On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – June 24

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“It’s easy to produce a Judy Garland show:  Just give her a stage, a spotlight, and get out of the way.” – Al Jolson

June 24, 1936:  Judy was enjoying the last few days of her first trip to New York before going back to California.  On this date, she appeared on one of the local radio stations in a 15-minute program titled “Judy Garland’s Swingsters.”  It’s unknown what Judy sang.

June 24, 1938 Meet the Beat & In Between

June 24, 1938:  Judy pre-recorded “In Between” and “Meet The Beat Of My Heart” for Love Finds Andy Hardy.  The latter song was trimmed in the final film.

Listen to the film version of “In Between” here:

Listen to Take 4 of the pre-recording, in stereo, of “In Between” here:

Listen to “Meet The Beat Of My Heart” Take 9 here:

The audio of the complete version of “Meet The Beat Of My Heart” first appeared on the 1977 LP “Cut! Out-takes from Hollywood’s Greatest Films, Vol. 3.”  It was then released, in stereo, on the 1994 laserdisc set “Judy Garland – The Golden Years at MGM.”

Its CD debut, also in stereo (along with “In Between”) was on the 1996 Rhino Records double CD set “Judy Garland – Collector’s Gems from the MGM Films.”

In 2017 the film version (not the alternate prerecording) of “In-Between” was remastered and released on the 2-CD set “Judy Garland – Soundtracks.”

Watch the stereo alternate take of “In Between” married to the film footage here, brilliantly put together by our friend, Mark Milano.  Thanks, Mark!

Watch Mark’s video of the stereo version of “Meet The Beat Of My Heart” here:


Judy Garland Mickey Rooney Babes in Arms

June 24, 1939:  Judy rehearsed and had more pre-recordings of the “Minstrel Man” number for Babes in Arms.  Time called: 1 p.m.; time dismissed: 6 p.m.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on Babes in Arms here.

June 24, 1940:  MGM had a birthday party for Judy, currently filming Strike Up The Band.  She turned 18 on June 10th.  Studio chief Louis B. Mayer presided over the proceedings while Judy’s Mom, Ethel, also took part.  Judy is seen holding a phonograph that was gifted to her by the studio.  Also on this day, according to studio records, Judy was in rehearsals for the “La Conga” number for Strike Up The Band.  She was on the set at 11 a.m.; dismissed at 5:40 p.m.  The birthday celebration was most likely after rehearsals were done.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on Strike Up The Band here.

June 20, 1940:  Judy and her new car.

June 24, 1944:  MGM’s 20th-anniversary celebrations were in full swing.

June 24, 1944:  MGM placed this extensive section in several trade magazines touting the studio’s 20th anniversary.

June 24, 1944:  In the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald” regular feature “What The Picture Did For Me,” C.W. Ritenour of the Milford Theatre in Milford, Illinois had this to say about Girl Crazy (released in 1943), “OK – average box office but not as good as expected.  Played Sunday, Monday.

June 24, 1945:  Oops!  This newspaper’s caption to a photo regarding The Clock claims that Judy wore this striped outfit in the film.  The problem is, the photo is from 1940.  Judy is not seen in the film in a striped outfit.  Perhaps the author of the caption was referring to the more recent publicity photo of Judy in a striped shirt (see last image above) but the paper published the wrong image.

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


June 24, 1945:  The story of MGM mistakenly releasing Deanna Durbin from her studio contract instead of Judy was already a Hollywood legend when Sheilah Graham mentioned it in her column.


June 24, 1945:  Judy is wiser as her second marriage (to Vincente Minnelli) begins.

The Pirate British Lobby Card

June 24, 1947:  The second of six days of rehearsals of the “Be A Clown” number for The Pirate.  Time called: 2 p.m.; dismissed: 4:30 pm.

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

Lobby card scan provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

June 24, 1948:  Judy and Gene Kelly in The Pirate.

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

June 24, 1948:  Another two-page ad placed by MGM in the trade magazine “Film Daily.”

