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Judy Garland
220px-JUDYGarland.jpg
Name: Frances Ethel Gumm
Born: June 10, 1922
Birth Hometown: Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Died: June 22, 1969
Place of death: London, England
Occupation: Actress
Singer
Dancer
Vaudevillian
Television and radio presenter
Years active: 1924-1969
Known for: Portraying Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz

Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was an American actress, singer, dancer, vaudevillian and television and radio presenter. She is widely known for playing the role of Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939). With a career spanning 45 years, she attained international stardom as an actress in both musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist, and on the concert stage. Renowned for her versatility, she received an Academy Juvenile Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Special Tony Award. Garland was the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, which she won for her 1961 live recording titled Judy at Carnegie Hall.

Garland began performing in vaudeville as a child with her two older sisters, in a vaudeville group "The Gumm Sisters" and was later signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a teenager. She appeared in more than two dozen films for MGM. Garland was a frequent on-screen partner of both Mickey Rooney and Gene Kelly and regularly collaborated with director and second husband Vincente Minnelli. Other starring roles during this period included Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), The Harvey Girls (1946), Easter Parade (1948), and Summer Stock (1950). In 1950, after 15 years with MGM, the studio released her amid a series of personal struggles that prevented her from fulfilling the terms of her contract.

Although her film career became intermittent thereafter, two of Garland's most critically acclaimed roles came later in her career: she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in A Star Is Born (1954) and a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). She also made record-breaking concert appearances, released eight studio albums, and hosted her own Emmy-nominated television series, The Judy Garland Show (1963–1964). At age 39, Garland became the youngest and first female recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in the film industry. In 1997, Garland was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Several of her recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and in 1999, the American Film Institute ranked her as the eighth-greatest female screen legend of classic Hollywood cinema.

Garland struggled in her personal life from an early age. The pressures of early stardom affected her physical and mental health from the time she was a teenager; her self-image was influenced by constant criticism from film executives who believed that she was physically unattractive and who manipulated her onscreen physical appearance. Throughout her adulthood she was plagued by alcohol and substance use disorders, as well as financial instability, often owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. Her lifelong substance use disorder ultimately led to her death in London from an accidental barbiturate overdose at age 47 in 1969.

Early life[]

Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. She was the youngest child of Ethel Marion (née Milne; 1893–1953) and Francis Avent "Frank" Gumm (1886–1935). Her parents were vaudevillians who settled in Grand Rapids to run a movie theater that featured vaudeville acts. She was of Irish, English, Scottish, and French Huguenot ancestry, named after both of her parents and baptized at a local Episcopal church.

"Baby" (as she was called by her parents and sisters) shared her family's flair for song and dance. Her first appearance came at the age of two, when she joined her elder sisters Mary Jane "Suzy/Suzanne" Gumm (1915–64) and Dorothy Virginia "Jimmie" Gumm (1917–77) on the stage of her father's movie theater during a Christmas show and sang a chorus of "Jingle Bells". The Gumm Sisters performed there for the next few years, accompanied by their mother on piano.

The family relocated to Lancaster, California, in June 1926, following rumors that her father had homosexual inclinations. Frank purchased and operated another theater in Lancaster, and Ethel began managing her daughters and working to get them into motion pictures.

Career[]

In 1928, the Gumm Sisters enrolled in a dance school run by Ethel Meglin, proprietress of the Meglin Kiddies dance troupe. They appeared with the troupe at its annual Christmas show. Through the Meglin Kiddies, they made their film debut in a short subject called The Big Revue (1929), where they performed a song-and-dance number called "That's the Good Old Sunny South". This was followed by appearances in two Vitaphone shorts the following year: A Holiday in Storyland (featuring Garland's first on-screen solo) and The Wedding of Jack and Jill. They next appeared together in Bubbles. Their final on-screen appearance was in an MGM Technicolor short entitled La Fiesta de Santa Barbara (1935).

The trio had toured the vaudeville circuit as "The Gumm Sisters" for many years when they performed in Chicago at the Oriental Theater with George Jessel in 1934. He encouraged the group to choose a more appealing name after "Gumm" was met with laughter from the audience. According to theater legend, their act was once erroneously billed at a Chicago theater as "The Glum Sisters".

