MGM hit on a winning formula when it paired Garland with Mickey Rooney in a string of what were known as "backyard musicals". The duo first appeared together as supporting characters in the B movie Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937). Garland was then put in the cast of the fourth of the Hardy Family movies as a literal girl-next-door to Rooney's character Andy Hardy, in Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), although Hardy's love interest was played by Lana Turner. They teamed as lead characters for the first time in Babes in Arms (1939), ultimately appearing in five additional films, including Hardy films Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940) and Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941).
Mercury has featured in international advertising to represent the UK. In 2001, a parody of Mercury, along with prints of other British music icons consisting of The Beatles, Elton John, Spice Girls, and The Rolling Stones, appeared in the Eurostar national advertising campaign in France for the Paris to London route. In September 2017 the airline Norwegian painted the tail fin of two of its aircraft with a portrait of Mercury to mark what would have been his 71st birthday. Mercury is one of the company's six "British tail fin heroes", alongside England's 1966 FIFA World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore, children's author Roald Dahl, novelist Jane Austen, pioneering pilot Amy Johnson, and aviation entrepreneur Sir Freddie Laker.More Info
Several popularity polls conducted over the past decade indicate that Freddie Mercury's reputation may have been enhanced since his death. For instance, in a 2002 vote to determine who the UK public considers the greatest British people in history, Mercury was ranked 58 in the list of the 100 Greatest Britons, broadcast by the BBC. He was further listed at the 52nd spot in a 2007 Japanese national survey of the 100 most influential heroes. Although he had been criticised by gay activists for hiding his HIV status, author Paul Russell included Mercury in his book The Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present. In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Mercury 18 on its list of the Top 100 Singers Of All Time. Mercury was voted the greatest male singer in MTV's 22 Greatest Voices in Music. In 2011 a Rolling Stone readers' pick placed Mercury in second place of the magazine's Best Lead Singers of All Time. In 2015, Billboard magazine placed him second on their list of the 25 Best Rock Frontmen (and Women) of All Time.More Info
Several stories persist regarding the origin of their use of the name Garland. One is that it was originated by Jessel after Carole Lombard's character Lily Garland in the film Twentieth Century (1934), which was then playing at the Oriental in Chicago; another is that the girls chose the surname after drama critic Robert Garland. Garland's daughter Lorna Luft stated that her mother selected the name when Jessel announced that the trio "looked prettier than a garland of flowers". A TV special was filmed in Hollywood at the Pantages Theatre premiere of A Star Is Born on September 29, 1954, in which Jessel stated:More Info
As the first major rock star to die of AIDS, Mercury's death represented an important event in the history of the disease. In April 1992, the remaining members of Queen founded The Mercury Phoenix Trust and organised The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness, to celebrate the life and legacy of Mercury and raise money for AIDS research, which took place on 20 April 1992. The Mercury Phoenix Trust has since raised millions of pounds for various AIDS charities. The tribute concert, which took place at London's Wembley Stadium for an audience of 72,000, featured a wide variety of guests including Robert Plant (of Led Zeppelin), Roger Daltrey (of the Who), Extreme, Elton John, Metallica, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Tony Iommi (of Black Sabbath), Guns N' Roses, Elizabeth Taylor, George Michael, Def Leppard, Seal, Liza Minnelli, and U2 (via satellite). Elizabeth Taylor spoke of Mercury as "an extraordinary rock star who rushed across our cultural landscape like a comet shooting across the sky". The concert was broadcast live to 76 countries and had an estimated viewing audience of 1 billion people. The Freddie For A Day fundraiser on behalf of the Mercury Phoenix Trust takes place every year in London, with supporters of the charity including Monty Python comedian Eric Idle, and Mel B of the Spice Girls.More Info
Her physical appearance was a dilemma for MGM. She was only 4 feet 11.5 inches (151.1 cm), and her "cute" or "girl-next-door" looks did not exemplify the most glamorous persona then required of leading female performers. She was self-conscious and anxious about her appearance. "Judy went to school at Metro with Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, real beauties", said Charles Walters, who directed her in a number of films. "Judy was the big money-maker at the time, a big success, but she was the ugly duckling ... I think it had a very damaging effect on her emotionally for a long time. I think it lasted forever, really." Her insecurity was exacerbated by the attitude of studio chief Louis B. Mayer, who referred to her as his "little hunchback".More Info
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