On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – June 26

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“No one had more guts than Judy.” – Sid Luft




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June 26, 1939:  Babes in Arms filming continued with scenes shot on the “Exterior Moran Backyard” set specifically the “Babes in Arms” number.  Time called: 9 a.m.; lunch: 12:40 – 1:40 p.m.; time dismissed: 6 p.m.



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June 26, 1940:  Strike Up The Band filming continued with rehearsals of the “La Conga” number as director Busby Berkeley selected camera setups for the “La Conga” shoot.  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 5:40 p.m.



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June 26, 1942:  Filming on For Me And My Gal continued with scenes on the “Interior Palace Theater” set, specifically the new finale, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” and “For Me And My Gal.”

Per the assistant director’s notes: JG called for 8 a.m. in makeup – 10 a.m. on set – arrived in makeup at 9:35 a.m. – 1hr 35 minutes late; At 9:40 a.m. in the makeup department, Judy Garland had an appendicitis attack and was taken to the studio hospital where Dr. Jones called her doctor and it was decided to give her heat treatment for 45 minutes at the end of which time she would be able to work.  Judy was dismissed at 10:40 a.m.

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



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June 25, 1947:  The fourth of six days of rehearsals of the “Be A Clown” number for The Pirate.  Time called: 2 p.m.; dismissed: 5 p.m.

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



June 26, 1953:  In his syndicated column, Bob Thomas focuses on actress Mary McCarty and makes a rare mention of Judy’s 1930 short Bubbles which by this point had been forgotten by most and did not resurface until a print was found in time to be included in the 1994 laserdisc set “Judy Garland The Golden Years At MGM” boxed set.

This film was originally made in the early two-strip Technicolor format.  The Technicolor footage no longer survives, but a black and white print was found in the early 1990’s in the Library of Congress.  This is the earliest surviving film footage of Judy Garland singing in close-up and solo (a short 2 lines).  It’s amazing to see her, even at this young age, reaching out to the audience and already quite photogenic.  Her voice is a cut above any other 8-year-old singer of the time, with a hint of that famous vibrato already there!

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



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June 26, 1962:  This photo was taken on the set of I Could Go On Singing which was currently filming in England.  It was Judy’s final film and was a couple of years ago in a sparkling new transfer on Blu-ray by Twilight Time.  The limited edition (3k copies only) has sold out but copies can be found on eBay.



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June 26, 1963:  Judy had just completed the taping of her first show for “The Judy Garland Show” and the reports after the taping, as this article indicates, were positive.



June 26, 1967:  Judy opened at the Sorrowton Music Circus in Springfield, Massachusetts.  She would stay through July 1st.  Many of the wonderful photographs of Judy in her Valley of the Dolls pantsuit came from this engagement.



June 26, 1968:  The second night of Judy’s 5-night appearance at The Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey.  On this day Judy gave an interview to “The Ashbury Park Press,” at her hotel, the Berkely Carteret in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Ashbury Park Press: How do you like singing outdoors?

Judy Garland: I don’t mind it, but I don’t like it in the summer. The bugs, you know. They fly into my mouth.

APP: What do you do in that case?

JG: You park the bug like this. [She tucks her tongue into one cheek.]

APP: How’s your autobiography coming?

JG: It’s been quite a packed-in life. It will take years.

APP: Would you choose show business if you had your life to live over again?

JG: No! It’s a brutish business.

APP: Why do you attract a cult-like following?

JG: Maybe I’m some kind of female Billy Graham.

APP: Are you going swimming here?

JG: I’m afraid of water. I’m also afraid of flying.

APP: How do you get around?

JG: Dogsled!

APP: Who are your favorite singers?

JG: Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, and Liza Minnelli!

APP: Your Favorite food?

JG: Chicken, anyway but fried, and Ice Cream Cones. They never let me eat them at MGM.

Judy also mentioned a possible return to the Palace that fall, 1968, but she never played there again.  Later that day, on June 26, she insisted that Sit Luft pay her daily salary of $1,200 (after taxes) for each performance, by 4 p.m., before every show. An agreement on this day, written by Sid Luft on hotel stationary – reprinted in the 1975 Anne Edwards book – states that her salary would be paid to her by John Larson of the Garden State Arts Center, if “Mr. Luft is not available.”  Judy’s salary was to be paid to Wes Fuller, her musical advisor, and current romantic interest, or to Gene Palumbo, Judy’s conductor if Fuller was not available; or then, as a final option, directly to “Miss Garland.”