Several stories persist regarding the origin of their use of the name Garland. One is that it was originated by Jessel after Carole Lombard's character Lily Garland in the film Twentieth Century (1934), which was then playing at the Oriental in Chicago; another is that the girls chose the surname after drama critic Robert Garland. Garland's daughter Lorna Luft stated that her mother selected the name when Jessel announced that the trio "looked prettier than a garland of flowers". A TV special was filmed in Hollywood at the Pantages Theatre premiere of A Star Is Born on September 29, 1954, in which Jessel stated:

A later explanation surfaced when Jessel was a guest on Garland's television show in 1963. He said that he had sent actress Judith Anderson a telegram containing the word "garland" and it stuck in his mind. However, Garland asked Jessel just moments later if this story was true, and he blithely replied "No".

By late 1934, the Gumm Sisters had changed their name to the Garland Sisters. Frances changed her name to "Judy" soon after, inspired by a popular Hoagy Carmichael song. The group broke up by August 1935, when Suzanne Garland flew to Reno, Nevada, and married musician Lee Kahn, a member of the Jimmy Davis orchestra playing at Cal-Neva Lodge, Lake Tahoe.

In September 1935, Louis B. Mayer asked songwriter Burton Lane to go to the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles to watch the Garland Sisters' vaudeville act and to report to him. A few days later, Judy and her father were brought for an impromptu audition at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in Culver City. Garland performed "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" and "Eli, Eli", a Yiddish song written in 1896 and regularly performed in vaudeville. The studio immediately signed Garland to a contract with MGM, presumably without a screen test, though she had made a test for the studio several months earlier. The studio did not know what to do with her; aged thirteen, she was older than the traditional child star, but too young for adult roles.

Her physical appearance was a dilemma for MGM. She was only 4 ft 11+12 in (151 cm), and her "cute" or "girl-next-door" looks did not exemplify the most glamorous persona then required of leading female performers. She was self-conscious and anxious about her appearance. "Judy went to school at Metro with Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, real beauties", said Charles Walters, who directed her in a number of films. "Judy was the big money-maker at the time, a big success, but she was the ugly duckling ... I think it had a very damaging effect on her emotionally for a long time. I think it lasted forever, really." Her insecurity was exacerbated by the attitude of studio chief Louis B. Mayer, who referred to her as his "little hunchback".

During her early years at the studio, she was photographed and dressed in plain garments or frilly juvenile gowns and costumes to match the "girl-next-door" image created for her. They had her wear removable caps on her teeth and rubberized discs to reshape her nose. Eventually, on the set of Meet Me in St. Louis when she was 21 years old, Garland met Dorothy "Dottie" Ponedel, a makeup artist who worked at MGM. After reviewing the additions to her look, Garland was surprised when Ponedel said that the caps and discs that Garland had been using were not needed, as she was "a pretty girl". Ponedel became Garland's makeup artist. The work that Ponedel did on Garland for Meet Me in St. Louis made Garland so happy that Ponedel became Garland's advisor every time she worked on a film under MGM.

On November 16, 1935, 13-year-old Garland was in the midst of preparing for a radio performance on the Shell Chateaux Hour when she learned that her father had been hospitalized with meningitis and had taken a turn for the worse. Frank Gumm died the following morning at age 49, leaving her devastated. Her song for the Shell Chateau Hour was her first professional rendition of "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart", a song which became a standard in many of her concerts.

Garland performed at various studio functions and was eventually cast opposite Deanna Durbin in the musical-short Every Sunday (1936). The film contrasted her vocal range and swing style with Durbin's operatic soprano and served as an extended screen test for them, as studio executives were questioning the wisdom of having two girl singers on the roster.

Garland came to the attention of studio executives when she sang a special arrangement of "You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)" to Clark Gable at a birthday party that the studio arranged for the actor. Her rendition was so well regarded that she performed the song in the all-star extravaganza Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937), when she sang to a photograph of him.

