On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – January 4

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“I gained weight because I’m so healthy.  I’ve learned how to eat and for the first time in my life I can sleep.” – Judy Garland, 1950 





January 4, 1937:  In his syndicated column titled “Screen Life in Hollywood,” Hubbard Keavy’s makes note of Judy’s performance in Pigskin Parade.  I think we can all agree with his sentiments!

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



January 4, 1942:  These photos were taken of Judy and husband David Rose at the Dearborn Station in Chicago, Illinois.  The to were on their way to begin a personal appearance tour of midwestern training installations.  At this point, America had been in World War II for under a month and Judy was one of the first big Hollywood stars to go out and entertain the troops.  She did four shows a day, singing 12 songs in each show, over a three-week period.



January 4, 1943:  Girl Crazy began filming with the “I Got Rhythm” number on the “Exterior Corral” set.  Time called: 11:00 a.m.; dismissed: 5:58 p.m.

Nine days were spent filming the “I Got Rhythm” number, four more than planned. This put the film $60,000 over budget. Director Busby Berkeley’s idea for the number resulted in a grueling shoot that was particularly hard on Judy. So hard that by mid-month she was confined to her bed from exhaustion, her weight had dropped to 94 pounds. Berkeley was replaced by Norman Taurog, but his production number of “I Got Rhythm” became the finale of the film.

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



January 4, 1945:  Charles B. Driscoll’s column relays the following tale about Judy singing “Ave Maria.”  There is no information about this alleged performance at a church in Providence.  It’s probably not true but wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a recording of Judy singing “Ave Maria”??  Talk about chills up one’s spine!

Judy text:

When I met Judy Garland at a recent party I told her a story that amused her. Daughter Mary was editor of the college paper at Pembroke a few years ago when Judy came to Providence. She assigned herself the job of interviewing the star for her paper, but, not content with that, decided to hear her sing “Ave Maria,” which, the papers announced, she would do at the 11 o’clock High Mass at the Cathedral.

Mary knew the church would be jammed, so she conceived the original idea of attending the first service of the day, at 6 a.m., and retaining her seat straight through until that “Ave Maria.”

To her great surprise, she found that everybody else had the same bright idea. “We were all big dopes,” says Mary, but we sat it through and heard Judy. We were sad, too, because you can’t applaud in the church.”

On this day, Judy was at MGM for another wardrobe fitting for The Harvey Girls.  Time called: 1:30 p.m.; dismissed: 4:20 p.m.

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



January 4, 1946:  “Every second a heartbeat.”

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



January 4, 1950:  Judy’s a Lux Girl!

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on In The Good Old Summertime here.

Second photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!



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January 4, 1950:  Columnist Erksine Johnson reported on Judy back at MGM and currently working on Summer Stock.  Johnson gets a bit clever with, “For a while, there Judy was playing her bin scenes in sanitariums and in the M-G-M doghouse instead of on the screen.”  Of course, the article is mostly about Judy’s weight issues but at least, in this case, it was positive.



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January 4, 1951:  What a difference a year makes.  By this point, Judy had left MGM after her very public suicide attempt prompted by MGM dropping her from the film Royal Wedding and placing her on another suspension.

This ad and article are from Melbourne, Australia.  In non-American English speaking markets, Summer Stock was titled If You Feel Like Singing.  The reason for the title change was that the term “summer stock” did not mean anything outside of the U.S. at the time.

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

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography pages on Royal Wedding here.



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January 4, 1954:  Filming continued on A Star Is Born with more scenes shot on location at the Interior of the Shrine Auditorium.  Time started: 10:00 a.m.; finished: 2:45 p.m.

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



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January 4, 1957:  During an interview from her closing days at the Palace in New York City, Judy said she planned to take her show to England, France, and Germany, and then return to fil a movie of the book “Born In Wedlock.”  Columnist Dorothy Kilgallen reported that the management of the Palace had hoped to extend Judy’s engagement through that March.  Judy’s last performance was on January 8.



January 4, 1958:  Judy’s recent walkout of her show at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, Nevada, (December 31, 1957) made the papers.



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January 4, 1960:  This article reports on Judy leaving the hospital after her bout with hepatitis.  Judy was released the following day, Tuesday, January 5, 1960.  Little did anyone know that some of her greatest triumphs were right around the corner!



January 4, 1962:  Judy had a meeting with Stanley Kramer about her next film, A Child Is Waiting, which would start filming later in the month.