For her concerts on June 26 and the 27th, Judy was ill and in poor voice but on June 28 she bounced back and gave a powerful performance.  On closing night, June 29, she was 35 minutes late in taking the stage; after 25 minutes, during her third song, at 10:50 p.m., Judy fell asleep on stage and had to be helped from the stage, and taken by ambulance to the nearby Monmouth Medical Center.  Judy was carried off the stage on a stretcher in full view of the audience, still clutching her microphone!  She then went from the Monmouth Medical Center to New York, where Dr. Udall Salmon placed her in the LeRoy Hospital.  Over the next few weeks, she went through a withdrawal program at the Peter Brent Bringham Hospital in Boston.  By the time f her next engagement (her concert at the JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), she was medication-free and in fantastic shape.



June 26, 1969:  In the early morning hours Judy’s body arrived in New York (from London) for her funeral service the next day (June 27th) at Campbell’s Funeral Home.  On this day (June 26th), the public (over 22,000 total) waited to file past Judy’s open casket that day beginning at noon (11:30 a.m. according to some sources).  The crowds began to gather as early as 3 a.m.

Judy’s daughter, Liza, was the only family member present to meet Judy’s casket when it arrived at Kennedy Airport (JFK).  Judy’s fifth husband, Mickey Deans, and the Reverend Peter Delaney (who married the couple) accompanied the casket from London.

Even after her death, Judy was given the short end of the stick by CBS.  She had stipulated in her will that she wanted Gene Hibbs (who had done her makeup on her TV series) to do her makeup this one last time.  Liza called Hibbs who was in Los Angeles working on the series “Green Acres.”  The series star, Eva Gabor, said she would not work unless Hibbs was permitted to fly to New York.  Producer Otto Preminger called the network from New York but was unable to convince the series producer to release Hibbs from his contract.  The network claimed they would lose $30,000 of “lost time” if they allowed him to leave.

Click on the images above to read the articles.



June 26, 1969:  The second in a series of four articles reprinting parts of Judy’s own memoirs as published in the Ladies Home Journal in 1967, titled “The Plot Against Judy Garland.”

Judy’s Memoirs – ‘Lonely Nights Especially Bad For Me’

By JUDY GARLAND

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I KNEW MARILYN MONROE and loved her dearly.  She asked me for help.  Me.  I didn’t know what to tell her.  One night, at a party at Clifton Webb’s house, Marily followed me from room to room.  “I don’t want to get too far away from you,” she said.  “I’m scared!”

I told her, “Were all scared.  I’m scared, too.”

“If we could just talk,” she said.  “I know you’d understand.”

I said, “Maybe I would.  If you’re scared, call me and come on over.  We’ll talk about it.”

THAT BEAUTIFUL GIRL was frightened of aloneness – the same thing I’ve been afraid of.  Like me, she was just trying to do her job – to garnish some delightful whipped cream onto some people’s lives.

But Marilyn really meant to harm herself.  It was partly because she had too many pills available, then was deserted by her friends.

You shouldn’t be told you’re completely irresponsible and be left alone with too much medication.  It’s too easy to forget.  You take a couple of sleeping pills, and you wake up in 20 minutes and forget you’ve taken them.  So you take a couple more, and the next thing you know you’ve taken too many.

It’s happened to all of us.  It happened to me.  Luckily, somebody found me and saved my life.

THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES when I have deliberately tried to take my life.  Once I tried to cut my throat with a razor blade.  But I don’t think I really wanted to die, or I would have.

I think I must have been crying for some attention.  You see, I really like life.  I am too stubborn to kill myself.

My God, I’ve got too much to live for!  I’ve got my children, maybe some grandchildren soon, and committing suicide would mean robbing too many people, including myself.

I think that what pulled me through my crises in the old days were friends.  Marilyn Monroe needed some friends like I had – Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart and John Wayne.

Bogart used to tell me, “You’re OK, kid.  Don’t worry.”

And Errol told me all the time, “You’ll be all right, Judy.  The rest of us will go, but not you.  You’re the only one who’ll always be all right.”