MGM hit on a winning formula when it paired Garland with Mickey Rooney in a string of what were known as "backyard musicals". The duo first appeared together as supporting characters in the B movie Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937). Garland was then put in the cast of the fourth of the Hardy Family movies as a literal girl-next-door to Rooney's character Andy Hardy, in Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), although Hardy's love interest was played by Lana Turner. They teamed as lead characters for the first time in Babes in Arms (1939), ultimately appearing in five additional films, including Hardy films Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940) and Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941).

Garland stated that she, Rooney, and other young performers were constantly prescribed amphetamines in order to stay awake and keep up with the frantic pace of making one film after another. They were also given barbiturates to take before going to bed so they could sleep. This regular use of drugs, she said, led to addiction and a life-long struggle. She later resented the hectic schedule and believed MGM stole her youth. Rooney, however, denied their studio was responsible for her addiction: "Judy Garland was never given any drugs by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Mr. Mayer didn't sanction anything for Judy. No one on that lot was responsible for Judy Garland's death. Unfortunately, Judy chose that path."

Garland's weight was within a healthy range, but the studio demanded she constantly diet. They even went so far as to serve her only a bowl of soup and a plate of lettuce when she ordered a regular meal. She was plagued with self-doubt throughout her life, despite successful film and recording careers, awards, critical praise, and her ability to fill concert halls worldwide, she required constant reassurance she was talented and attractive.

In 1938 when she was sixteen, Garland was cast as the young Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939), a film based on the 1900 children's book by L. Frank Baum. In the film, she sang the song with which she would be constantly identified afterward, "Over the Rainbow". Although producers Arthur Freed and Mervyn LeRoy had wanted to cast her in the role from the beginning, studio chief Mayer first tried to borrow Shirley Temple from 20th Century Fox, but they declined. Deanna Durbin was then asked, but was unavailable; this resulted in Garland being cast.

Garland was initially outfitted in a blonde wig for the part, but Freed and LeRoy decided against it shortly into filming. Her blue gingham dress was chosen for its blurring effect on her figure, which made her look younger. Shooting commenced on October 13, 1938, and it was completed on March 16, 1939, with a final cost of more than US$2 million. With the conclusion of filming, MGM kept Garland busy with promotional tours and the shooting of Babes in Arms (also 1939), directed by Busby Berkeley. She and Rooney were sent on a cross-country promotional tour, culminating in the August 17 New York City premiere at the Capitol Theater, which included a five-show-a-day appearance schedule for the two stars.

Reports of Garland being put on a diet consisting of cigarettes, chicken soup, and coffee are erroneous; as clarified in the book The Road to Oz: The Evolution, Creation, and Legacy of a Motion Picture Masterpiece by Oz historians Jay Scarfone and William Stillman, at that time in her life Garland was an anti-smoker, and she was allowed solid food. For example, for a main meal she was sometimes allowed to eat a bowl of soup and a plate of lettuce. In a further attempt to minimize her curves, her diet was accompanied by swimming and hiking outings, plus games of tennis and badminton with her stunt double Bobbie Koshay.

The Wizard of Oz was a tremendous critical success, though its high budget and promotions costs of an estimated $4 million (equivalent to $58.8 million in 2019), coupled with the lower revenue that was generated by discounted children's tickets, meant that the film did not return a profit until it was re-released in the 1940s and on subsequent occasions. At the 1939 Academy Awards ceremony, Garland received her only Academy Award, an Academy Juvenile Award for her performances in 1939, including The Wizard of Oz and Babes in Arms. She was the fourth person to receive the award as well as only one of twelve in history to ever be presented with one.

Garland starred in three films released in 1940: Andy Hardy Meets Debutante, Strike Up the Band, and Little Nellie Kelly. In the last, she played her first adult role, a dual role of both mother and daughter. Little Nellie Kelly was purchased from George M. Cohan as a vehicle for her to display both her audience appeal and her physical appearance. The role was a challenge for her, requiring the use of an accent, her first adult kiss, and the only death scene of her career. Her co-star George Murphy regarded the kiss as embarrassing. He said it felt like "a hillbilly with a child bride".

