Judy Holliday won an Oscar and a niche in theatrical history for her performance as the junk dealer's squeaky-voiced girlfriend in "Born Yesterday."
The acclaim she won by playing Billie Dawn both in Broadway and movie productions of "Born Yesterday" was a tribute to her acting ability.
"Born Yesterday" was her first major role and she got in in the classical manner. Jean Arthur, picked for the part, became sick three days before the show opened in Philadelphia. Holliday learned the part in three days and rode with it to stardom.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded her an Oscar in 1950 for best actress.
Fame came slowly, as she played farces on the Eastern Seaboard's borscht circuit and then more of the same at the Village Vanguard, a New York nightclub.
After nightclub dates at Spivy's Roof and the Blue Angel, both in New York, and at the Trocadero in Hollywood, she won small parts in two movies—"Winged Victory" and "Something for the Boys."
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