On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – November 13

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“Yes, sir, Judy is ‘growed up’ to be an all around glamour girl.” – “Little Nellie Kelly” promotion, 1940

November 13, 1938:  Three items (four images).

1)  “Fortunate is the young lady with a skin clear and soft as that of Judy Garland.  Here is one adolescent who conscientiously follows the primary rules of beauty – cleanliness and daily exercise.”  The actual article is about actress Pricilla Lane and not Judy regardless of the fact that Judy’s image is used to get the reader’s attention.

2)  A review and ad for Listen, Darling.  The uncredited reviewer really loved the film!

3)  Another notice about Judy wearing a blonde wig for The Wizard of Oz.  In reality, Dorothy’s look had already been revised to the brunette we see in the film today.

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

November 13, 1939:  Babes in Arms.

More details and images of all of Judy’s activities during that golden year of 1939 can be found on The Judy Room’s Garland Centennial 1939 Page.

November 13, 1939:  “Judy Garland Builds Home of Her Dreams.”  This article published in “The Boston Globe” and written by Mayme Ober Peak focuses on Judy’s new home.  It’s anyone’s guess how much of the chat with Judy is real or made up by the studio.  The comment about Artie Shaw is amusing considering Shaw was Judy’s big crush and someone who inadvertently broke her heart.

More details and images of all of Judy’s activities during that golden year of 1939 can be found on The Judy Room’s Garland Centennial 1939 Page.

Judy's Home Postcard Front

Out in Stone Canyon, in stylish Bel Air, is a new early American house.  Around it is a white picket fence, through which old-fashioned flowers creep into the road.  This is the house that Judy built!  It’s Judy Garland’s first home, and it has a homey look.  As I entered the driveway, Judy’s married sister was just leaving with her baby – named after her famous Aunt Judy.

The living room is lovely and bright, carpeted in beige and hung in flowered chintz.  There were lots of flowers from Judy’s garden and also, I imagine, from the flower shop which bears her name on Wilshire and is one of her busiest sidelines.  Charis built for comfort and covered in chintz, a couch before the fireplace, several antique tables holding quaint oil lamps with crips taffeta shades, a secretary filled with books, a baby grand piano open with popular music on the rack contributed old-fashioned comfort and a definite girlish gayety to a room which was in thorough good taste.

To a girl who has been in show business since she was 2 years old, and on the road much of the time, such a living room must mean more than it would to an ordinary mortal.  When Judy came running down the steps to greet me, I saw immediately how much she meant to the room. She made everything sparkle.

16 Last June and Truly a Sweet 16

She has the face of an eager little girl.  She was 16 last June, and she’s truly a “sweet 16.”  Wearing a long white dress a few nights before at the opening of her first starring picture, “Babes in Arms,” Judy Garland had seemed to have grown up all of a sudden.  But this afternoon, in a short sports dress, striped in red, green and brown, she looked like little Judy again.

She had hardly lighted on the couch when she bounced up again and said, “Come on, let me show you everything.”

She led me down the main hall to her favorite spot, the playroom.  The floor was covered in delph blue linoleum – practical for dancing.  Chairs done in blue and soft plaid gingham, tables for games, a big fireplace, a soft drink bar with a jitterbug band painted across it are its features.

On the hillside is the badminton court and a swimming pool is being built – “curved like a lake,” she said.

The dining room has rose hangings and is furnished in Duncan Phyfe; the breakfast room is white and green.

Judy Garland at home in her Stone Canyon home

Room as She Wanted It With Everything Tailored

“Now come upstairs,” said Judy.  “I want to show you MY room.  My goodness, did I have to fight to get it like I wanted it!  They thought I ought to have a French room or a room with a four-poster bed and canopy.  But I don’t like pinks and blues and ruffled things.  I’m not the ruffle type … I like everything tailored.”