June 24, 1951 Bobby Waters Pic

June 24, 1951:  Judy’s tour of the British Isles continued with her one-night-only appearance at the Opera House in Blackpool, England.  The flyer indicates that there were two shows given at the Opera House, one at 6:20 pm and another one at 8:15 pm.  The promoter also notes that these were “the only concerts in the British Isles of Judy Garland” which of course is hyperbole.

Scan provided by Bobby Waters.  Thanks, Bobby!

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


June 24, 1954:  Judy had more rehearsals of the “Born In A Trunk” number for A Star Is Born.  Time started: 2:30 p.m.; finished: 5:30 p.m.

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

June 24, 1955:  The Wizard of Oz was enjoying great success with its second official theatrical re-release.  The film was released in “widescreen” format.  Because it wasn’t filmed in widescreen, this meant MGM cropped the image at both the top and bottom to create a widescreen effect.  Unfortunately, this meant that audiences didn’t see the whole image as originally composed and filmed.  The careful composition of each scene in the standard ratio was bastardized.

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

June 24, 1957:  Judy flew home to Los Angeles from Dallas, Texas, where she had just finished a two-week run at the Texas State Fair.  Judy appeared at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles the very next day.

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

June 24, 1963:  The first episode of “The Judy Garland Show” was taped at CBS Television City, Hollywood, from 8:10 to 9:20 p.m.  The audience included many stars: Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Natalie Wood, Hedda Hopper, Louella Parsons, Agnes Morehead, Clint Eastwood, Dick Van Dyke (seen in the photo below, taken on this day, on his way to see the show), Carl Reiner, and Van Heflin.

Judy’s guest for her first show was her old chum Mickey Rooney.  Judy sang “Keep Your Sunny Side Up”; “When The Sun Comes Out”; “Exactly Like You”; “I Believe In You” (with Jerry Van Dyke who was her permanent sidekick on the show); “You’re So Right For Me” (with Mickey); and for her “Born In A Trunk” segment that would close each show, Judy sang “Too Late Now”; “Who Cares?”; and “Ol’ Man River.”  The show closed with Judy singing “I Will Come Back.”

Judy also sang “Two Ladies In The Shade Of The Banana Tree” during the dress rehearsal on June 23, 1963, but by the taping the following night it was dropped.

The “Exactly Like You” song and sketch and the song “I Believe In You” would be cut before the broadcast date, and a new segment with Mickey was taped on November 29, 1963.  A new opening song, “I Feel A Song Coming On” was taped on October 11, 1963. The deleted segments survived and have been released on DVD.

Although the show was the first one taped, it was not the first to air.  It was originally broadcast on December 8, 1963.

June 24, 1968:  Judy appeared on “The Tonight Show” starring Johnny Carson.  Although she didn’t sing, she was very funny and looked great.  Below are a couple of photos of Judy taken just after the taping.

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

June 24, 1969:  The articles examining various aspects of Judy’s life began to appear.  Here are a few, followed by the second installment of the lengthy Leo Guild series.


Leonard Lyons

Judy Remained Like a Child Forever

NEW YORK – Her end was inevitable from that day in Chicago’s Oriental Theater when George Jessel was to introduce the child singer, Frances Gumm.  His tongue resisted the clumsy sound, “Frances Gumm.”  he suddenly thought of the message he’d just sent Judith Anderson, who was opening in a Broadway play: “Dear Judy, may this new play add another garland to your Broadway career.”

Jessel, therefore, blurted the name, “Judy Garland.”  Then he turned to the child singer waiting in the wings and told her: “Judy Garland . . . That’s . you, honey.”

She was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and told me: “It was so small, the train would only stop there for laughs.”  From Grand Rapids, Minnesota, she moved to Lancaster, California.  She worked in Charleston, but the one that’s in Arkansas.  Buffalo, too, but Buffalo, Iowa.  Cleveland in Mississippi, Providence in Kentucky, and Manhattan in Kansas.

“I WAS BORN AND RAISED,” she told me, “in the road companies of all the big towns.”

Her childhood vanished somewhere along the way, and despite her multi-marriages, motherhood and advancing years, she remained a child forever – sad, gleeful, impulsive – everyone’s child.

