“In her volcanic 43 years, Judy Garland has already lived a good number of the cat’s traditional nine lives.” – Norman J. Zierold, 1966
February 14, 1933: Frances (Judy) performed at the Lancaster Campfire Girls’ Valentine’s Day Party in Lancaster, California.
February 14, 1938: Here are two more examples of Judy posing with various newspapers while in her hotel in New York. The photos were then used by local papers, here “The Dayton Daily News” (Dayton, Ohio) and “The Boston Globe.” Judy was in New York appearing at Loew’s State in support of Everybody Sing, her very first appearance on the New York stage. She was a huge success.
February 14, 1942: Judy served as Matron of Honor at the wedding of actor Don Defore (best known today as “Mr. B.” from the 1950s TV series “Hazel”) to his fiancee Marion, which took place at the Chapman Park Chapel in Los Angeles, followed by a wedding breakfast at the Brown Derby.
February 14, 1944: Meet Me In St. Louis filming continued. A memo was typed and distributed on this day, which read:
9:23-10:58 Note – At 9:23 Miss Garland’s mother phones Judy was feeling ill but had left for studio anyway. 9:35 arrived thru gate. at 9:55 call came from her dressing room Miss Garland lying down ill and makeup not started. At 10:02 Mr Freed and Mr Friedman went to dressing room. At 10:15 Friedman phoned from dressing room Judy would be on set in 20 minutes – on set 10:50 – getting dressed to 10:58.
Judy had a call to be on the set at 1 p.m.; she was dismissed at 6 p.m. The scenes shot were those on the “Exterior Smith Home/Street” on MGM’s Back Lot #3 (the “St. Louis Street” had been built specifically for Meet Me In St. Louis) and on the “Interior Rose and Esther’s Room” set over on a soundstage on Lot #1.
Check out The Judy Room’s “Garlands For Judy – Judy on the Backlot” edition for more information about where Judy filmed scenes for her films on the MGM backlot.
February 14, 1945: Judy had rehearsals on the “Swing Your Partner Round and Round” and “Hayride” numbers for The Harvey Girls. “Hayride” was cut from the film, but the audio survives and has been released on both laserdisc and CD. Time called: 2 p.m.: Judy arrived on the set at 2:40 p.m.; dismissed: 3 p.m. That was a very short dor or perhaps that “3 p.m.” is a typo?
February 14, 1952: Beginning February 15th at Loew’s State in New York City, a “Judy Garland Festival” featuring Meet Me In St. Louis and Babes in Arms.
February 14, 1963: Judy in the news!
Judy had collapsed just before going on stage at Harrah’s (in Lake Tahoe) the night before. She was taken by ambulance to Carson City suffering from exhaustion. She left the hospital that afternoon and was able to have a “quiet Valentine’s Day party” with her children.
On the following day (the 15th), the management of Harrah’s let Judy out of her contract for the remaining time of the run due to her exhaustion. Mickey Rooney came in to replace her for the rest of the engagement.
Meanwhile, Judy had reconciled with husband Sid Luft, dropping her recent lawsuit.
Judy’s name was also in the papers due to her latest film, A Child Is Waiting currently playing in theaters.
February 14, 1964: Videotaping of “Episode Twenty-Two of “The Judy Garland Show” at CBS Television City, Stage 43, in Hollywood, California. Judy’s guest was Jack Jones.
Judy sang an opening “mini-concert” that included: “Swanee”; “Almost Like Being In Love”/”This Can’t Be Love”; “Just In Time”; “A Foggy Day’; “If Love Were All”; “Just You, Just Me”; and “Last Night When We Were Young.” Judy also sang her “Judy at the Palace” medley. Judy and Jack sang a “Jeanette McDonald-Nelson Eddy” medley. For the “Born In A Trunk” segment, Judy sang “When The Sun Comes Out.”
The last “Ken Murray and his Hollywood Home Movies” segment that was taped on January 31st was inserted into the episode.
On this day, Judy also taped “Great Day” for the airing of “Episode Twenty-One.” This show, “Episode Twenty-Two,” aired on Sunday, February 23, 1964.
Also on this day a letter was drafted from Judy to Frank Rohner of CBS demanding that the episode scheduled for that Sunday’s broadcast (February 16, 1964) be switched from the Ray Bolger/Jane Powell episode (“Episode Ten”) to the Diahann Carroll/Mel Torme episode (“Episode Twenty-One”). Judy stated that she would pay all the additional costs involved in making the switch. She apparently wanted to continue the momentum of the concert episodes, as the first concert episode had aired the previous Sunday (February 9, 1963) and had made a huge hit in the press.