John Wayne was raised in Lancaster, Calif., where I grew up.  He tells me, “If you can live through Lancaster, Judy, you can live through anything.”  He’s right.

WHERE ARE MY FRIENDS NOW?  I have few that I didn’t pay for, and when the money ran out, they ran out, too.  My fair-weather friends float out of my life when I’m in trouble.

But most of them came into my life wearing parachutes anyway: then they bail out and leave me without a chute.

There have been good people in my life, of course.

One year, when my state income taxes hadn’t been paid, I was put in jail.  I called people to bail me out.  But you know who wound up helping me?  Peter Lawford.  He’s one of the nicest men in the world.

Roddy McDowell is a fine friend.  So are Kay Thompson, George Cukor, Myrna Lowy and Mickey Rooney.

Since we were children, Mickey and I have tried to help one another.  But we were always stopped or interfered with by intermediaries.  We still do cling together in many ways.

And during World War II, Dirk Bogarde was a British soldier serving in Burma.  He was lying in the jungle rain one night and heard Japanese soldiers playing one of my records, “Look for the Silver Lining.”  When Dirk’s group captured the Japanese, he took the record – and still has it on his wall.  He’s a dear man.

THE NIGHTS HAVE BEEN ESPECIALLY BAD for me.  A man can always hire a girl.  But a lady can’t do things like that.  I just can’t pick up a man and become his lover.

I’d like to have the ability to handle men and be a swinger, but I don’t know how.

Certainly, I’ve had love affairs in my life.  And they were wonderful because I “was” in love.  With Tyrone Power, for instance.  We were going to be married.  Then World War II came along and somebody in Hollywood convinced me that I’d really fallen in love not with Tyrone but with the cover of Photoplay magazine.  he talked me out of waiting for Tyrone to come back from the war.

There’s nothing worse than being home alone at night – and I have been, too often.  There’s too much of a gulf between the roar and the love of an audience I’ve entertained in the silence of my room.  I can’t stand the silence.  I feel as if I hadn’t been born.

There seems to be no in-between for me.  And I don’t know how to cope with those empty nights.  I know I’d rather have a few words of love at night than the approval of thousands of people.

WOULD YOU BELIEVE there have been times when I haven’t even been asked out – not even to a movie!

I’ve looked at the telephone many a night and thought that if somebody would just get the wrong number I’d appreciate it.  Just to hear the phone ring.

Often I’ve tried to walk off the loneliness, just pacing the floor.  I’ve had mass love – and that’s pretty good, I guess – but not individual love, and that’s so much better.

When I can’t pace the floor anymore, I read.  I read my old newspaper clippings, believe it or not.

Or I turn on records of my Carnegie Hall concerts – that’s what Rock Hudson and Marlon Brando tell me to do.  They’re wonderful men.  You call them, and they’ll drop whatever they’re doing to help you.

Donald O’Connor, whom I’ve known since he was a baby is the same way.

KATHERINE HEPBURN AND SPENCER TRACY tried to take care and pay attention.  The last time I saw Kate Hepburn I was very ill in bed, with reporters and photographers outside my house.  But I heard this flivver that she always drives wheen into the year, and I thought, Oh, golly, here comes Hepburn health.

Then I heard a great deal of commotion.  Kate was carrying a heavy, shoulder-strap handbag, and she just beat her way through the press.

She came into my bedroom and said, “O, dear, dear, you really are sick.  I think you’re better come stay at my house for a few weeks” – where she could throw me in the pool seven times a day, rush me around the block and put me through daily health exercises.

But actually, she had to start a movie the next day and couldn’t take care of me.

Finally, she went out the back door, climbed over the high fence and hiked all 18 holes of the Los Angeles golf course to avoid the reporters out front.  When she got to the clubhouse, she had someone bring her care to her.

TOMORROW:  The Judy Garland boom.



June 26, 1969:  The fourth in a series of articles about Judy published immediately after her death.

The JUDY GARLAND Story 
Ex-Husband’s Appraisal of the Actress and the Woman

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.  

June-26,-1969-DEATH-ARTICLE-Philadelphia_Daily_News-1By LEO GUILD

I SPENT ABOUT A YEAR WITH SID LUFT writing a book about Judy Garland.  He was her third husband.

