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The Greater Los Angeles Area, or the Southland, is a term used for both the urbanized region and Combined Statistical Area (a group of interacting metropolitan areas) sprawling over five counties in the southern part of California, namely Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura counties. Throughout the 20th century, it was one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, although growth has slowed since 2000. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the Los Angeles metropolitan area had a population of about 12.8 million residents. Meanwhile, the larger metropolitan region's population at the 2010 census was estimated to be over 17.8 million residents, and a 2011 estimate reported a population of about 18.1 million. Either definition makes it the second largest metropolitan region in the country, behind the New York metropolitan area, as well as one of the largest urban agglomerations in the world.

The agglomeration of the urbanized Greater Los Angeles area surrounds the urban core of Los Angeles County. The regional term is defined to refer to the more-or-less continuously urbanized area stretching from Ventura County to the southern border of Orange County and from the Pacific Ocean to the Coachella Valley in the Inland Empire. The US Census Bureau defines the Greater Los Angeles area to include the entire Los Angeles county, Ventura County, Orange County and the two counties of the Inland Empire, making up the "Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA" Combined Statistical Area. However this Census definition includes large, sparsely populated and primarily desert swaths of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties that are not part of the urbanized region. The term "Greater Los Angeles" does not include San Diego and Imperial counties, whose urbanized areas are not geographically continuous with the urbanized area surrounding Los Angeles.

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Griffith Park is a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The park covers 4,310 acres (1,740 ha) of land, making it one of the largest urban parks in North America. It is the second-largest city park in California, after Mission Trails Preserve in San Diego, and the eleventh largest municipally owned park in the United States. Griffith Park was the busiest destination in Los Angeles for on-location filming in 2011, with 346 production days.

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Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was an American actress, singer and vaudevillian. Described by Fred Astaire as "the greatest entertainer who ever lived" and renowned for her contralto vocals, she attained international stardom throughout a career which spanned more than 40 years, as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage. Respected for her versatility, she received a Juvenile Academy Award and won a Golden Globe Award as well as Grammy Awards and a Special Tony Award.

She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the remake of A Star Is Born and for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg. She remains the youngest recipient (at 39 years of age) of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in the motion picture industry.

After appearing in vaudeville with her two older sisters, Garland was signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a teenager. There, she made more than two dozen films, including nine with Mickey Rooney, and the 1939 film with which she would be most identified, The Wizard of Oz. After 15 years, she was released from the studio but gained renewed success through record-breaking concert appearances, including a return to acting, beginning with critically acclaimed performances.

Despite her professional triumphs, Garland struggled immensely in her personal life, starting when she was a child. Her self-image was strongly influenced by film executives, who said she was unattractive and constantly manipulated her onscreen physical appearance. She was plagued by financial instability, often owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. She married five times, with her first four marriages ending in divorce. She also had a long battle with drugs and alcohol, which ultimately led to her death at the age of 47. More...


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November/December 2013

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