February 14, 1964: Here is an article and a letter to the editor, both about the impending cancelation of Judy’s series. In spite of what the network may have thought, most viewers (and Judy’s ardent fans) wanted the series to continue. It’s a shame it didn’t.
February 14, 1965: Judy and Mark Herron visited Niagra Falls for this Valentine’s Day, via car, dining and the Seagram Tower. They headed by to Toronto immediately after dinner then returned to New York City.
Above, an undated photo of Judy and Mark Herron, probably 1964 or 1965.
February 14, 1966: The seventh installment of a 12 installment series of articles about “The Child Stars” of the 20s and 30s. Judy was given two installment, the sixth one published two days before this one (the break was due to the Sunday edition of the paper coming between the two installments. this one and #7 published the next day.
“Fate Takes Singer on Roller Coaster Ride”
By NORMAN J. ZIEROLD
FOR HER THIRD HUSBAND, Judy Garland married her manager and producer, Sid Luft, on June 11, 1952. While her career soared back to the top, it was becoming apparent that her fortunes were beginning once more to tumble.
Nothing is more characteristic of her turbulent life than this recurrent pattern of the roller-coaster ride.
No star has been visited more often by fate, which has taken her many times for the swift ride to the top of the track, only to plunge her, sometimes precipitantly, sometimes more slowly, back to the bottom.
Trouble had begun at home, where the marriage to Sid Luft was in constant difficulty.
With a great need for companionship, Judy found that her husband’s work as her manager very often kept him from her side as he traveled to distant cities to make arrangements for her appearances, negotiating terms and settling the many problems involved in each booking.
Furthermore, despite the great sums of money which she was earning, they were in constant financial straits.
In 1962, her disputatious marriage exploded into the headlines. Judy declared that the marriage was over.
“IT LASTED ELEVEN YEARS and it would take eleven years to tell what went wrong,” she stated. “There’s no chance of a reconciliation. We’ve tried them and they don’t work.
In 1964, Judy left the country to extend her concert performances to the far corners of the world. At Melbourne, Australia, a dramatic series of incidents inaugurated an entirely new and highly original chapter in the life of Judy Garland.
On her previous tours, she had been accompanied by her managers, Freddie Fields and David Begelman, debonair young men with whom she had an easy rapport.
They invented a Judy Garland kit for her – one long eyelash, a tear-soaked handkerchief, a used Lifesaver, a baby fan, and a tiny bottle of Liebfraumilch, virtually the only drink Judy dared touch after her bout with hepatitis.
When the going got brought, these two knew how to smooth things over with laughter and wit and a great managerial capability. Unfortunately, neither of them accompanied Judy to Australia.
FOR HER MELBOURNE concert, the star arrived an hour late, to be met by an impatient crowd of 70,000 who greeted her with shouts of “You’re late,” and “Have another brandy.”
“I love you too,” Judy replied, but the Aussies were not in the mood for humor.
After fluffing several notes in her first song, she tried again to joke, toying with the mike in the gesture many of her fans know and love.
“Sing, sing,” shouted the hecklers. “Get on with it.”
While most of the crowd was won over with old favorites like “For Me And My Gal” and “You Make Me Love You,” the heckling went on.
After 45 minutes, an exhausted Judy walked off the stage and the orchestra was left to play the “Rainbow” theme to the angry, shouting crowd.
Next Judy flew to Sydney where she gave a concert without incident, and then to Hong Kong.
ABC correspondent Stanley Rich sent a cable for Hong Kong which was swiftly translated into headlines in America.
Judy Garland was unconscious, in critical condition in a Canossa Hospital where doctors had administered oxygen, worked over her for two hours, and finally brought her out of a 15-hour coma. Outside a typhoon roared with 90-mile-an-hour winds battering the city.
On May 28th, a new figure appeared in Judy’s life, a young actor named Mark Herron, “traveling companion.”
On June 11th, the incredible saga of guns-ho Judy in old Hong Kong took a bizarre new turn. To an incredulous world came the news that she had married Mark Herron. It was not explained how this could have happened at a time when she was still legally married to Sid Luft.
IN A TELEPHONE interview from Hong Kong, Herron confirmed reports of the marriage, although he appeared remarkably vague about when it took place, or where.
