The Greatest Momagers and Dadagers in the Business

How the parents of stars like Britney Spears, Usher, The Beach Boys and more micromanaged their kids' careers
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Judy Garland and Ethel Milne

Judy Garland, born Frances Ethel Gumm, first appeared on stage as a toddler, performing with her older sisters in a Christmas concert at her father’s movie theater in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Realizing she had something special on her hands, mother and former vaudevillian Ethel Milne appointed herself the girls’ manager and launched a campaign to get the group, dubbed The Gumm Sisters, onto the big screen. The trio made their film debut in 1929, when Judy was seven, but Ethel soon pulled her most talented daughter out of the group to travel the country as a solo act until she was signed by Louis B. Mayer (it was then that she adopted her stage name). Garland went on to become something of a momager in her own right, encouraging the careers of daughters Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft, who appeared with her on The Judy Garland Show.

Photo: Judy Garland and Liza Minelli, November of 1960.

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