No star could match her for glory, and all along the way misfortune was in constant attendance.  She played the Met Opera House but netted little because so large an orchestra and backstage crew were required by the rules.  When she sang in Washington’s Constitution Hall the then Attorney General Bobby Kennedy brought her to the White House and gave a party for her.

HER PRESS AGENT FAILED TO mention it to the press.  Furthermore, there were no reviews of her performance, because she’d forgotten to invite the reviewers.

BARBRA STREISAND, whose singing always has been compared to Judy’s, is more fortunate – and wiser.  An expert team of personal managers, press agents and investment counselors makes sure that Miss Streisand will never be in need.

But Judy was the first to receive a million dollar offer, and she turned it down.  “He offered me a million,” she told me, “but I was to sing for him alone.  Just for him.  I’d have loved to have a million, but not at that price.  All performers are a bit daffy.”

“Daffy because to us the most important thing is an audience.”

THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF WINDSOR phoned from their suite aboard a ship in mid-Atlantic, to make sure of reserved seats for her booking at the Palace.  Bernard Baruch said whenever he’d have a tough decision to make he’d play Judy’s recording of “Over the Rainbow,” before deciding.

One night a birthday party for Leonard Bernstein was given by Margo and Eddie Albert at their Beekman Pl. house.  I brought Judy Garland as my birthday gift to Bernstein.  And she sang to Bernstein’s piano accompaniment far into the night.

She was married then to Vincente Minnelli, who’d just brought her from Boston hospital to which she’d been confined for weeks.  This, said Minnelli, was exactly what their doctor had prescribed.  Judy spoke freely of her hospital stay.  She mentioned the message from George Cukor, the veteran director:  “Don’t worry, you can’t kill an actress.”

“It made me angry at first, that note,” she said, “but then in encouraged me.  I realized how true it was – that rarely do you read of an actress being killed.”

CARLTON ALSO WAS ONE OF HER early managers.  He knew that Ronald Colman was her dream man but she’d never met the romantic star because she was too shy.  Alsop waited for Judy’s birthday.  That morning her doorbell rang.  She opened the door, and there on the doorstep covered in cellophane and with Alsop’s “Happy birthday” ribbon, was Ronald Colman.

She needed a husband-manager like Sid Luft, one who was strong enough to overcome her reluctance to perform.  The only music training she ever had, she confided, came when she chanced to get a job in a synagogue choir.  It gave her that cantorial throb she used so effectively.

Judy rehearsed her daughter, Liza, for three weeks, for the youngster’s TV role in “Wizard of Oz,” the Arlen-Harburg musical that brought Judy worldwide fame.  “I’ll never try rehearsing Liza again,” she sighed.  “I did everything wrong – just like a stage mother.”  Jolson once said: “It’s easy to produce a Judy Garland show:  Just give her a stage, a spotlight, and get out of the way.”

“Youth,” she told me, “Isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  There are so many terrible things to find out about” … She turned down the Helen Morgan film role: “No more sad endings for me …”


Sister Blames Psychoanalysis

DALLAS (UPI) – Judy Garland’s only surviving sister said she believes psychoanalysis was responsible for leading Miss Garland into a life of alcohol and pills.

“I think that analysis had a lot to do with her change of personality,” said Mrs. Virginia Thompson, who last saw her sister in 1966.  “She was about 19 when it happened.  Until then she was an unusually healthy, normal girl.” 

Mrs. Thompson was the middle of the three Gumm sisters.  Judy was the youngest.  The oldest, Susie, died three years ago.

The sisters had a singing act, “The Gumm Sisters,” that broke up when Judy was signed an MGM contract when she was 13.



Sleep Pills Cited in Judy’s Death

LONDON (UPI) – Pathologists investigating Judy Garland’s death ran more laboratory tests today in efforts to determine whether in fact an overdose of sleeping pills killed her.

Scotland Yard sources said an autopsy had revealed evidence of an excess of sleeping-inducing drugs in the star’s system.  Some pills were found in the two-story home where she was found dead Sunday.

