Anne Hathaway to play Judy Garland on film, stage

LOS ANGELES Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:10pm EDT

Anne Hathaway arrives at the premiere of the film ''Valentino: The Last Emperor'' in New York March 17, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Anne Hathaway arrives at the premiere of the film ''Valentino: The Last Emperor'' in New York March 17, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - She may have been the biggest surprise at February's Oscars when she took the stage in a duet with Hugh Jackman. Who knew Anne Hathaway could sing? Harvey Weinstein did.

Movie kingpin Harvey Weinstein on Monday said he had signed the Oscar-nominated actress to portray singer Judy Garland in both film and stage adaptations of the biography "Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland."

In a statement, Weinstein called Hathaway "brilliantly talented" and said "she will be a true class act in this challenging role."

Details of the project were scant. No writer or director is yet on board.

Garland, of course, is the legendary movie star of Hollywood's Golden Age who portrayed Dorothy in 1939's "The Wizard of Oz," starred opposite Mickey Rooney in the "Andy Hardy" films and was twice Oscar-nominated for roles in "A Star is Born" and "Judgment at Nuremberg."

She also enjoyed a long singing career and scored a No. 1 Grammy-winning album with "Judy at Carnegie Hall" from her 1961 concert at the famous Manhattan venue.

Garland was married five times, including to producer Vincente Minelli with whom she had daughter Liza Minelli. She died at age 47 due to an accidental drug overdose after years of battling addiction problems.

Hathaway, 26, is one of Hollywood's rising stars who got her first big break in 2001 Disney movie "The Princess Diaries," and more recently starred in movies like "Brokeback Mountain" and "The Devil Wears Prada."

This past year, she was nominated for a best actress Oscar playing an addict who returns home for her sister's wedding. At the Oscars, she sang part of a song with host Hugh Jackman, wowing the crowd that, for the most part, knew her only for her acting.

(Editing by Jill Serjeant)

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