“Judy looks thin and frail throughout the picture, but she seems to have developed enormously as an actress and entertainer since her last screen assignment. She projects the old melodies charmingly, in her role of Jo Hayden, and she also dances with grace.” – Kate Cameron, “For Me And My Gal” review, 1942
October 22, 1936: Here’s a nice promotion of Judy and her upcoming movie debut in Every Sunday. In spite of the headline noting that Judy was 13, she was actually 14 but MGM liked shaving a year off of her age to make her talents seem even more amazing. The short was Judy’s official movie debut per MGM although she had already made five shorts prior to signing with MGM.
The text on the back of the 8×10 photo reads:
KEEP YOUR EYE on Miss Judy Garland, thirteen-year-old player just making her screen debut in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Miniature Musical, “Every Sunday”, which Felix Feist, Jr. is directing. Judy, trained in vaudeville, has been studying dancing and dramatics at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. She is looked upon as a “comer” by those in the now in Hollywood. Jack Chertock produced the picture. The script is by Mauri Grashin.
October 22, 1938: Two reviews for Listen, Darling.
October 22, 1942: This column, allegedly written by Judy, was published in various papers around the country on this day and other days in the week (it’s dated October 20 but was published in the days after). As seen here, some papers would trim the columns to fit whatever space they had available which was a common practice at the time.
Judy’s newest hit, For Me And My Gal, was opening in theaters nationwide and this was another way that MGM kept Judy’s name in the papers, not that she needed it. Audiences and critics alike loved the film.
JUDY GARLAND WRITES COLUMN FOR COLUMNIST
Editor’s Note: She’s French for faux pas and tells of her amusing embarrassments in today’s guest column, written for the vacationing Harold Heffernan.
Hollywood, Oct 20 – Just call me “Judy Put-Your-Foot-In-It.” If there is anyone who commits more faux pas that I do, let him speak now or forever hold his peace. I’d like to meet the poor unfortunate. It would be interesting to compare notes.
My very first boner was registered June 10, 1922. The day I was born. Mother and Dad expected a boy. In fact, they were so sure that they had decided to name him Frank. Then I appeared. Frank became Frances and my parents graciously concealed their disappointment.
Faux Pas at 3
Three years later, I did it again. My father managed the local theater in Grand Rapids, Minn. Occasionally my sisters, Sue and Virginia, appeared in a song duet on the vaudeville program. This particular night I was brought to the theater and told to remain quietly in the dressing room. Mother was playing the piano for the act and Dad was busy in the box office. I was on my own.
Taking advantage of the situation and wanting desperately to sing, I marched right out on the stage just as the girls were coming off. I sand “Jingle Bells.” It would have been all right if I had sung it once. I repeated it seven times before Dad rushed to the stage to carry a kicking and squealing baby back into the wings. I’ve never lived that down.
One of the most exciting nights of my life turned out to be one of the most embarrassing. It was the premiere of “Babes In Arms,” and the night Mickey and I placed our foot and handprints in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. I wanted to look more glamorous than ever before in honor of this great occasion.
Now I must confess I had the habit of biting my fingernails. I was just sick that I couldn’t have long, glittering fingertips. But the manicurist promised to fix that up for me. She did – by putting false nails on.
After I placed my hand in the cement, we went inside to see the picture. Suddenly I thought creeping paralysis had set in beginning at my fingertips. They were numb and heavy. I was in a cold sweat before we left the theater – then I realized some of the cement had gotten under my nails and hardened on the false ones. I went to a party afterward feeling very much like the “Tiger woman with talons.” The next day I had to have them chipped off. The manicurist considered using a blowtorch for the job but finally settled for a small hammer.
Then there was the night of my first formal dinner party. It was at Jackie Cooper’s home. I had quite a crush on Jackie at the time and was so nervous that manipulating the fork from plate to mouth was a most hazardous journey for me. Came dessert time. Plates were brought on which were a lace dolly and finger bowl. Not familiar with the custom of removing both doily and finger bowl to the side, I removed the bowl but completely forgot the dolly. I then helped myself to a generous share of Chocolate Souffle.