During this time, Garland was still in her teens when she experienced her first serious adult romance with bandleader Artie Shaw. She was deeply devoted to him and was devastated in early 1940 when he eloped with Lana Turner. Garland began a relationship with musician David Rose, and on her 18th birthday, he gave her an engagement ring. The studio intervened because, at the time, he was still married to actress and singer Martha Raye. They agreed to wait a year to allow for his divorce to become final. During that time, Garland had a brief affair with songwriter Johnny Mercer. After her break-up with Mercer, Garland and Rose were wed on July 27, 1941. "A true rarity" is what media called it. The couple agreed to a trial separation in January 1943, and divorced in 1944.

In 1941, Garland had an abortion while pregnant with Rose's child at the insistence of her mother and the studio since the pregnancy wasn't approved. She had a second one in 1943 when she became pregnant from her affair with Tyrone Power.

In her next film, For Me and My Gal (1942), Garland performed with Gene Kelly in his first screen appearance. She was given the "glamor treatment" in Presenting Lily Mars (1943), in which she was dressed in "grown-up" gowns. Her lightened hair was also pulled up in a stylish fashion. However, no matter how glamorous or beautiful she appeared on screen or in photographs, she was never confident in her appearance and never escaped the "girl-next-door" image that the studio had created for her.

One of Garland's most successful films for MGM was Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), in which she introduced three standards: "The Trolley Song", "The Boy Next Door", and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". This was one of the first films in her career that gave her the opportunity to be the attractive leading lady. Vincente Minnelli was assigned to direct, and he requested that make-up artist Dorothy Ponedel be assigned to Garland. Ponedel refined her appearance in several ways, including extending and reshaping her eyebrows, changing her hairline, modifying her lip line and removing her nose discs and dental caps. She appreciated the results so much that Ponedel was written into her contract for all her remaining pictures at MGM.

At this time, Garland had a brief affair with film director Orson Welles, who at that time was married to Rita Hayworth. The affair ended in early 1945, and they remained on good terms afterwards.

During the filming of Meet Me in St. Louis, Garland and Minnelli had some initial conflict between them, but they entered into a relationship and married on June 15, 1945. On March 12, 1946, daughter Liza was born. The couple divorced by 1951.

The Clock (1945) was Garland's first straight dramatic film; Robert Walker was cast in the main male role. Though the film was critically praised and earned a profit, most movie fans expected her to sing. She did not act again in a non-singing dramatic role for many years. Garland's other films of the 1940s include The Harvey Girls (1946), in which she introduced the Academy Award-winning song "On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe", and Till the Clouds Roll By (1946).

In April 1948, during filming for The Pirate, Garland suffered a nervous breakdown and was placed in a private sanatorium. She was able to complete filming, but in July she made her first suicide attempt, making minor cuts to her wrist with a broken glass. During this period, she spent two weeks in treatment at the Austen Riggs Center, a psychiatric hospital in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The Pirate was released in May 1948 and was the first film in which Garland had starred since The Wizard of Oz not to make a profit. The main reasons for its failure were not only its cost, but also the increasing expense of the shooting delays while Garland was ill, as well as the general public’s unwillingness to accept her in a sophisticated film. Following her work on The Pirate, she co-starred for the first and only time with Fred Astaire (who replaced Gene Kelly after Kelly had broken his ankle) in Easter Parade (1948), which became her top-grossing film at MGM.[

Thrilled by the huge box-office receipts of Easter Parade, MGM immediately teamed Garland and Astaire in The Barkleys of Broadway. During the initial filming, Garland was taking prescription barbiturate sleeping pills along with illicitly obtained pills containing morphine. Around this time, she also developed a serious problem with alcohol. These, in combination with migraine headaches, led her to miss several shooting days in a row. After being advised by her doctor that she would only be able to work in four- to five-day increments with extended rest periods between, MGM executive Arthur Freed made the decision to suspend her on July 18, 1948. She was replaced in the film by Ginger Rogers.

When her suspension was over, she was summoned back to work and ultimately performed two songs as a guest in the Rodgers and Hart biopic Words and Music (1948), which was her last appearance with Mickey Rooney. Despite the all-star cast, Words and Music barely broke even at the box office. Having regained her strength, as well as some needed weight during her suspension, Garland felt much better and in the fall of 1948, she returned to MGM to replace a pregnant June Allyson for the musical film In the Good Old Summertime (1949) co-starring Van Johnson. Although she was sometimes late arriving at the studio during the making of this picture, she managed to complete it five days ahead of schedule. Her daughter Liza made her film debut at the age of two and a half at the end of the film. In The Good Old Summertime was enormously successful at the box office.