“It is absolutely impossible to say if such an overdose was either accidental or otherwise,” a Scotland Yard source said.  Further lab tests on her blood and some organs were ordered.

MISS GARLAND had often blamed Hollywood for putting her on pep pills to speed her up and sleeping pills to slow her down following her portrayal of Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” in 1939 – the film that made her famous.

Her life became one of drugs, alcohol, four broken marriages, loneliness, and torment.  Often she showed up late for concerts and sometimes not at all.  She was frequently sick.

Westminster Coroner Gavin Thurston called an inquiry for tomorrow to hear testimony, the autopsy report and the laboratory findings to legally affix the cause of the 47-year-old entertainer’s death.

Mickey Deans, her fifth husband, was a certain witness, whether in person or by sworn statement.  It was he who found her dead at 11 A.M. Sunday.

FRIENDS DESCRIBED Miss Garland on her last day as depressed in the early morning and then gay, laughing and joking, in the evening over dinner in the Deans home.

“She gripped my hand and kept assuring me everything is all right, everything is all right,” one friend said of Miss Garland’s mood at a party Saturday morning.

Scotland Yard refused to comment on newspaper reports that the pills found in her home were 50 sleeping tablets out of a bottle of 100 she had bought Saturday.  The yard said the tablets were not found next to the body.

Plans got underway to ship the body to New York, probably early Thursday.



Doc:  Judy Had Diseased Liver

By Henry Maule, Staff Corresponded to THE NEWS

London, June 23 – Singer Judy Garland was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver and had been living “on borrowed time,” her former London surgeon said today.  At the same time, a coroner’s inquest was ordered.

An autopsy was performed on the body of the 47-year-old stage and screen star today to determine the cause of death, but the results will not be known until tomorrow.

Shortly after Westminster Coroner Gavin Thurston ordered that an inquest be held on Wednesday, he received a cabled request from Judy’s daughter, singer Liza Minnelli, that the body be flown home for funeral services.

In view of a statement by Miss Garland’s former London surgeon, Dr. Philip Lebon, that she had been suffering from cirrhosis, the coroner could have decided that death was due to natural causes and not ordered an inquest.

Because of Miss Garland’s fame and to preclude any suggestion that the authorities were trying to hush up a possible suicide, sources said Thurston apparently decided to hold an inquest.

The London Evening News said a box of sleeping pills was found near her body.  However, police said the pills were not near the body.  A Scotland Yard spokesman said reports that Miss Garland died of an overdose of drugs were “pure rubbish.”

Informed sources said suicide would be ruled out.  Because of advanced cirrhosis, they said, death must have been imminent.  Contributory factors undoubtedly were the innumerable tablets she had taken over many years, liquor and harsh slimming diets, the sources added.

They said evidence found that the scene of death indicated that she had been overwhelmed by violent sickness.

Lebon said he and another Harley St. specialist had examined Judy eight years ago and estimated that, because of her illness, she could survive five years at most.

“She was living on borrowed time,” Lebon said.  “How she managed to live this long, I just don’t know.”  She was “a great fighter,” he added.

Today’s autopsy was done at the Westminster mortuary, where the body was taken after her fifth husband of three months, former discotheque owner Mickey Deans, 35, found his wife dead i the bathroom of their home in London’s fashionable Chelsea district yesterday morning.

Close friends said Miss Garland appeared “terribly tired and wan” at a party she attended with her husband early Saturday.

The friends said Miss Garland drank nothing alcoholic at the party and left early with Deans.  

“But she looked so wan that I thought she was ill,” one said.

“She gripped my hand and kept assuring me that everything is all right,” another friend said.

[SIDE BAR] Body in N.Y. Thursday

The body of Judy Garland will be flown here Thursday morning and remain on view to the public all that day at Frank E. Campbell’s funeral home, Madison Ave. and 81st St., it was learned last night.  Burial will follow a private funeral service Friday afternoon.



Judy’s Song Lives On Through TV and Movies


Only the very smug of the world, who are sure they have an unfailing blueprint for life, could fail to mourn the loss of one of the greatest entertainers of our day – Judy Garland.  Despite her tortured personal life, the memory of this talented and generous snub-nosed star will live on through television.

