Born in New York City, Holliday grew up as the only child of her strongly political Zionist and socialist parents. After several failed attempts to make movies in Hollywood, she won a few roles in the theater in the 1940s. She was repeatedly refused the screen role of a part she had managed beautifully on stage - Billy Dawn, the chorus girl in Born Yesterday - because she was "too Jewish." She eventually won an Oscar (1950) for this role and later a Tony Award for The Bells Are Ringing (1957). In 1952, she was interviewed by the Senate Subcommittee as part of the McCarthy hearings and was partially blacklisted as a result.
Sources: Jewish Women's Archive