Well, we walked into a tailored room, all right – unique for a 10-year-old girl!  Judy’s room is done in brown, cream and chartreuse – everything very modern, with bleached wood furnishings.  A very large daybed covered in brown is built into a deep alcove; above the bed are framed watercolor sketches of scenes from “The Wizard of Oz.”

An amazing piece of furniture in Judy’s room is a modern chest of drawers, covered entirely in brown suede!  Two love seats, upholstered in brown, flank the fireplace, which has an enormous mirror above the mantle which extends on either side from floor to ceiling.  A rug of sheepskin, dyed brown, and a low coffee table complete the fireplace ensemble.

Anxious for my approval, Judy said: “They think it’s too masculine, but men certainly don’t have chiffon curtains.”  Judy’s windows are draped in chartreuse chiffon.  There are a number of chartreuse pillows on her couch; they relieve its austerity.

Her dressing room adjoining is not only fen=minine but very movie-starrish.  Judy’s glass top dressing table was littered with perfume bottles of all sizes and colors.  In the center was a little mirrored tray filled with pink lilique bottles, which Mr. Mayer had given her for her 16th birthday.  Judy’s bathroom – seen from her dressing room – is cream and pink.


Boy Friends, But No Romance And Certainly Not Engaged

The walls of Judy’s room are well covered with autographed pictures of her boy friends, including Jackie Cooper, Billy Halop and Peter Hayes.  She’s been going out to dance with Peter a lot lately.  He is the son of Grace Hayes, who played Judy’s mother in “Babes In Arms.”

But Judy denies any romance.  “I go out with all the kids in our crowd,” she said.  “I’m not interested in any one boy – boys don’t mean very much to me.  I get very annoyed when they have me engaged,” she said.  “Why, they actually had me engaged to Artie Shaw; he certainly is a little too old for me!”

“you’re really a veteran,” I said.  “Weren’t you awfully young when you started on the stage?”

“I was only 2 years old and I stayed on the stage until four years ago, when I came into pictures.”

“How did you happen to come to Hollywood?” I inquired.

“With my two sisters, I was playing a Summer engagement at Lake Tahoe, when a man named Lew Brown happened to hear me sing.  He asked my mother if we wouldn’t like to come to Hollywood.”

“My sister was going to be married in two weeks, and my other decided that might be a good thing.  Mr. Brown took me to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.”

“I sang for Mr. Mayer.  The very next day they telephoned me to come out and they gave me a contract.”

“I didn’t know then how difficult it usually is to get into pictures.  But the hard part for me came after I got in.  After working for 10 years on the stage so steadily and having so much fun, I had to calmly sit at Metro without anything to do for a year and a half.”

“I went to school on the lot.  Deanna Durbin came to Metro about that time.  She was my age and we became great friends.”

“They put us together in a short called ‘Every Sunday.’  That was awful.  Then Deanna went to Universal and they loaned me to Fox for ‘Pigskin Parade.’  I wasn’t good in that, but the studio seemed pretty well satisfied.”

“Meanwhile Deanna made her debut in ‘Three Smart Girls.’  I was glad for her, but it broke my heart.  I’d been working all my life but they wouldn’t give me a chance like that.  I cried and cried.  ‘If you’ll release me from my contract’ I told them, ‘I know another studio will pick me up and find something for me.'”

“But they wouldn’t let me go.  Right then they took up options for two years to prove to me they had faith in me.  But I didn’t really do anything big until ‘Wizard of Oz.'”

“One man I have to thank is Mervyn LeRoy, the producer.  He took an interest in me.  He thought my hair had a straggly look . . . he saw to it that I had a wonderful wig made, also caps for my teeth.  No one had cared about this before.  Mr. LeRoy saw my clothes were right for the picture and that I had a complete new makeup.”

“And then after working six months in ‘Wizard of Oz’ I had to miss the opening.  I was in New York making personal appearances.  But I called my sister over the phone that night and she told me it was wonderful.”

