On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – June 11

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“Her voice is precise, and she has a technique in the projection of popular ballads which mature torch carriers might envy.” – Donald Kirkley, 1939

"The Gumm Sisters" (Judy Garland) in "The Big Revue" 1929

June 11, 1929:  This photo was taken of Judy and her sisters during the filming of their film debut, the Vitaphone short The Big Revue.  Judy had just turned seven years old.  The trio was featured singing “In The Good Old Sunny South.”  The sisters sang live on set which was common in those early days of sound film before the pre-recording process was in place.  The short was a Mayfair Pictures, Inc. production filmed at the Tec-Art Studios in Hollywood.  The eighteen-minute, two-reel short premiered at the Fox Belmont Theater in Hollywood, California, on August 14, 1929.

Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on The Gumm Sisters Shorts here.

The Garland Sisters at the Cal-Neva Lodge in Lake Tahoe

June 11, 1935:  This ad in the Reno Gazette promoting the new season at the Cal-Neva Lodge featured The Three Garland Sisters ‘Harmony Stylists’ Seen recently in M-G-M pictures and Fanchon and Marco Theater Circuits.  The opening of the new show and the sister’s engagement began on June 15, 1935.

Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in "Love Finds Andy Hardy" 1938

June 11, 1938:  Judy returned to MGM to work on Love Finds Andy Hardy, her first of three appearances as “Besty Booth” in the popular Hardy film series.  She had been recuperating from her recent car accident on May 24th having suffered three broken ribs, a sprained back, and a punctured lung.  The studio thought they might have to write Judy out of the film but luckily for us, they waited for Judy to get better, which she quickly did.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on The Andy Hardy Series here.


June 11, 1939:  Judy and her pals, including Mickey Rooney, Jackie Cooper, Betty Jaynes, June Preisser, and Virginia Weidler, celebrated Judy’s 17th birthday with a pool party at the Santa Monica beach house of MGM Studios chief Louis B. Mayer.

The event was well documented and filmed for the newsreel cameras.  It was part of the big studio build-up of Judy with The Wizard of Oz and Babes in Arms soon to be released.

Years later in an interview, Jackie Cooper remembered the event as being completely staged for the cameras to the extent that it wasn’t much fun for the young contract players as they were “directed” the entire time.

Judy Garland turns 16 (actually 17)

June 11, 1939:  This article about Judy at sixteen was published.  The only problem is, she had just turned seventeen!  It’s fascinating to see how MGM promoted Judy as being a year younger than she really was.  It might be hard for people today to realize that news was not as instant nor as plentiful in 1939 as it is today.  The only news available in 1939 was what was published in papers, fan magazines, on the radio, and in newsreels.  Click on the image to read the article, much of which is studio fabrication, as usual!

Below, two more articles featuring Judy publishes on this day.  The first is another “sweet sixteen” article (again, Judy had just turned seventeen!), and one about Hollywood’s current crop of debutantes.

June 11, 1939:  Judy allegedly wrote this letter to columnist Dick Pitts.  In reality, it’s more studio promotional material sent out in conjunction with the upcoming release of The Wizard of Oz.  Meanwhile, Judy was honored with a sandwich in her name at Ruben’s in New York.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on The Wizard of Oz here.

June 11, 1940:  Judy started production on her next film, Little Nellie Kelly, by shooting costume tests.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Little Nellie Kelly here.

Judy Garland in 1942

June 11, 1942:  Judy and her husband David Rose drove in the afternoon to Lancaster, California, to attend the wedding of Judy’s childhood friend.  Judy volunteered to sing and sang “Oh, Promise Me,” accompanied by David on the piano.  At the time Judy was currently filming For Me And My Gal and was about to start work on Presenting Lily Mars.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on For Me And My Gal here.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Presenting Lily Mars here.

June 11, 1945:  Judy had a glamour portrait photography session at MGM.  It’s unknown exactly which portraits were taken on this date, so I’ve included some of photographer George Hurrell’s wonderful portraits taken in June 1945, perhaps on this day.

June 11, 1947:  Judy and Gene Kelly posed for “poster stills” for The Pirate.  Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on The Pirate here.

June 11, 1948:  Here are examples of the mixed reaction by critics to The Pirate.  Some enjoyed the film, others thought it was, as noted here, a disappointment.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on The Pirate here.

June 11, 1948:  Easter Parade was on its way to theaters, while legendary songwriter Irving Berlin was being celebrated.  Dorothy Manners noted the upcoming re-teaming of Fred Astaire with Judy in The Barkleys of Broadway which unfortunately Judy was unable to complete.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Easter Parade here.