Garland was then cast in the film adaptation of Annie Get Your Gun in the title role of Annie Oakley. She was nervous at the prospect of taking on a role strongly identified with Ethel Merman, anxious about appearing in an unglamorous part after breaking from juvenile parts for several years, and disturbed by her treatment at the hands of director Busby Berkeley. Berkeley was staging all the musical numbers, and was severe with Garland's lack of effort, attitude, and enthusiasm. She complained to Mayer, trying to have Berkeley fired from the feature. She began arriving late to the set and sometimes failed to appear. At this time, she was also undergoing electroshock therapy for depression.

She was fired from the picture on May 10, 1949, and was replaced by Betty Hutton, who stepped in to perform all the musical routines as staged by Berkeley. Garland underwent an extensive hospital stay at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, in which she was weaned off her medication, and after a while, was able to eat and sleep normally. During her stay, she found solace in meeting with disabled children; in a 1964 interview regarding issues raised in A Child Is Waiting (1963) and her recovery at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Garland had this to say: "Well it helped me by just getting my mind off myself and ... they were so delightful, they were so loving and good and I forgot about myself for a change".

Garland returned to Los Angeles heavier, and in the fall of 1949, was cast opposite Gene Kelly in Summer Stock (1950). The film took six months to complete. To lose weight, Garland went back on the pills and the familiar pattern resurfaced. She began showing up late or not at all. When principal photography on Summer Stock was completed in the spring of 1950, it was decided that Garland needed an additional musical number. She agreed to do it provided the song should be "Get Happy".

In addition, she insisted that director Charles Walters choreograph and stage the number. By that time, Garland had lost 15 pounds and looked more slender. "Get Happy" was the last segment of Summer Stock to be filmed. It was her final picture for MGM. When it was released in the fall of 1950, Summer Stock drew big crowds and racked up very respectable box-office receipts, but because of the costly shooting delays caused by Garland, the film posted a loss of $80,000 to the studio.

Garland was cast in the film Royal Wedding with Fred Astaire after June Allyson became pregnant in 1950. She failed to report to the set on multiple occasions, and the studio suspended her contract on June 17, 1950. She was replaced by Jane Powell. Reputable biographies following her death stated that after this latest dismissal, she slightly grazed her neck with a broken glass, requiring only a Band-Aid, but at the time, the public was informed that a despondent Garland had slashed her throat.

"All I could see ahead was more confusion", Garland later said of this suicide attempt. "I wanted to black out the future as well as the past. I wanted to hurt myself and everyone who had hurt me." In September 1950, after 15 years with the studio, Garland and MGM parted company.

Garland was a frequent guest on Kraft Music Hall, hosted by her friend Bing Crosby. Following Garland's second suicide attempt, Crosby, knowing that she was depressed and running out of money, invited her on to his radio show – the first of the new season – on October 11, 1950.

Garland made eight appearances during the 1950–51 season of The Bing Crosby – Chesterfield Show, which immediately reinvigorated her career. Soon after, she toured for four months to sellout crowds in Europe.

In 1951, Garland began a four-month concert tour of Britain and Ireland, where she played to sold-out audiences throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland. The successful concert tour was the first of her many comebacks, with performances centered on songs by Al Jolson and revival of vaudevillian "tradition". Garland performed complete shows as tributes to Jolson in her concerts at the London Palladium in April and at New York's Palace Theater later that year.

Garland said after the Palladium show: "I suddenly knew that this was the beginning of a new life ... Hollywood thought I was through; then came the wonderful opportunity to appear at the London Palladium, where I can truthfully say Judy Garland was reborn." Her appearances at the Palladium lasted for four weeks, where she received rave reviews and an ovation described by the Palladium manager as the loudest he had ever heard.

Garland's engagement at the Palace Theatre in Manhattan in October 1951 exceeded all previous records for the theater and for Garland, and was called "one of the greatest personal triumphs in show business history". Garland was honored with a Special Tony Award for her contribution to the revival of vaudeville.