David Rose was gentle and kind and a considerable talent.  Vincent [sic] Minelli [sic] was a tasteful man with a great deal of dignity and class.  Though Judy’s marriages with them ended in divorce they had an influence on her.

Sid was married to her for some 12 years and they had two children.  Sid was a test pilot, who once crashed in flames in his plane.

I’d say that Judy’s choice of Sid, a strong, virile man with masculine tastes and faults, after two somewhat fragile, delicate men, was a good one in the time in her life when she needed someone strong to rely on.

Of all the people who were close to Judy, I think Sid knew her best, probably more through instinct than cerebration.

I also believe Sid loved her most.

AROUND HOLLYWOOD I’ve often heard it said that Sid married Judy for her money and the glow of her notoriety.  That isn’t true.  Sid picked up Judy in her lean years and, by the sheer force of faith in her, put her back on top again.

At times she hated him.  She once called Freddie Fields, her agent, and asked Fields to keep Sid away from her.

She called the police several times with the complaint that Sid was trying to steal the children (Joey and Lorna) away.

He was a pigeon for many of her wildest escapades.

She said this about their marriage.  “We’re like two boxers who like each other, fighting for the championship.”

In my association with Sid, I always found him to be exceptionally kind to Judy as if she were no more than a spoiled child.

She only demanded one thing from him he was never to broach any bad news or problems.  She didn’t want to know about those things.

SID’S APPRAISAL OF JUDY is an interesting one.  He lived through love, children, tragedy, and accomplishment with her, and he has this to say:
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“Judy on the plus side was a witty, warm, affectionate, gutsy night person.  She hated to go to bed and I had known her to stay up through three days and nights without sleep.  She was a born clown and dug constant action.”

“On the other hand, Judy was cunning and scheming.  She had no regard for money.  She really never grew up.  She believed in her own talent and in believing thought no one else had any talent.  She said Sinatra was a nice fellow but in her opinion didn’t have anything much.”

“When Judy ate, she ate like a truck driver.  But she often went for a long spell without eating.  She was often high and often low.  She was often cruel.  She was often a liar.  Sympathy was her business.  When she felt sorry for herself she demanded other feel sorry for her, too.”

“JUDY PRIDED HERSELF on forgiving easily.  She often did.  But if by her standards it was an unforgivable wrong, she would never forgive.  For example, she never did forgive her mother or her roommate who had spied on her during her MGM days.  She never spoke to them again.”

“Judy would tell anyone she was Black Irish.  Yet she would also say she disliked the Irish.”

“I saw her prove a point by sticking a large safety pin into her forearm and let it stick there.  No one had more guts than Judy.”

“SHE WAS BORN UNDER the sign of Gemini.  However, she didn’t believe in astrology though she was very superstitious.”

“Psychiatrists and doctors at different times called her a psychopath and a schizophrenic.  It fitted in with her sign.”

“More than most women she invited and loved intrigue.  One of her unusual characteristics is that when she ate or drank something very hot, she perspired on just one side of her face.”

“Her doctor once told me she should have been a circus folk so that everything she’d be in the center of all the whirling, swinging, noisy acrobatic activity.  She would have been happier.”

AS FOR THE CHILDREN, I spent many hours with them and they are normal, well-behaved kids who love their father, Sid Luft, and they understood that their mother was ill after many years of being a legend.

Liza has much of her mother’s talent.  Sid thinks Lorna, now only 14, has even more talent.

I sat with Sid, Lorna, and Joey in their modest Westwood apartment watching Judy in “The Wizard of Oz,” the MGM musical fantasy made in 1939 when Judy was 17.  We cried – all of us cried.

Judy was “Dorothy,” a sweet, believing but vulnerable girl who touched audiences deeply.  She was what everyone started off to be, cheerful, good and virtuous.  That’s what Judy, herself, started off to be.

SOMETHING HAPPENED FROM HER TEENS to maturity.  But it was after “The Wizard of Oz” was released that the executives at MGM realized what a tremendous impact this girl had made on the public.  From that moment on the die was cast.

I’d rather not give the man’s name who said it but suffice it to say that he is an important member of the industry.  Anyway, he said:

“I think the part of ‘Dorothy’ is what ruined Judy.  She created an image for herself and her audience.  You see ‘Dorothy’ wasn’t real.  I don’t believe Judy had real emotions.”

