On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – August 16

Posted by

“I came to London thinking I was finished, I’d read in all the papers I was finished and I went onstage and got the most fantastic ovation as if nothing had happened.” – Judy Garland, commenting in 1962 about her 1951 debut at the London Palladium




August-16,-1931-GUMM-SISTERS-CHRISTMAS-SHOW-The_Los_Angeles_Times

August 16, 1931:  Judy and her sisters, as “The Gumm Sisters,” were a part of Maurice Kusell’s successful kiddie show “Stars of Tomorrow” at the Wilshire-Ebell Theater in Los Angeles and would again be part of Kusell’s next extravaganza which took place on December 24th through December 30th at the Warner Bros. Downtown Hollywood Theater in Hollywood, California.



August-16,-1937-The_Los_Angeles_Times

August 16, 1937:  Premiering at Loew’s State and Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Wednesday, August 18th (not the 20th as previously reported) Judy’s first feature film for MGM, Broadway Melody of 1938.



August 16, 1939:  Newsreel footage of the luncheon that Judy and Mickey gave at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on this day to promote their appearance at the Capitol Theater beginning the next day, in conjunction with the NY premiere of The Wizard of Oz.  It’s short but still enjoyable as both stars speak a little.

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



August 16, 1939:  More Ozzy-related ads and news items published on this day.



August 16, 1939:  Two ads using Judy and The Wizard of Oz to sell their product, plus a very early mention of Judy being given “Mayer’s chicken soup” in the MGM commissary regardless of what she ordered, all in an attempt by the studio to get Judy to lose weight.  The news item makes light of the situation but today it’s no laughing matter.



August-16,-1939-The_Ottawa_Journal

August 16, 1939:  Advice columnist for the Ottawa Journal, Josephine Lowman, asks young girls “Why Grow Old?”



August 16, 1940:   Judy performed the only death scene of her entire career:  The death of “Nellie Kelly” in Little Nellie Kelly.  Judy had two roles in the film, that of the mother “Nellie Kelly” and the daughter, “Little Nellie Kelly.”  The scene was so effective and Judy was such a brilliant actress that allegedly some of the studio technicians had to quietly leave the set during filming out of fear that their sobbing would ruin the take.

The scene was shot on the “Interior St. Katherine’s Hospital” set. Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 5:35 p.m. George Murphy is her co-star.

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



August 16, 1941:  Filming continued on Babes on Broadway with scenes shot on the “Interior Backstage (Old Duchess)” set as well as the first day of filming Mickey Rooney’s hilarious impersonation of Carmen Miranda.  time called: 9 a.m.; lunch: 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.  No notes about when the day ended.



August 16, 1944:  Filming continued on The Clock with scenes shot on the “Interior Rodin’s Thinker Room,” “Interior French Gallery,” and “2nd Gallery” sets.

Time called: 10 a.m.  Per the assistant director’s notes: “10:00-10:25 – Waiting for Miss Garland – on set: [She ws] in dressing room getting into wardrobe – finishing fixing hair, makeup, etc. 5:35-5:40 – Discussing setup – set was decided upon and scene could have been shot by 6:30 but Miss Garland did not feel well and felt she could not work that late.”  Time dismissed: 5:50 p.m.

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



20841014_10155624949879859_6345016688508069503_n

August 16, 1947:  This article appeared in various English newspapers around the world:

Long rest needed by Judy Garland

Enthusiasm for her career caused breakdown

By cable fro VIOLA MacDonald in Hollywood

Judy Garland’s many friends in Hollywood say that the twenty-three-year-old Judy has changed greatly since she started her career as a plump schoolgirl singing “Dear Mr. Gable.”

A few people were surprised recently when her husband, Vincent Minnelli, and her studio, MGM, reported that because of a breakdown in her health she had gone to a sanitarium in Connecticut for a three months’ rest cure.

Judy, pale and thin after practically non-stop singing and dancing roles in one film after another, left accompanied by a nurse and her baby, Liza.

Minnelli said that the doctors pronounced Judy organically sound but badly in need of rest and relaxation, which she is unable to get in Hollywood due to the constant work both on and off the screen.

With Judy away, her husband is redecorating their new Malibu Beach home for her.

Meanwhile, shooting continues on Judy’s film “The Pirate” after she finished her role opposite Gene Kelly.

Judy did five songs and two dance numbers, while Kelly still has one dance to complete.

