“Her voice is precise, and she has a technique in the projection of popular ballads which mature torch carriers might envy.” – Donald Kirkley, 1939
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. 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Also on 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.
June 11, 1940: Judy started production on her next film, Little Nellie Kelly, by shooting costume tests.
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.
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 of June in 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
June 11, 1957: Judy was a big hit at the Texas State fair yesterday.
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.
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.
June 11, 1967: Judy and her companion, Tom Green, arrived back in New York from Chicago.