Judith Whitmore is a best-selling author and performing vocal artist from Orange County, California. A true modern-day Renaissance woman named after the legendary singer Judy Garland (a friend of her grandfather from his days in the MGM Studio Orchestra), Judith was born in New York City and raised in Studio City, California. Her parents’ passion for music and musicals fueled her desire to build a life on what she loved most: family and the performing arts, the latter inspiring her to write, produce, and sing on stages across the USA.
Judith’s first foray as a vocal artist and performer began during college when she sang background vocals for Capitol Records in Hollywood. Although she had a promising career ahead of her, Judith instead chose to follow another path. Marrying young, she and her husband settled in Beverly Hills and had two children. Before long they were embarking on a new adventure that took them away from the glitz and glamour of that storied city. Wanting to raise their children in a more rural environment, they packed up the family and moved to the Rocky Mountain paradise of Aspen, Colorado. There, Judith learned to ski, can peaches, and saddle a horse. She maintained her love of theater, serving as president of both the Aspen Playwright’s Conference and the American Theatre Company, where under her presidency, ATC produced plays that featured Hal Holbrook, Vincent Price, Julie Harris, John Travolta and Charles Durning.
It was also in Aspen Judith befriended her closest neighbors, Annie and John Denver. John coaxed her to confront her fear of flying and invited her to board his private plane, Windstar One. The experience was so powerful that it wasn’t long before Judith began to pursue—and earn—a commercial pilot’s license, eventually working search-and-rescue missions for Pitkin County (Aspen) Air Rescue. She later flew seaplanes, Learjets, and took up hot-air ballooning. (Listen to Judith describe her confrontation with the fear of flying and her transformation on Tim Benjamin’s “Fear of Flying” podcast.)
Lured back to Los Angeles and the stage, Judith undertook her first independent theater project as the producer of “Taking a Chance on Love” which received a rave review in Variety. From there, she headed to London to co-produce Leonard Bernstein’s “Wonderful Town,” then returned to Southern California where she met the man who would become her second husband. After settling in Pacific Palisades, Judith craved a new life experience. She went back to college, earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, and opened a private practice in West Los Angeles for eight years.
There came a point when the relentless traffic that floods the streets of Los Angeles became just a bit too much. It was time for yet another new and exciting move. Judith headed to Newport Beach and enrolled in a series of writing courses at UC Irvine, subsequently writing Come Fly with Me, a novel inspired by her own life as a pilot. This best-selling novel has won numerous awards, including first place for women’s fiction at The Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, and the Editor’s Choice Award at San Diego State University’s Writer’s Conference. Judith then proceeded to author a cookbook-memoire titled, All Time Favorites: Recipes from Family and Friends, as well as an illustrated re-writing of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, co-authored with her husband.
In Orange County, Judith had the pleasure of reuniting with old friends, all of whom had planned on a life in musical theater but whose real-life responsibilities sent them down different paths. Together, they made a bold decision to resurrect their faded dreams as a trio, ACT THREE, which has performed at UC Irvine, the Orange County Performing Arts Center, the Ritz Hotel in Paris, and New York’s Metropolitan Room. This unstoppable trio made their debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall in the fall of 2014. ACT THREE is also featured in the award-winning documentary film, Once Upon a Dream, which chronicles their journey to Carnegie Hall. The group’s debut CD was recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, the very place Judith had her first job as a singer.
Judith has since embarked on a solo musical journey, receiving rave reviews in Los Angeles. Her repertoire is diverse, extending from the great American standards to Broadway and jazz. Her first solo album will be released in the summer of 2019.
Judith currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Pacific Symphony. Her life as a vocal artist and writer has taken off, and the sky is the limit. There’s no end in sight to her adventures.
©2013-2019. Judith Whitmore