This was the third of three days of rehearsals for Judy at CBS for the special “The Judy Garland Show” co-starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.  The show was taped on January 5th, 8th, and 9th then aired on February 25th.



January 4, 1969:  Judy made a personal appearance at The National Film Theater, London, England.  Between showings of A Star Is Born she took questions from the audience.  When talking about Barbra Streisand, Judy said: “She is a STAR, she makes a sound, she has a LOOK.  No one will be able to really deny the fact that Barbra Streisand is a great talent . . . There doesn’t have to be a comparison.  She has her way of singing, I have mine.  There’s enough room for all of us.”

Listen to Judy’s talk here:

Judy also said she hoped to do more recording work and stay in London for a while.  She did say that MGM “still doesn’t trust me,” and wouldn’t consider her for their planned musical biography of Irving Berlin, to be titled “Say It With Music.”  That production had been in development by producer Arthur Freed for most of the 1960s.  It was to be directed by Vincente Minnelli but it was never produced.

Judy spoke twice at the theater: after the first screening and again right before the second.  For these talks, Judy wore her Blacklama mink over a pink mini dress.  After her show at the Talk of the Town that night, Judy brought some friends back to the National Film Theater for a private showing of A Star Is Born.

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





6 comments

  1. 🙂 And what a classy guy Rose was. He never spilled the beans on his relationship with Judy.

    I hadn’t seen that chatter about “Summer Stock” by the Garfreaks, but I can believe it. That’s hysterical!

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  2. One last comment on the weight thing, and I will DROP it for now. You mention “Garfreaks” in much of your wonderful, highly insightful (and balanced!) writing. I posted this before, but my favorite definition of a “Garfreak” is when one will say, “Judy is NOT fat in “Summer Stock”; she’s healthy. And doesn’t she look fantastic in the “Get Happy” number AFTER SHE LOST ALL THAT WEIGHT? (!!)” I’m not making this up. I saw several state this on the old imdb boards. Absolutely hilarious!

    P.S: I adore those pics of Judy and David Rose, perhaps her most mysterious husband. I thought he was so handsome, and they made a very sexy couple. Thanks again!

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  3. For me, the scene in Summer Stock where she comes out of the house and sees the gang all standing around tte new tractor harkens back to her look in two of her earliest movie scenes. First, especially with her hair the way it is and her being a bit pudgy, she resembles her Every Sunday teenage self. Hometown, wholesome, natural, scrubbed, peaches-and-cream innocence. Delicious!

    Now compare this same scene to the black-and-white- to-color transition in OZ. In both films she slowly walks out the door of a farmhouse with a look of astonished wonder on her face.

    She is utterly captivating in both.

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  4. 🙂 Judy’s weight was definitely a hot topic for the columnists and critics, especially in the later 40s and throughout the 50s. Not as much in the 1960s. I think a lot of it has to do with her fluctuating weight at MGM in the late 40s which usually mirrored her state of health at the time. That’s when people began talking A LOT about it. But as early as “For Me And My Gal” critics and columnists noticed how thin she was.

    I agree in that she was at a wonderful weight in “Lily Mars” and “The Clock.” I think she was lovely in “Meet Me In St. Louis” too, weight-wise. She’s definitely hefty in “Summer Stock” and in some scenes she doesn’t look healthy because of it. If Minnelli had directed “Easter Parade” Judy might not have looked as thin and drawn as she did. That’s my opinion, of course, for what it’s worth!

    She was so big in the late 50s but we know why. She looked quite good in the early 60s. I’m sure she had what we call “body dysmorphia” and most likely thought that she looked her best when very thin. I think she was conditioned to that thanks to good ol’ MGM!

    She looks fantastic in “Gotta Have Me Go With You.” Definitely! She looks at a great weight and very happy.

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  5. Not to harp on Judy’s weight again, but it makes for much of your entry again today. Perhaps I’m shallow, but I still feel Judy looked so much more attractive when slim. Of course, there’s balance here. Her weight is PERFECT in “Lily Mars” and “The Clock”, near-perfect in “In the Good Old Summertime.” But I feel she is way too heavy in most of “Summer Stock”, and throughout the 1950’s/early ’60’s. She looked extremely UNHEALTHY with all that bloating and poundage. And while I concur that Judy looks drawn in much of “Easter Parade”, I think she looks far more attractive than she does in “Summer Stock.” I just think leading men and leading ladies look best when slim. Like most people.

    That “Gotta Have Me Go With You” shot is beautiful. Judy looks so pretty in that number.

    I’ll shut up now. And thanks again for all you do!

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