A Sad Day
Today is the anniversary of the untimely death of Judy Garland. She was just barely past her 47th birthday (June 10, 1969) at the time she passed. It’s been noted before many times but bears repeating: In that short time she built a legacy like no other performer in entertainment history. Now she has been gone longer than she was alive yet Judy’s legacy has grown in the decades since her death, with her life and career being celebrated and honored and most of all, her work being enjoyed by each new generation. Her legacy and achievements have secured her place as a true legend of show business.
On June 22, 1969, approximately between the hours of 2:30-4:40 a.m. Judy passed away. She was discovered by husband Mickey Deans in the bathroom of the mews cottage at 4 Cadogan Lane, London, England that they were living in.
Deans had been awakened at 10:40 a.m. London time by friends Charlie Cochran and John Carlyle who were calling from California (where it was 2:40 a.m.). Deans didn’t see Judy on her side of the bed so he went to the bathroom to knock on the door. When he didn’t get any response he told Cochran that he’d call them back. He climbed out of the window of the dressing room, walked over the roof, and looked into the bathroom window where she saw Judy sitting with her arms on her lap and her head resting on her arms. When he picked her up, he knew she had passed and he gently put her back in the same position and called the police and an ambulance.
The official cause of death was an accidental overdose of “barbiturate poisoning.” The news spread around the world garnering shock and sadness. At Judy’s funeral in New York that June 27th, over 22,000 people went to pay their respects.
On the day of her death (the news of her death didn’t hit the papers until the 23rd), her name was in the news not for any concert triumph but because ex-husband Sid Luft was news due to passing a few bad checks.
The following are a couple of items from this date in the past, followed by a sampling of the many, many articles, headlines, and notices.
June 22, 1949: (Well, according to the wall calendar).
Taking a cue from Fred Hough, here are three eerie screenshots from Summer Stock. The date of June 22, 1949, is exactly 20 years before Judy’s untimely death.
June 22, 1952: Judy’s last night at the Curran Theater in San Francisco. This performance was recorded and was released on CD in 1993.