Judy was much bigger than life, yet it was life that ultimately became her enemy.  perhaps mother nature was jealous of Judy, since through her talent and ongoing spirit, she reached heights and emotions few of us can.  Her end was sad and premature but, as lyricists say, her song will live on.

Knowing television’s habits, it won’t be too long before you’ll be seeing some of the great Garland films again.  Channel 5, the film festival station, is talking about a memorial tribute now.  This station has some of the really fine Garland films including “A Star Is Born,” co-starring James Mason; “The Clock,” with Robert Walker; “The Pirate,” with Gene Kelly, which was shown Sunday afternoon, and one of the finest, yet most underrated of all – “Presenting Lily Mars” with Van Heflin.

It’s Appropriate

Even if the re-release of the films now may seem like crass commercialism, we still think it appropriate.  Her heart aches, personal tragedies, and fears frequently overshadowed her great gifts, and the generous way she entertained.

Still, it’s the everlasting impression that counts and Judy will always be remembered as the bubbling, spirited girl who sang “Get Happy!” or the wistful waif who raised hope in the hearts of all of us with her unforgettable rendition of “Over the Rainbow.”

‘Oz’ Came High

It cost CBS-TV over $1 million when the network originally purchased “Wizard of Oz” from MGM, with each re-release averaging $200,000.  Then, two years ago, NBC-TV purchased five runs of the picture at the cost of $800,000 per showing.

The original package of MGM films, which included all pre-1948 films of Miss Garland except Oz, was sold to WCBS-TV in 1956.  It has since been broken up and redistributed to local stations, with “Easter Parade,” WCBS-TV’s only Garland film left.  This, a station spokesman said, will be shown at Easter time.

The NBC television network is holding “Judgment at Nuremberg” but can’t release it until 1971.  And some very early Judy Garland movies, with the “Andy Hardy” series included, are in the hands of WNBC-TV.  In this package there are suck flickers as “The Harvey Girls,” co-starring John Hodiak and Ray Bolger; “Andy Hardy Meets the Debutante,” “Life Begins For Andy Hardy,” all co-starring Mickey Rooney, plus “Little Nellie Kelly” with George Murphy.

A Great Film

But the one we’d like to see re-shown soon, and which we can’t track down, is “Babes on Broadway” with Mickey Rooney.  The gifted, creative side of Judy Garland should be emphasized now and can think of no other film unless it would be “Easter Parade,” which better showcased her great talent.  Both she and Mickey Rooney were sensational in this and the 1939 movie, “Babes in Arms,” another we had trouble locating locally.

If we were putting together a memorial package of Judy Garland films, we’d want the above three to head the list.  And the world should see “For Me And My Gal,” “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “Presenting Lily Mars” for a real taste of the real Judy Garland

Estate Owns TVers

What CBS television would do with the series of 17 television shows Judy made for the network back in 1963, one of her happy periods, marked by a plush, pink dressing room and a record of always being on time for rehearsals, was a question being asked yesterday.  But, according to programming head Mike Dann, Judy’s estate has the rights to the series.  CBS only has a tape record of them.  

Her dressing room had a candy-striped makeup room and a picket fence and a garden around it.  Laugh-in producer George Schattler, who helped on several of the shows, called it “Judy’s playpen.”  The world, which she gave so much of herself to, was anything but a playpen.  Too bad she couldn’t see herself as others saw her – and that she’s not still with us singing her heart out.


June 24, 1969:  The second in a series of articles about Judy published immediately after her death.  This installment was not kind at all about Judy’s TV series, among other things.

Tantrums and Lost Magic Doom Million Dollar TV Series

This is the story of Judy Garland, the star, as written by Leo Guild, a veteran of the Hollywood scene who knew her well as actress, entertainer, and friend.  IN this series, he will reveal a number of hitherto unpublished facts about the star who sang about happiness all the while it seemed to elude her grasp.


