Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Judy Holliday: 1952

She was living here when she had to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)
Born Yesterday(1950) instantly made Judy a star. That year, she won the Academy Award for best leading actress over established actresses such as Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson. She followed her victory with The Marrying Kind, a sweet, but minor movie. Cohn was more interested in promoting his new discovery Aldo Ray, who played her husband. Judy was suddenly forced to take a break from making movies when the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) called her to testify. To date, every performer called to testify had been pressured to name people who they suspected of Communist activity; those who hadn't named names had sacrificed their careers.
Though Judy was nervous about losing her career, she did not want to reveal information about her friends. She prepared herself well and Harry Cohn hired a private investigator to comb her past for potentially dangerous organizations she had associated with in the past. She gave one of her best performances for the committee. Hiding her sharp mind, Judy convinced them that she was similar to her dim Billie Dawn character. She pretended not to understand many of the questions and with ditzy word play, she confused the committee into dismissing her. The brilliant move saved her career.

Judy supposedly had a genius I.Q. of 172

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