Garland divorced Minnelli that same year. On June 8, 1952, she married Sidney Luft, her tour manager and producer, in Hollister, California. Garland gave birth to Lorna Luft, who herself became an actress and singer, on November 21, 1952, and to Joey Luft on March 29, 1955.

Garland appeared with James Mason in the Warner Bros. film A Star Is Born (1954), the first remake of the 1937 film. She and Sidney Luft, her then-husband, produced the film through their production company, Transcona Enterprises, while Warner Bros. supplied finance, production facilities, and crew. Directed by George Cukor, it was a large undertaking to which she initially fully dedicated herself.

As shooting progressed, however, she began making the same pleas of illness that she had so often made during her final films at MGM. Production delays led to cost overruns and angry confrontations with Warner Bros. head Jack L. Warner. Principal photography wrapped on March 17, 1954. At Luft's suggestion, the "Born in a Trunk" medley was filmed as a showcase for her and inserted over director Cukor's objections, who feared the additional length would lead to cuts in other areas. It was completed on July 29.

Upon its world premiere on September 29, 1954, the film was met with critical and popular acclaim. Before its release, it was edited at the instruction of Jack Warner; theater operators, concerned that they were losing money because they were only able to run the film for three or four shows per day instead of five or six, pressured the studio to make additional reductions. After its first-run engagements, about 30 minutes of footage were cut, sparking outrage among critics and filmgoers. Although it was still popular, drawing huge crowds and grossing over $6,000,000 in its first release, A Star is Born did not make back its cost and ended up losing money. As a result, the secure financial position Garland had expected from the profits did not materialize. Transcona made no more films with Warner.

Garland was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and, in the run-up to the 27th Academy Awards, was generally expected to win for A Star Is Born. She could not attend the ceremony because she had just given birth to her son, Joseph Luft, so a television crew was in her hospital room with cameras and wires to broadcast her anticipated acceptance speech. The Oscar was won, however, by Grace Kelly for The Country Girl (1954). The camera crew was packing up before Kelly could even reach the stage. Groucho Marx sent Garland a telegram after the awards ceremony, declaring her loss "the biggest robbery since Brinks". Time labeled her performance as "just about the greatest one-woman show in modern movie history". Garland won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the role.

Garland's films after A Star Is Born included Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) (for which she was Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated for Best Supporting Actress), the animated feature Gay Purr-ee (1962), and A Child Is Waiting (1963) with Burt Lancaster. Her final film was I Could Go On Singing (1963), co-starring Dirk Bogarde.

Garland appeared in a number of television specials beginning in 1955. The first was the 1955 debut episode of Ford Star Jubilee; this was the first full-scale color broadcast ever on CBS and was a ratings triumph, scoring a 34.8 Nielsen rating. She signed a three-year, $300,000 contract with the network. Only one additional special was broadcast in 1956, a live concert-edition of General Electric Theater, before the relationship between the Lufts and CBS broke down in a dispute over the planned format of upcoming specials.

In 1956, Garland performed for four weeks at the New Frontier Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip for a salary of $55,000 per week, making her the highest-paid entertainer to work in Las Vegas. Despite a brief bout of laryngitis, where for one performance Jerry Lewis filled in for her watching from a wheelchair, her performances there were so successful that her run was extended an extra week. Later that year, she returned to the Palace Theatre, site of her two-a-day triumph. She opened in September, once again to rave reviews and popular acclaim.

In November 1959, Garland was hospitalized after she was diagnosed with acute hepatitis. Over the next few weeks, several quarts of fluid were drained from her body until she was released from the hospital in January 1960, still in a weak condition. She was told by doctors that she likely had five years, or less, to live, and that, even if she did survive, she would be a semi-invalid and would never sing again. She initially felt "greatly relieved" at the diagnosis. "The pressure was off me for the first time in my life." However, she recovered over the next several months, and in August of that year, returned to the stage of the Palladium. She felt so warmly embraced by the British that she announced her intention to move permanently to England.