THE PRODUCER of television’s number one rated show “Laugh-In” is George Schlatter.  I 1963 as a CBS producer he went to the brass at the network with a newspaper reporting that Judy Garland was filling concert halls with enthusiastic audiences was making a remarkable comeback.

George suggested the network sign Judy Garland to head an hour-weekly series.

Everyone was aware that Judy was hard to handle.  All knew they would be signing on a temperamental tyrant who had destroyed many a producer.  They were sure it meant trouble.

But the Garland name was too hard to resist.

She was a magnificent talent and had prestige, a combination that resulted in large sums of money at the box office.

Despite some station affiliate protest the network signed Judy to a 26-week deal, and she was ecstatic about it.

HER AGENTS FORMED A COMPANY with Judy at the head of it, and she estimated she would make over two million dollars from the series.  (In the end, because the show constantly went over budget, she made only a paltry few thousand.)

She promised to slim down which she did.

And when it came time to meet station owners and managers before the preview of her first show, Judy sang a parody of “Call Me Irresponsible” which went, “Call me irresponsible, call me unreliable, but it’s undeniably true, I an irrevocably signed with you.”

The boys ate it up.  It was the high point of the experience.  After that, it was all downhill.


JUDY WASN’T DRINKING but she was on pills.  It was the only way she could get through the endless grind of rehearsals.

She would slur her words and forget her lines.  She would blame the piano, the director, the writer, the producer and the orchestra – but never herself.  She was a sick girl.

Today her closest friends say that what started her to the “Valley of the Dolls” again were the critics.  How to figure them!

When she did her concerts critics lauded her.

On television, they weren’t impressed.  They felt her voice wasn’t what it was.  They objected to what they said was a certain exaggerated gaiety she had with guests.

One critic said she was superficial and phony.

Judy was not only crushed by such criticism, but amazed.  She thought she was as good as ever – the same Judy that had stolen the hearts of millions of moviegoers.

A piano was off key and she smashed it with a shovel she found in the rehearsal room.  CBS demanded she pay for the piano.  She refused.  It was only the first of many unsolvable battles with the network.

WHEN THE SHOW’S RATINGS started slipping, the network demanded more discipline.

Judy and June Allyson did a show together, and it was so informal that network executives asked sarcastically if it were filmed in the powder room.

They demanded certain scenes be reshot.

Judy screamed and said that she was striving for informality and their interference was what was causing the show to lose the audience.

All this bickering went on for months until, when the show came up for renewal, the network canceled it with some polite language to the press about how they wanted Judy to devote more time to her children.

No one was fooled.

The series was a flop.

Judy’s magic never did get on the tube.

After the series, she’d often talk about it.  “Why did it fail?”  That was the question that many tried to answer – but unsuccessfully.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SERIES was canceled Judy was hospitalized after falling down the stairs in a swank New York hotel.

Someone reported that she had been dizzy from an excessive amount of medication.  Interpretation:  She took an overdose of pills.  Among some of the Hollywood Newsmen who knew and liked Judy best, I asked the question, “What would you say was the cause of Judy destroying so many great chances?  Oddly enough there was an agreement among them.  They felt that at the crux of most of her problems was weight.  It was a losing battle begun in childhood and ending only just before she died.

JUDY WAS SIGNED BY MGM in 1935 at the age of thirteen.  She was beautiful but thick-waisted.

She became acutely aware of it when her first singing teacher at the studio said she needed flesh to get those strong notes but she had to take off some weight for looks.

That became the ironic problem for the rest of her life – she felt and sang better when she was heavy, but she needed to look good.

How do you solve something like this?  She never did

Not that she didn’t try; she did – then and later.

But always it seemed some tragedy in her life arose to thwart her.  At that time, shortly after she had begun to work at MGM, her father died of spinal meningitis

It was a bitter blow to Judy because, while she had always loved her father, she had always been reluctant to show her love.

She would secretly believe that she could show him how much she really loved him when she got older and was a famous movie star.

When she learned bad news – she ate and ate and ate.

His death caused Judy to react as she usually did as though by devouring food she could assuage her grief.

