“[The] hottest and most dramatic Oscar race in Academy Award history is simmering on Hollywood’s front burner … the girl born in a vaudeville trunk vs. the rich girl born in a Philadelphia mansion. The ‘old pro’ vs. the newcomer.” – Erskine Johnson, 1955
January 11, 1941: This news blurb notes Judy’s rise in popularity, but oddly states that her stardom came with Babes in Arms rather than The Wizard of Oz.
January 11, 1941: This photo was taken of MGM studio chief Louis B. Mayer chatting with Judy at a luncheon at MGM. She is seen sitting with her Ziegfeld Girl co-star James Stewart, although in the film she and Stewart did not appear in any scenes together.
January 11, 1942: This review of For Me And My Gal notes that Judy had been out of films for a time and, “Judy Garland returns, after a long absence from the screen – a Judy who is thinner and a trifle older but no less appealing or any less a good showman. Hers is a more adult role than the ones to which she has been accustomed, and the log dresses worn during the time set by the play accentuate her slimness.”
January 11, 1943: Filming continued on the “I Got Rhythm” number for Girl Crazy on the “Exterior Corral” set. Time called: 1:30 p.m.; Judy arrived at 3:10 p.m.; dismissed: 6 p.m.
January 11, 1944: For several days newspapers reported on the recent announcement that Judy would be divorcing her first husband, David Rose.
Exactly one year later the papers were filled with articles about the announcement that Judy would be marrying “Ben” Vincente Minnelli. The “Ben” name is interesting because Vincente’s full name was Lester Anthony Minnelli.
January 11, 1944: Meet Me In St. Louis filming consisted of scenes on the “Interior Hall and Stairs,” “Exterior Porch,” and “Interior Kitchen” sets.
The assistant director’s notes state: “Called: 10 a.m.; Wait for Miss Garland. Asst. Director phoned her home at 9:15. Said she had an earache and would be late. Arrived in studio 9:49. Came on stage at 10:30 made up and hair dressed only.” “1:50-2:25 – Ready to light JG in closeup thru screen door. Miss Garland removed wig, makeup and wardrobe and slept through lunch hour – Nurse called who put ice pack on head. Company waiting while Miss Garland getting ready.” Dismissed: 5:20 p.m.
January 11, 1945: Meet Me In St. Louis was in its seventh week at the Astor in New York City which was a clear indication that it was a blockbuster hit.
January 11, 1954: A Star Is Born filming continued with the scene of Judy’s “Vicki Lester” attending the preview of her film (“You’re starting lucky”). The scene was shot on the Warner Bros. backlot’s “New York Street” utilizing the standing “theater” set and street that was used in many other Warner Bros. films. Time started: 5:30 p.m.; finished: 12:35 a.m.
Photos (excepting screenshots) provided by Kim Lundgreen, The Warner Bros. Backlot book (1970s backlot photo), and The Judy Room.
January 11, 1955: The Oscar race was heating up, with Judy and Grace Kelly the obvious front-runners.
January 11, 1962: Judy was photographed out on the town with Frank Sinatra and the fabulous Juliet Prowse, at a recent dinner that Sinatra hosted at Romanoff’s in Hollywood, California. Also at this time, Judy was allegedly set to play “Aunt Cissie” in a musical version of “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.” The project never proceeded past the planning stage which is a shame as it would have made a wonderful musical film.
January 11, 1963: A Child Is Waiting was opening around the country and getting good reviews, especially for the sensitive portrayals and direction.
January 11, 1964: Hopefully Judy saw this amusing comic because it most likely would have given her a good laugh.
January 11, 1965: Judy arrived back in Los Angeles for the first time since May 2, 1964. An audio recording of the television report of Lorna and Joe meeting her at the plane exists, listen to it here:
At this time it had been announced that Judy would do four concerts in South Africa in either the spring, or June, or July; one each in Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth. Morton Gould was Judy’s requested pianist, along with a twenty-seven-piece orchestra. Judy’s salary for the concerts was said to be “colossal … the highest price paid in South Africa,” and later revealed to be $110,000 for the four concerts, or $27,500 each. Tickets were to have a $20 top price, unheard of in 1965. Judy never performed in South Africa.
Around this time, Judy and Mark Herron were seen with Denise and Vincente Minnelli at the Daisy, a nightclub in Hollywood.
It’s also reported that on January 11, 1965, Judy borrowed $25,000 from the Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association in Hollywood, with the understanding that she repay it by March 5. Judy borrowed the money because she was having financial difficulties. This might have happened a day or two after Judy arrived in LA as she wouldn’t have had much time to accomplish this on the actual date of her arrival.
January 11, 1967: Judy and Tom Green arrived in New York City, staying at the Waldorf-Astoria. Most of the time was reportedly taken up with “business meetings.”
Photo: Judy and Tom clowning around.
January 11, 2015: The Wizard of Oz returned to theaters for a special two-day engagement (the second day was January 14th), which was part of the 2014 75th anniversary celebration.