June 11, 1951:  Judy’s tour of the UK took her to the Palace Theater in Manchester, England.  The stop was part of her UK tour after her opening at the London Palladium in April 1951 which was the beginning of her legendary concert years.

Photos from the collection of Bobby Waters.  Thanks, Bobby!

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

June 11, 1952 Judy Garland at the Curran in San Francisco

June 11, 1952:  This photo was taken of Judy backstage at the Curran Theater in San Francisco.  Judy was announcing her recent marriage to Sid Luft on June 8th, at a friend’s ranch outside of Hollister, California.  Also in the news was Sid’s recent court case with his ex-wife Lynn Bari which seemed to take up more space in the columns than the news of the wedding.  Click on the images below to read the articles.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

June 11, 1953:  The speculation over who would co-star with Judy in A Star Is Born was still news.  Louella Parsons claimed to break the news that Cary Grant got the role.  Parsons also noted that Judy “hasn’t been as thin in years nor as well.”  One out of two isn’t bad.  Grant didn’t get the role (James Mason did) but Judy had indeed been dieting and was enjoying good health.  Erksine Johnson noted that Judy was going to make some tests for the film in the 3D format.  That never happened.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on A Star Is Born here.

Judy Garland in "A Star Is Born" - Picturegoer magazine June 11, 1955

June 11, 1955:  The final installment of the UK “Picturegoer” magazine’s feature on Judy and A Star Is Born.  The first installment was published on June 4, 1955.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on A Star Is Born here.

June 11, 1957:  Judy was a big hit at the Texas State fair yesterday.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

June 11, 1959:  Here is a photo of Judy taken during her engagement at the Chicago Opera House which was one stop on her highly successful “Opera House Tour.”  This photo is sometimes dated for this date but in fact, she had already completed her engagement in Chicago and was resting until resuming the tour in San Francisco on July 1st.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

June 11, 1964:  Judy and Mark Herron went barhopping in Hong Kong.  They were at the President Hotel at one point and saw “The Maori Hi-Five” and the band played “Happy Birthday” for Judy.  Judy sang ‘Over the Rainbow.”

It was here that Judy and Herron announced that they were married which was picked up by the news and published around the world.  See the June 6 entry for details.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

June 11, 1967:  Judy and her companion, Tom Green, arrived back in New York from Chicago.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.


  1. My feelings on “The Pirate”: Not that it matters, but you can count me as one Judy’s HUGE fans who neither loves nor hates the film. I’m in the middle, enjoying it without loving it. I also feels it’s the only Garland film where her co-star’s numbers outshine hers. I think “Nina” and Gene’s “Be a Clown” (with the Nicholous Brothers) to be the film’s best. I think Judy’s “Mack the Black” is okay (first time ever that she’s heard in mediocre voice). “You Can Do No Wrong” is sung beautifully, but the song is instantly forgettable. Same with “Love of My Life.”

    1. Thanks for writing! I have always enjoyed “The Pirate” immensely, but I see how many people might be middle of the road or even hate it. As has been pointed out, the film goes about a half hour or so before there is any Garland song. Perhaps if they had kept the original “Mack the Black” (or some variation) in the opening as originally intended, it might have punched it up a bit. However, I love the performances and the semi-surreal sets and costumes. I sure wish Warner Home Video would do a true HD restoration from the original Technicolor negatives. That would be something!

  2. I agree, the Technicolor, costumes, and sets are beyond lavish! And it IS disgraceful that both this and “The Harvey Girls” (my number ONE favorite Garland film, btw) haven’t been released on Blu Ray. (and, like “A Star is Born”, I feel both “My Intuition” and “March of the Doagies” should be put back in where they BELONG! It would make a good film a very good film, and would fix the gaping plot hole just before the fire is set). Back to “The Pirate”: The script is extremely witty, and I love Gladys Cooper and Walter Slezak. My major problem with the film is right when Manuela decides to sacrifice herself. From that point up until the first “Be a Clown”, the film feels too stagy and talky to me. The pottery smashing scene doesn’t work for me either, as it’s too over the top. I also think Garland and Kelly should’ve had a totally different finale, but it’s pretty clear Porter’s score was very weak, and that was the only song worth repeating. All in all, a strange picture. Favorite comedy bit: I love how Aunt Inez never lets cigar-smoking Uncle Capucho get a work in edgewise, bossing him around. Yet when they think they’re standing face to face with Macoco, she says, “Capucho, DO something!” NOW he’s supposed to “do something???” Cute bit.

    1. As popular as “The Harvey Girls” is, I’m surprised they haven’t given it the same “Ultra-Resolution Process” restoration that they have given to “Oz” “Meet Me In St. Louis” and “Easter Parade.” I really enjoy “The Pirate” in spite of its faults. It’s so unique. 🙂

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