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Judy Canova
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    (November 20, 1913-August 5, 1983)
    Born in Starke, Florida
    Birth name was Juliette Canova
    Performed in vaudeville with her sister and brother as Three Georgia Crackers
    Appeared in the films ‘Going Highbrow’ (1935), ‘Artists and Models’ (1937), ‘Scatterbrain’ (1940), ‘Sis Hopkins’ (1941), ‘True to the Army’ (1942), ‘Joan of Ozark’ (1942), ‘Chatterbox’ (1943), ‘Louisiana Hayride’ (1944), ‘Oklahoma Annie’ (1952) and ‘Lay That Rifle Down’ (1955)
    Hosted an eponymous radio show (1942-55)
    Appeared on Broadway in ‘Yokel Boy’ (1939)
    Toured in ‘No, No Nanette’ (1971)
    Recorded the songs ‘The Lady in Red,’ ‘Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey,’ ‘Blow the Whistle,’ ‘The Butcher Boy,’ ‘Twenty-Five Chickens, Thirty-Five Cows’ and ‘You Are My Sunshine’
    Direct descendant of sculptor Antonio Canova
    Mother of actress Diana Canova
    She was typecast as a country bumpkin.
    With her rubbery features and wide mouth, she was promoted as an Ozark version of Martha Raye.
    Her four marriages ended with three divorces and an annulment.
    Her shortest marriage lasted four months.
    As a publicity stunt, she had a mock engagement to Edgar Bergen (1938), and blamed their break-up on Charlie McCarthy: ‘I Don’t want to play second fiddle to a dummy.’
    She portrayed Mammy Yoakum in an unsold pilot for a proposed TV series based on the ‘Lil Abner’ comic strip (1967).
    She got her big break when Rudy Vallee saw her vaudeville act, then featured her on his radio show (1933).
    She and her siblings appeared on an experimental NBC broadcast, making them the first ‘hillbilly’ act on TV (1939).
    Her popularity was great enough to inspire an unlikely college fad for pigtails and calico.
    During World War II, she signed off her radio show with the song ‘Goodnight, Soldier’ and a sales pitch for War Bonds.
    She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for movies and radio.

Credit: C. Fishel

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