Judy Canova (November 20, 1913–August 5, 1983), born Juliette Canova, was an American comedienne, actress, singer and radio personality. She appeared on Broadway and in films. She hosted her own network radio program, a popular series broadcast from 1943 to 1955.
Born in Starke, Florida to Joseph Francis Canova, a businessman, and Henrietta Perry, a singer, Judy Canova's 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 Manhattan, the Village Barn. Canova sang, yodeled and played guitar and was typed as a wide-eyed likable country bumpkin, often barefoot, and wearing her hair in braids, sometimes topped with a straw hat. She was sometimes introduced as The Ozark Nightingale, though she had no connection to the region.
When bandleader Rudy Vallée offered her a guest spot on his radio show in 1931, The Fleischmann Hour, 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 theater debut in the revue Calling All Stars. An offer from Warner Bros. led to several bit parts before she signed with Republic Pictures. She recorded for the RCA Victor label and appeared in more than two dozen Hollywood films, including Scatterbrain (1940), Joan of Ozark (1942) and Lay That Rifle Down (1955).