Piano teacher Helen Collomb and Abraham Tuvim, who was nine years her junior, welcomed their only child, Judith, on June 21, 1921 after four years of marriage. In 1927 when young Judy was only 6, her parents divorced. Judy and her mother moved out of the apartment at 251 East 108 St. in Manhattan to a newly built house at 39-45 44 St. in Sunnyside.
She developed a passion for music and stage acting, which her mother deeply supported. Judy began a career in movies in 1944, and 20th Century Fox changed her last name to Holliday. She was known for her “dumb blonde” roles, but had an IQ of 172. Judy won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1950 for “Born Yesterday.”
In 1948, Holliday married clarinetist David Oppenheim, but they divorced 10 years later. In 1952, she was called to testify before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee to answer claims she was associated with communism, but the investigation was resolved after three months.
After her last movie in 1960, she dated jazz great Gerry Mulligan. He wrote the music and she wrote the lyrics on their album “Holliday with Mulligan.”
Holliday fought breast cancer for five years before passing away on June 7, 1965 two weeks shy of her 44th birthday.
Her Sunnyside childhood home is valued today at $1,123,000 by city assessment.