“We were married about six days ago – I don’t know what day it was,” the actor was quoted as saying. “It was on board a ship. We had rented it for the ay. We were just anchored in the harbor here in Hong Kong. It was sundown. I don’t know the name of the ship. A very nice Chinese fellow stood up for me. I don’t know his name.”
Vague as he was about the matter of the ceremony, Herron’s memory was excellent when it came to minor details, such as Judy’s wedding outfit.
“She wore a tan suit,” he declared, “and we looked just lovely. We’re both very happy and excited.”
FOR THOSE OF little faith, a further surprise was in store the following day. From Hong Kong’s Mandarin Hotel, where Judy was staying, came word that she had been married to Herron a second time in a traditional Chinese ceremony with candles and josh sticks.
The earlier ceremony, it was reported, had taken place on June 6th aboard the 18,000 ton Norwegian cargo ship Bodo, three miles off the Hong Kong coast, where a Captain Naavik had performed the wedding ritual, with the crew as witnesses.
With mystery trading behind, Judy and Herron now sailed on board the liner President Roosevelt for Tokyo.
Back in Hong Kong, the marine department stated it could find no record of the Bodo, on which the first ceremony presumably took place, and a government spokesman said that in any event it was only a widely held myth that ships’ captains have the authority to marry people.
As for the second ceremony, the spokesman declared, the colony’s law had long recognized Chinese-style traditional marriages as being for Chinese only, and even local residents were no longer relying on the ancient form based on worship for ancestral tablets.
On board ship, Judy dismissed repeated questions about the marriage certificates saying they were “locked away.”
AFTER A FEW DAYS in Japan, Judy clarified the circumstances surrounding the puzzling twin marriage ceremonies.
“Mr. Herron and I were blessed in Hong Kong by a Buddhist priest for my recovery from a serious illness,” she stated in an interview reported in the Daily News. “We were blessed for our life together, but we were not married. We are engaged to be married and will be married later.”
Together, she declared, they might do a play in London.
FOR THE LEGIONS of Judy’s admirers who wondered about Mr. Herron, there was not much to go on.
A graduate of little theatres in Los Angeles and Arizona, the tall, dark slender actor, in his late twenties, went to Europe in 1963 and took a bit part in Federico Fellini’s film 8 1/2.
When Fellini came to Hollywood the following spring for the Academy Award ceremonies, he told Herron that he would like to meet Judy Garland. Through actor Roddy McDowell, Herron arranged the meeting.
As a consequence, Herron himself met Judy and accompanied her when she began her Australian tour. While early reports described him as her traveling companion, the press gradually added the titles of tour manager and bodyguard.
IN HER VOLCANIC 43 years, Judy Garland has already lived a good number of the cat’s traditional nine lives.
Her handmaiden, Fate, may have signaled out an obscure young actor named Mark Herron to play a leading role in yet a new chapter, and perhaps he will help her to reach still another crest of achievement.
In the past, with the odds heavily against her, she has shown a startling ability to come back and confound the chart makers.
But then, when it comes to Judy Garland, it may be just as well to throw away the charts.
TUESDAY: Freddie Bartholomew.
February 14, 1966: Judy flew to New York for her next television appearance (“The Kraft Music Hall” taped on February 20), staying at the Plaza Hotel where she met singer Lana Cantrell when daughter Liza Minnelli brought Cantrell to Judy’s suite. Cantrell had known Peter Allen for years, as they both were from Sydney, Australia.
Photo: Judy on “The Kraft Music Hall” on February 20, 1966.
Early to mid-February 1967: Sid Luft hired agent John F. Dugan to negotiate with 20th Century-Fox who wanted Judy for a featured role in their adaptation of the best-seller Valley of the Dolls. In February, Dugan wrote Judy that he had set the deal: $75,000 for eight weeks of work; then $25,000 each week if she would be needed longer.
The earliest mention of this in the press was Jack Bradford’s column in “The Hollywood Reporter” of February 14, 1967.
Check out The Judy Room’s “Films That Got Away” pages for more information about Judy’s short association with Valley of the Dolls.
The poster above isn’t real. It’s a mock-up poster that I created in the mid-2000s using the font and style of the announcement of the film and it stars when Judy was still attached to the project (“and MISS JUDY GARLAND”) which was the same as the poster art for the final film. I swapped out the image of Susan Hayward used in the final poster for Judy’s image, of course. Over the years the poster has popped up online all over the place with people thinking that it was a real poster from 1967. It was never intended to be taken as real, just more “fan art.” 🙂
February 14, 1968: Coming soon to Baltimore’s Civic Center, Judy Garland in concert!