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Born as Helen Johnson in New York City, Wood moved to Hollywood, California to pursue an acting career in the late 1920s. Her first role was in the 1929 film Gold Diggers of Broadway. In that first film, as well as in the four she would star in during 1930, Wood would be credited under her birth name of "Helen Johnson".
Her first film of 1931 was It Pays to Advertise, which starred Carole Lombard. It would be the last film in which she would be billed under "Helen Johnson", and thereafter all of her film credits would be under the name "Judith Wood". In 1931, she was selected as one of thirteen girls to be "WAMPAS Baby Stars", along with actresses Marian Marsh, Karen Morley, Marion Shilling, and Barbara Weeks, among others.
Wood starred in six films in 1931, after which her career slowed to a crawl, and eventually faded out. She starred as Kitty Packard in the original Broadway production of Dinner at Eight but the film version went to Jean Harlow. In 1934 she only received three film roles, one of which was uncredited. In 1936 and 1937 she would have small but credited roles in two films, then she would not receive another until 1941, which was uncredited. Her last film was in 1950, when she had an uncredited role in The Asphalt Jungle (1950).
Following that, she retired from acting, but remained in Los Angeles, California. She died there in 2002, of natural causes, aged 95.
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