Judy Canova (November 20, 1913 - August 5, 1983) was an American comedienne, actress, singer, and radio personality. Born Juliette Canova in Waldo, Florida, she is a direct descendant of famed Italian sculptor Antonio Canova.
Her show business career began with a family vaudeville routine. She joined her sister Annie and brother Zeke, and their performances as the Three Georgia Crackers took them from theaters in Florida to a club in a New York City. Judy Canova sang, yodeled, and played guitar. The standout in the family, she developed her persona as a wide-eyed likeable country bumpkin, often wearing her hair in braids and sometimes topped with a straw hat. When bandleader Rudy Vallee offered her a guest spot on his radio show, it opened the door to a career that spanned more than five decades.
The popularity of the Canova family led to numerous performances on radio in the 1930s, and they made their Broadway debut in the revue, Calling All Stars. An offer from Warner Bros. led to several bit parts before she signed with Republic Pictures. During her career she appeared in more than two dozen Hollywood films and made numerous records on the RCA Victor label.
In 1943, she began her own radio program, The Judy Canova Show, that ran for a dozen years, first on CBS and then on NBC. During World War II, she closed her show with the song "Goodnight, Soldier" and used her free time to sell U.S. War Bonds. When her radio program ended in 1955, Canova did comedic work on Broadway, television and in Las Vegas nightclubs through the early 1970s. In 1971, she toured with No, No Nanette.
Her daughter, Diana Canova, is an actress best known for her role on the ABC television sitcom, Soap.
In 1983, Judy Canova died from cancer at age 69 and was buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to the film industry (6821 Hollywood Boulevard) and a second star for her radio career (6777 Hollywood Boulevard).