Age Doesn’t Improve Her
At the first bite, I discovered to my utter horror that I had not only a mouthful of souffle but a good bit of the dolly as well. All I could think of was the tittering among the servants when my plate was brought into the kitchen displaying half a doily. Slyly I managed to stuff the other half into my pocket before dinner was over.
You’d think I would improve with age and not get into such ridiculous situations. I haven’t – not one bit. Only last week I returned home, tired after a hard day’s work in my new picture. After a shower, I pinned my hair atop my head, threw on an old flannel robe and sat down to dinner with my husband. Just as we were finishing, the doorbell rang. I answered to find two motions picture stars (whose names for obvious reasons will not be mentioned). I had invited them to dinner and had completely forgotten about it.
“Why, hello,” I gulped. “Do come in. I was just changing.”
Bad Few Minutes
I dashed into the kitchen and asked the cook to put dinner for four on the table. She looked at me as if I were a bit insane. But bless her, she came through. Fifteen minutes later, I strolled nonchalantly into the dining room, sat down to my second dinner of the evening. However, I will never forget those first few minutes.
On the camp tour, I made recently, it was my fate to commit an almost unforgivable breach. I knew very little about Army and rank. Insignia meant nothing to me. One afternoon Mother and I attended a tea at the Officers’ Club. We were introduced to everyone.
“Judy, I’d like you to me Colonel So-and-So,” one of the guests said.
I acknowledged the introduction and after a long conversation with the gentleman, left saying, “it’s bee a great pleasure to meeting you. Corporal!”
Yes. Judy Garland is indeed French for faux pas.
October 22, 1942: Judy’s new film, For Me And My Gal, which had just premiered in New York, was getting raves.
October 22, 1944: The Clock filming continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Room 387” and “Interior Marriage Chapel” sets. Time called: 10 a.m.; time dismissed: 6:25 p.m.
October 22, 1945: “Camera and Dress Rehearsal” of the “Who?” number, Judy’s guest appearance in Till The Clouds Roll By playing Marilyn Miller. Time called: 1 p.m.; arrived: 2 p.m.; dismissed: 3:30 p.m.
First photo: Judy’s husband/director Vincente Minnelli, and composer Jerome Kern on the “Who” set. In the second photo, Judy is at the top of the set in a shot not seen in the final film. She’s wearing what looks like a coat while everyone else is in full costume. It’s possible that there was a costume reveal to the yellow gown planned just before she floated down the stairs.
October 22, 1947: The first day of extensive retakes on The Pirate. For the next two months, Judy worked concurrently on The Pirate and Easter Parade. Fred Astaire had just replaced Gene Kelly on Easter Parade on October 16th. He and Judy had begun rehearsing “A Couple of Swells” on October 20th.
On this day, Judy’s time was spent on The Pirate retakes only, on the “Interior Reception Room.” The Easter Parade assistant director’s notes state that she was “working with Minnelli company.” Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 6 p.m.
October 22, 1960: Judy was set to participate in a “Koncert for Kennedy” (John F. Kennedy). Judy had already campaigned for Kenney, most notably on July 10 at the Democratic fundraiser in Los Angeles. This “Koncert” took place in Wiesbaden, Germany, on October 26th. Judy was in Europe at this time giving concerts in England and France.
October 22, 1964: Judy’s legal troubles continued. That previous Tuesday (October 20th), Judy denied that she was married to Mark Herron in a declaration filed in the Superior Court in Santa Monica, California. The declaration was filed on behalf of Judy who was in London. It was in response to estranged husband Sid Luft’s lawsuit to gain custody of their two children, Lorna, and Joey Luft. A hearing was scheduled for Friday but on this day (Thursday, October 22nd), Luft was ordered arrested for his failure to appear in court to answer separate charges against him that included contempt for violating an earlier order that barred him from Judy’s home as well as his removing a TV set, silverware, and other items from the house. The judge’s review of Luft’s petition for custody of their children was moved to Monday, October 26th.
October 22, 1964: Here is another review of Judy’s recent concerts at the Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford, Connecticut, which took place on October 20 & 21.