At the beginning of 1960, Garland signed a contract with Random House to write her autobiography. The book was to be called The Judy Garland Story, and would be a collaboration with Fred F. Finklehoffe. Garland was paid an advance of $35,000, and she and Finklehoffe recorded conversations about her life to be used in producing a manuscript. Garland would work on her autobiography on and off throughout the 1960s, but never completed it. Portions of her unfinished autobiography were included in the 2014 biography, Judy Garland on Judy Garland: Interviews and Encounters by Randy L. Schmidt.

Her concert appearance at Carnegie Hall on April 23, 1961, was a considerable highlight, called by many "the greatest night in show business history". The two-record album Judy at Carnegie Hall was certified gold, charting for 95 weeks on Billboard, including 13 weeks at number one. It won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Best Female Vocal of the Year.

In 1961, Garland and CBS settled their contract disputes with the help of her new agent, Freddie Fields, and negotiated a new round of specials. The first, titled The Judy Garland Show, aired on February 25, 1962 and featured guests Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Following this success, CBS made a $24 million offer (equivalent to $158.4 million in 2019) to her for a weekly television series of her own, also to be called The Judy Garland Show, which was deemed at the time in the press to be "the biggest talent deal in TV history". Although she had said as early as 1955 that she would never do a weekly television series, in the early 1960s, she was in a financially precarious situation. She was several hundred thousand dollars in debt to the Internal Revenue Service, having failed to pay taxes in 1951 and 1952, and the failure of A Star is Bornmeant that she received nothing from that investment.

Following a third special, Judy Garland and Her Guests Phil Silvers and Robert Goulet, Garland's weekly series debuted September 29, 1963. The Judy Garland Show was critically praised, but for a variety of reasons (including being placed in the time slot opposite Bonanza on NBC), the show lasted only one season and was cancelled in 1964 after 26 episodes. Despite its short run, the series was nominated for four Emmy Awards, including Best Variety Series.

During this time Garland had a six-month affair with actor Glenn Ford. Garland's biographer Gerald Clarke, Ford's son Peter, singer Mel Tormé and her husband Sid Luft wrote about the affair in their respective biographies. The relationship began in 1963 while Garland was doing her television show. Ford would attend tapings of the show sitting in the front row while Garland sang. Ford is credited with giving Garland one of the more stable relationships of her later life. The affair was ended by Ford (a notorious womanizer according to his son Peter) when he realized Garland wanted to marry him.

Final years[]

In 1963, Garland sued Sidney Luft for divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty. She also asserted that he had repeatedly struck her while he was drinking and that he had attempted to take their children from her by force. She had filed for divorce from Luft on several previous occasions, even as early as 1956, but they had reconciled each time.

After her television series was canceled, Garland returned to work on the stage. She returned to the London Palladium performing with her 18-year-old daughter Liza Minnelli in November 1964. The concert was also shown on the British television network ITV and it was one of her final appearances at the venue. She made guest appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show. Garland guest-hosted an episode of The Hollywood Palace with Vic Damone. She was invited back for a second episode in 1966 with Van Johnson as her guest. Problems with Garland's behavior ended her Hollywood Palace guest appearances.

A 1964 tour of Australia ended badly. Garland's first two concerts in Sydney were held in the Sydney Stadium because no concert hall could accommodate the overflow crowds who wanted to see her. Both went well and received positive reviews. Her third performance, in Melbourne, started an hour late. The crowd of 7,000 was angered by her tardiness and believed that she was drunk; they booed and heckled her, and she fled the stage after 45 minutes. She later characterized the Melbourne crowd as "brutish". Garland's Melbourne appearance gained a negative press response.

Garland's tour promoter Mark Herron announced that they had married aboard a freighter off the coast of Hong Kong. However, she was not officially divorced from Luft at the time the ceremony was performed. The divorce became final on May 19, 1965, and she and Herron did not legally marry until November 14, 1965; they separated five months later. During their divorce, Garland testified that Herron had beaten her. Herron claimed that he "only hit her in self defense".

For much of her career throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, her husband Sidney Luft had been her manager. However, Garland eventually parted ways with Luft professionally, signing with agents Freddie Fields and David Begelman. By the fall of 1966, Garland had also parted ways with Fields and Begelman. Fields's and Begelman's mismanagement of Garland's money, as well as their embezzlement of much of her earnings resulted in her owing around $500,000 in total in personal debts and in debts to the IRS. The IRS placed tax liens on her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, her recording contract with Capitol Records, and any other business dealings in which she could derive an income.