Judy’s desire to return to the cameras too soon after her child’s birth is largely responsible for her setback.

Black-eyed and black-haired baby Liza, now 18 months, is the apple of her mother’s eye and has a nursery especially designed by her father, who is an expert interior decorator as well as a famous director.

Liza also has a record album containing songs from all her mother’s pictures, including her latest numbers from “The Pirate,” which were written by Cole Porter.

Chatting with Gene Kelly about Garland, I learned that in “The Pirate” Judy has the role of a convent-bred girl in a mythical Caribbean kingdom who fancies herself in love with a bold pirate whom she has never seen. Her family wants her betrothed o the island’s mayor, played by Walter Slezak.

“I enter the picture as an actor with a strolling troupe of singers,” said Gene.

“I fall in love with Judy and pretend to the notorious pirate whom she thinks she loves. Complications arise when mayor Walter Slezak turns out to be a real pirate and tries to take my life. I have a wonderful opportunity to include in a Douglas Fairbanks type of swashbuckling role, with fighting and leaping about.”

New film planned

“When Judy returns from her rest cure, we hope to do Irving Berlin’s ‘Easter Parade’ as our next starring film.” [said Gene]

The youthful dancing team of Garland and Kelly brings back memories of the days of Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

If Judy retains her bounce and nerve these two may well pass Rogers and Astaire, as their versatility is equally good.

“The Pirate” and “Easter Parade” will be in Technicolor.

Judy’s favorite scene in “The Pirate,” according to Gene, is where she does a clown dance and song with her pretty face white-washed, a red nose and a red gash for her mouth.

She brought baby Liza on to the set to watch the number.

Judy Garland with her big brown eyes and soft brown hair is never likely to win any fashion award. She always dresses simply, and when not working often appears in slacks and a blouse.

For her role in “The Pirate”, she wears gorgeous pure silk frocks in rainbow hues to blend with the lush tropical atmosphere of the West Indies.

Her close friend and companion is her sister Dorothy, who has found a place for herself as one of the best script girls at Metro.

Though Dorothy seldom works on the same picture as her famous sister, the girls usually lunch together, comparing notes on their current productions.

All Hollywood wishes Judy Garland a swift return to good health.

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



20842013_10155626917374859_801596726878270070_n

August 16, 1950:  This display was a part of the promotion of Summer Stock at Loew’s Grand Theater in New York.

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



August-16,-1962-THE-LONELY-STAGE-Democrat_and_Chronicle-(Rochester)_

August 16, 1962:  Judy had just finished filming I Could Go On Singing in England and had returned home to Los Angeles (on August 12) when this article was published about her return to the London Palladium.  It was at the Palladium in 1951 where Judy began her big comeback after being labeled washed-up.



August-16,-1963-SHEILAH-GRAHAM-Des_Moines_Tribune

August 16, 1963:  Columnist Sheilah Graham reported on Judy and husband Sid Luft’s latest breakup.



August-16,-1964-HOLLYWOOD-MAKES-COMEBACK-Tampa_Bay_Times-COMBO

August 16, 1964:  Three versions of the same article.  It’s an interesting one about how Hollywood (the studios) had embraced TV and was on the upswing.  It’s a shame that didn’t last.



August-16,-1964-JUDY-AND-HER-TROUBLES-PHYLLIS-SINGER-COLUMN-The_Courier-(Waterloo-IA)

August 16, 1964:  Here’s a rather snarky blurb from columnist Phyllis Singer.  Ms. Singer apparently was not a Garland fan.  She seemed to enjoy lacing her stories about Judy with a fair amount of, well, snark!



August-16,-1967-BOSTON-COMMON-The_Boston_Globe

August 16, 1967:  Judy was still enjoying her successful, and final, Palace engagement when this article was published promoting Judy’s upcoming appearance (August 31st) at the Boston Common and giving details about the venue and the sponsors.



August 16, 1967:  MGM records on sale!  Plus, the news that NBC was taking over the annual broadcast of The Wizard of Oz.  Since 1956 it has been broadcast by CBS.  The film returned to CBS in 1978.

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



August 16, 1989:  More from the 50th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz.  The second article details the various books and collectibles that were released in conjunction with the release by MGM/UA of the special edition VHS and laserdisc versions of the film.  There were quite a lot of other Oz-related items on the market that are not listed in the article, some official some not.

Folder-Cover-FXCheck out The Judy Room’s Extensive Spotlight on The Wizard of Oz here.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s