sent by Louis B Mayer observed her sing. The studio signed her a few days later. She was 13 years old.
This was the beginning of a life of both tremendous success and a life drug/alcohol addiction for Judy. As Judy later stated, her and the other young performers at MGM including Mickey Rooney were constantly fed amphetamines to keep up with the long schedules (and keep Judy’s weight down) and barbiturates to sleep at night. Rooney has said the studio did not force Judy on the drugs, but an overwhelming number of biographies on Judy state the former. Truthfully, in those days the addictive nature of the drugs wasn’t yet known.
This isn’t intended to be a biography on the life of Judy Garland, but I do want to mention that it was in 1938 she was cast in the role of Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ. Also there are rumors that the studios will neither confirm or deny that a scene from Wizard of Oz was filmed on the Shakespeare Bridge which is also very close to Judy Garland’s first home in Los Angeles.
We will be doing updates on the other Los Angeles homes Judy Garland lived in as we can get to them. There were a lot of them.
Judy Garland was a legend and we choose to remember her for her accomplishments, not her struggles. If you’re a Judy Garland fan, swing by and check out her first home in LA. And by the way, the house is currently a bit on the run down side. I don’t know who owns it now, but perhaps the owner doesn’t recognize the value of what he owns. This means you could possibly live in Judy Garland’s first house for a very good price.