Garland was born Frances Gumm in 1922, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Her parents ran a movie theater, and at age three Frances joined her two older sisters in a vaudeville act called The Gumm Sisters that performed before the movie presentation. Her mother later took them on the vaudeville circuit, where they were eventually renamed The Garland Sisters. Although the girls weren’t especially well received as a vaudeville act, Frances--now known as Judy Garland--drew the attention of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)’s production head, Louis B. Mayer. He signed her to a contract when she was 13 years old. Two years later, she made the first of her nine films with Mickey Rooney. Garland became a star in 1939 with The Wizard of Oz, in which she played Dorothy, a role originally intended for Shirley Temple. In the film, she performed the plaintive ballad “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which would become one of her signature songs. Garland also delighted audiences in other movie musicals, including Strike Up the Band (1941), For Me and My Gal (1942) and Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).