“I think Judy was an actress, a plastic actress who didn’t know who she was, so she played the part of ‘Dorothy.’  As a mature adult, she was still playing the part of ‘Dorothy.”  And when she sang ‘Over the Rainbow’ she grieved for the passing of that image”

“It was the same way with the audience.  They expected Judy to remain ‘Dorothy.’  Maybe my analysis is too pat, but it’s what I believe.”

ANALYZE AND CRITICIZE and still, you have to come up with an important star who never will be forgotten.

Maybe she wasn’t real.  Of course, she had some terribly human faults but at her peak in the spotlight, no one ever drew such response.

When she played the Palace in New York, buying a ticket required top drawer pull.  Phil Silvers, who wanted a ticket, was told the only way to get to see Judy was to marry her.

She got $140,000 for four weeks at the Palace.

When Mickey Rooney heard about that sum of money, he kidded her with, “How come you got so much money?  When we went to school at MGM I was at the top of the class and you were at the bottom.”

Judy’s answer was, “What’s the difference, they taught the same at both ends.”

AFTER DOING “THE WIZARD OF OZ” Judy did the “Andy Hardy” pictures with Mickey Rooney.  She enjoyed doing these pictures even though she was a kind of second banana and there was no great strain on her.

But her star rose higher with each picture.  The public wanted more.  They got her n “Ziegfeld Girl” and “Babes on Broadway.”

She gave new life to old songs, and her popularity soared.

That’s when she began having a mind of her own.  She asked if she could postpone a picture while she went out and entertained the troops.

It was 1941 and war had been declared.  MGM said “No” but she went anyway.  She was so valuable she wasn’t reprimanded.

She told the boys in khaki with her special kind of sincerity.  “I love every one of you.  If it will help you, write to me.  I’ll try to answer your letters.  And I beg you to come back.  You’re all too wonderful to have anything happen to you.  I couldn’t bear it.

She sobbed.  So did many of the men, especially when she sang sad songs.

More than any other star, the men wanted Judy back at their camps.  She was no sexpot.  She was the girl next door, the girl they wanted to marry.  She was a beautiful dream.

Always she gave the feeling that only a trick of fate interfered with her marrying each one.  They knew they were sure, she cared.

SHE WAS A STAR, AN INSPIRATION when the war started in 1941.  In 1945, with the war over, Judy was just out of a sanitarium and broke and ill.

Katherine Hepburn lent her a summer home to recuperate in.

Miss Hepburn spoke to producer Joseph Pasternak about starring Judy in “Summer Stock.”

Pasternak wanted to but the MGM brass was reluctant.  Both Miss Hepburn and Pasternak put pressure on their bosses.  It worked.

Judy was signed for the film despite an ominous warning to Pasternak that he had a tiger on his hands.  It helped him to know it.  He was ready for the challenge.

“Summer Stock” was Judy’s last important picture at MGM.  It was the last film she gave out with the Garland exuberance and energy.

Critics seemed surprised that Judy was such a talent.  They expounded in a spout of words on her verve and ability.  It was a fantastic comeback in the first of a series of collapses and comebacks.

Judy’s comment was, “When my body does what I tell it to do, we always come out all right.  It’s when it doesn’t that I get into trouble.”

That was a cryptic statement but had much validity.

FRIDAY:  Speaking of life stories . . . 



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June 26, 1992:  Decca Records (via MCA) released “Changing My Tune – The Best of the Decca Years Vol. 2.” which included the previously unreleased “Falling In Love With Love” originally recorded during Judy’s last recording session for the label on November 15, 1947.

A nice follow-up to Volume One, this CD also included several alternate versions of well known Garland Decca recordings, released on CD for the first time and having previously been released on the 1984 LP “From the Decca Vaults.”

All of Judy’s Decca recordings have been released over the years in various formats.  The most recent, and best, is the boxed set “Smilin’ Through The Singles Collection 1936-1947” released in 2011.  The set features new remasters of the recordings making it the definitive collection of Judy’s Decca recordings.

Learn more about Judy’s Decca records and all of the various releases at The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “Decca Records” Section.




 

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