THE STUDIO THREATENED HER, they told her that no matter what her talent was, she would be out if she didn’t stop eating.

So she carried a calorie chart and drank soup, and that’s about it.  She took off the poundage but got nervous and temperamental.

A studio nurse convinced Louis B Mayer she was too thin.  They let her drink a double malted milk every day.

But Judy was with food the way some people are with liquor.  She could never just have a little.  She gorged herself on good food and soon was bloated and fat.

A studio executive called her in and told her she looked like a hunch-back monster with all that weight.  She cried for a week.  And she went on a cigaret and coffee diet.  She slimmed again.

WHEN THE DAVID ROSE DIVORCE started she was so upset she ate and ate again.  She blew up again.

This time she went to a psychiatrist and at $50 an hour saw him two hours every day – once before work and once after.

She got so much confidence from the psychiatrist – she told this to several people – she had her mother fired from the studio payroll, and didn’t talk to her mother until sometime later when mama called a news conference and told the press that because her daughter wouldn’t give her a sou, she had to go to work in a defense plant.

Judy sure talked to her mother then, but they never spoke again until her mother had a fatal heart attack on a parking lot in Hollywood.

JUDY’S WEIGHT TRAVERSED from 100 pounds to 180 pounds and back again at regular intervals.  She usually looked fine at 100 and felt terrible, and felt fine at 150 or over and looked terrible.

She was so sensitive about weight that she sued a New York TV columnist, Marie Torre, for saying a CBS executive said the network had fired her because she was too fat.  

At different periods of her life she said, “I’d rather look good.  I don’t care what I feel like.”

But at other times she would say just the opposite.

During a whole lifetime no doctor or psychiatrist could regulate her body chemistry so that some sort of happy medium could be reached.

WHEN SHE MARRIED director Vincent Minelli – it lasted six years and they had one daughter, Liza – he believed he had the remedy for Judy.

“You don’t enjoy being a star.  You keep working toward some nebulous future when you have the whole world in the palm of your hands.  Stop, and think how successful you are.  Drink the juices of happiness that are yours for the taking.”

She didn’t know how.

Judy was happy – for a while – with a child.  It was a new experience for her.

But even in this area of living, she didn’t know how to enjoy the rewards of accomplishment.  She was always intent upon making Liza “a fine,  young lady” and introducing her to show business.  But she didn’t enjoy Liza.

WHEN HER MARRIAGE STARTED to go sour, so did her career at MGM.  She was in and out of sanitariums, and whenever she came out she was healthy and twenty pounds too heavy.  Then would start the rigorous dieting again.

For example, “Easter Parade” had to wait while she took off 15 pounds.  The studio promised that when she finished “Easter Parade,” they’d give her a six months vacation.

On that promise, she worked hard and finished the film.  But MGM had spent $350,000 to buy “Annie Get Your Gun” just for Judy, and Judy was so happy about it she decided she’d waive a vacation and get to work immediately.

The plan was for her to spend six weeks recording the music from “Annie Get Your Gun” before the actual shooting began.

One day during rehearsal she went to her dressing room and when the assistant director came to fetch her, she wouldn’t come out.

Louis B. Mayer was called down, and he sat with Judy and begged her to work.  She said she was worn out, dead tired and she couldn’t go on.

She went to sleep while he was in her dressing room.

Mayer talked to Judy’s physician and the physician put it straight.

“She’s beyond me,” he said.  “I don’t frankly think she can live six months.  She’s suicidal and doesn’t want to live.”  

He later told that to Judy, too.  She ran hysterically to an asylum.

So Judy was fired from the picture and Betty Hutton was signed.

WEDNESDAY:  Bright moments in Judy’s life.


June 24, 2013:  This two-page spread appeared in the “Home Media Magazine” as well as other trade publications, promoting the upcoming re-release of The Wizard of Oz on Blu-ray and in newly formatted in 3D.  The 75th-anniversary set was a year early, the anniversary of the film was in 2014.  New collectibles complimented the set and aside from those new collectibles and the 3D version of the film, the contents were the same as the 2009 boxed set.

Details about the set and its various incarnations are here.

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


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