1939 At home Stone Canyon1

Providence Debutante Lets Judy Have Dress

“And then came ‘Babes in Arms.'”  I interrupted, “your first starring picture, and one of the very best pictures of the year, Judy.  I never heard an audience applaud as they did for you and Mickey.  Your impersonation of President and Mrs. Roosevelt alone were a delight!”

Judy’s eyes were shining.  “We had fun making that picture,” she said.  “And I had a wonderful time getting ready for the opening.  The Friday before, mother told me to buy a new dress – she always lets me buy my clothes.  So I went to Bernard Newman, where I found a perfectly beautiful white lace dress, with silver woven into the lace.  It had a big lace bustle bow in the back, an apron effect in the front; it was very long and bouffant.  I was so sad when I found this dress had been made for a debutante in Providence.  But as she wasn’t making her bow until Nov. 15, they sent a telegram, asking if she would let me have it.  I got the dress!”

“Mickey called for me in his station wagon and we went to the Brown Derby for dinner – just we two.  It was fun because everybody was there and they wished us luck.”

“At the premiere, Mickey and I just sat there.  Neither of us could say a word to each other.  Sonja Henie was on one side, Irene Dunne right in front of us, Cary Grant behind us – and all these big stars just applauding us.  Mickey looked at me and I whispered, ‘I know just what you’re thinking!  We two kids who had been in vaudeville, who didn’t mean a darned thing for so long.’  I don’t suppose I could ever have a greater thrill.”

I was sorry for Judy’s mother was out and I missed meeting her.  I like the way she’s brought up Judy Garland, who was born Frances Gumm.

November 13, 1940:  Here’s an article about Judy’s brother-in-law, Bobby Sherwood.

November 13, 1940:  The Loew’s Theatre in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, ran a “search for Little Nellie Kelly” contest.  For three days, beginning on Tuesday, November 12, 1940, a young woman hired by the theatre would walk around the downtown area “awearin’ a bit of green.”  The first person to identify the mystery “Little Nellie Kelly” won $5 and the next 10 people to do the same won free tickets to see Little Nellie Kelly at the theatre.


Above is a feature about child stars growing up and an ad for the film, also from “The Harrisburg Telegraph” newspaper.

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

November 13, 1940:   Here’s an article that claims Judy sent a special greeting to a four-month-old girl in Muncie, Indiana, also named “Judy Garland.”  Allegedly Judy sent Judy a note which read, “Happy to know I have a namesake in Muncie.  Hope you will have as much fun being Judy Garland as I have.”  The article notes that the message was “sent by Judy herself.

It’s doubtful that in reality, Judy was aware of any of this.  These kinds of stories were cooked up by MGM’s Publicity Department on a regular basis, about all of their stars.  However, it’s also possible that the local MGM representative heard about a local family named Garland who named their daughter “Judy” and decided to take advantage of that to promote the showings of Strike Up The Band at the local Loew’s Theatre.  The rep could have contacted MGM in LA or Loew’s in New York to get a note written by Judy to be sent to him to give to the baby’s parents.

November 13, 1940:  Judy pre-recorded both the comedic and ballad versions of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” and “Laugh? I Thought I’d Split My Sides” for Ziegfeld Girl.

Listen to the recordings here:

Listen to the 2022 STEREO version of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” here:

“I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” – Ballad Version – Takes 4 & 5:

“I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” – Ballad Version – Take 6:

“I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” – Ballad Version – Take 7

“I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” – Comedy Version – Take 3

“I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” – Comedy Version – Take 4

“Laugh?  I Thought I’d Split My Sides” (only the film version of this is known to survive)

Ziegfeld-Girl-Lily-Mars-Cover-LGDownload the complete soundtrack here.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Ziegfeld Girl here.

November 13, 1943:  Girl Crazy.


November 13, 1944:  The first of three days during which Judy was sick and unable to work on The Clock which was currently in production.

Photo above:  This clipping published on this day in the “St. Louis Star and Times” shows Judy and her costar in The Clock, Robert Walker, dancing at the Mocambo in Los Angeles, California.

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

November 13, 1947:  Judy and Fred Astaire pre-recorded what would become another Garland standard: “A Couple of Swells.”  Time called: 2:30 p.m.; time dismissed: 4:55 p.m.  The number is a highlight of Easter Parade and of Judy’s later concerts and TV appearances.

Judy rehearsed “It Only Happens When I Dance With You” and “A Fella With An Umbrella.”  Dick Beavers recorded “The Girl On The Magazine Cover.”

Listen to the complete version of “A Couple Of Swells” here:

Listen to “The Girl On The Magazine Cover” here (Judy’s not a part of this recording):

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Easter Parade here.

November 13, 1948:  This two-page ad appeared in the trade magazine, “Showmen’s Trade Review.”  Words and Music was one of MGM’s latest big-budget offerings.

November 13, 1949:  Two articles were published on this date on the front page of the “Montgomery Advertiser” in Montgomery, Alabama.  The first was Jimmie Fidler’s syndicated column which addressed Judy’s recent struggles at MGM, as well as an uncredited article about Judy’s weight and her dieting.

November 13, 1951:  The schedule and subsequent strain of Judy’s show at The Palace in New York took its toll, and she collapsed backstage on November 11th.  She returned on the 16th.  The incident was highly publicized.

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


November 13, 1953:  Filming on A Star Is Born continued with the scene on the “Interior Norman’s Dressing Room” set where James Mason gives Judy her “makeover.” Time started: 10 am; finished: 6:25 pm.

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

Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

October 13, 1954:  A Star Is Born was one of the “Motion Picture Herald’s” Box Office Champions for October.


November 13, 1959:  Judy appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom on November 12th to give her version of a “rainy night rear-end collision” that she was a part of, and which apparently took place about three weeks prior.  According to the article, Judy was traveling by car to her home at 3 a.m. with actor Bobby Van and his wife Diane Garrett.  They were going to Judy’s for an early morning breakfast after attending a party.  Their car was rear-ended.  Judy was unhurt but the Vans suffered back injuries.

November 13, 1965:  Judy’s appearance as guest host of “The Hollywood Palace” premiered.  The show was taped on October 15th and would be rerun on September 3, 1966.


November 13, 1968:  Mickey Rooney called Judy from California and talked to her while she was in the hospital.  He called at 5 p.m. local time.  He told her to come to California to open “Mickey and Judy Schools of Musical Comedy” for kids.  He sent Judy a plane ticket and told her everything would be taken care of, but Judy did not want to leave New York.

Photo:  Judy and Mickey during the taping of “Episode One” of “The Judy Garland Show” on June 24, 1963.


  1. Judy’s capped teeth: I’m now convinced that some sort of portable bridge was made for her BEFORE MGM. I’ve seen many pictures with her real teeth (which were very crooked), and many where her teeth are capped. And in the 1934 pic you showed of her yesterday (a beautiful pic, btw) her front teeth are simply too straight to not be capped. Also, the caps varied. In “Strike up the Band” and “Nellie Kelly”, they’re the “piano teeth” look – almost too big for her mouth. But by “For Me and My Gal”, and later films, the caps were much more natural looking. Bizarre. I always felt Judy should’ve just had her teeth permanently capped, rather than going through years of carrying around portable ones. It must’ve made eating a strange thing, when she wore them in public.

    LOVE that rendition of “Once in a Lifetime.” Garland looks lovely (as she usually did in the mid-’60’s) and is in wonderful voice!

    Thank you for posting those “Hollywood Palace” clips!

    1. Ethel might have had caps made or maybe just purchased some. I’m sure as Judy matured the caps changed. I can’t imagine trying to eat with those things, but then again MGM never let her eat. 🙂

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