Garland was left in a desperate situation that saw her sell her Brentwood home at a price far below its value. She was then cast in February 1967 in the role of Helen Lawson in Valley of the Dolls by 20th Century Fox. According to co-star Patty Duke, Garland was treated poorly by director Mark Robson on the set of Valley of the Dolls and was primarily hired so as to augment publicity for the film. After Garland's dismissal from the film, author Jacqueline Susann said in the 1967 television documentary Jacqueline Susann and the Valley of the Dolls, "I think Judy will always come back. She kids about making a lot of comebacks, but I think Judy has a kind of a thing where she has to get to the bottom of the rope and things have to get very, very rough for her. Then with an amazing inner strength that only comes of a certain genius, she comes back bigger than ever".

Returning to the stage, Garland made one of her last U.S. appearances at New York's Palace Theatre in July 1967, a 27-show stand, performing with her children Lorna and Joey Luft. She wore a sequined pantsuit on stage for this tour, which was part of the original wardrobe for her character in Valley of the Dolls. Garland earned more than $200,000 from her final run at New York's Palace Theatre from her 75% share of the profits generated by her engagement there. On closing night at the Palace, federal tax agents seized the majority of her earnings.

By early 1969, Garland's health had deteriorated. She performed in London at the Talk of the Town nightclub for a five-week run in which she was paid £2,500 per week, and made her last concert appearance in Copenhagen during March 1969. After her divorce from Herron had been finalized on February 11, she married her fifth and final husband, nightclub manager Mickey Deans, at Chelsea Register Office, London, on March 15.

Death[]

On June 22, 1969, Garland was found dead in the bathroom of her rented house in Cadogan Lane, Belgravia, London. At the inquest, Coroner Gavin Thurston stated that the cause of death was "an incautious self-overdosage" of barbiturates; her blood contained the equivalent of ten 1.5-grain (97 mg) Seconal capsules. Thurston stressed that the overdose had been unintentional and no evidence suggested that she had died by suicide. Garland's autopsy showed no inflammation of her stomach lining and no drug residue in her stomach, which indicated that the drug had been ingested over a long period of time, rather than in a single dose. Her death certificate stated that her death was "accidental". Supporting the accidental cause, Garland's physician noted that a prescription of 25 barbiturate pills was found by her bedside half-empty and another bottle of 100 barbiturate pills was still unopened.

A British specialist who had attended Garland's autopsy stated that she had nevertheless been living on borrowed time owing to cirrhosis, although a second autopsy conducted later reported no evidence of alcoholism or cirrhosis. Her Wizard of Oz co-star Ray Bolger commented at her funeral, "She just plain wore out." Forensic pathologist Jason Payne-James believed that Garland had an eating disorder (psychologist Linda Papadopoulos asserted that it was likely bulimia), which contributed to her death.

After Garland's body had been embalmed, Deans traveled with her remains to New York City on June 26, where an estimated 20,000 people lined up to pay their respects at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in Manhattan, which remained open all night long to accommodate the overflowing crowd. On June 27, James Mason gave a eulogy at the funeral, an Episcopal service led by the Rev. Peter Delaney of St Marylebone Parish Church, London, who had officiated at her marriage to Deans, three months earlier. "Judy's great gift", Mason said in his eulogy, "was that she could wring tears out of hearts of rock.... She gave so richly and so generously, that there was no currency in which to repay her." The public and press were barred. She was interred in a crypt in the community mausoleum at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, a small town 24 miles (39 km) north of midtown Manhattan.

Upon Garland's death, despite having earned millions during her career, her estate came to US$40,000 (equivalent to $218,261 in 2019). Years of mismanagement of her financial affairs by her representatives and staff along with her generosity toward her family and various causes resulted in her poor financial situation at the end of her life. In her last will, signed and sealed in early 1961, Garland made many generous bequests that could not be fulfilled because her estate had been in debt for many years. Her daughter, Liza Minnelli, worked to pay off her mother's debts with the help of family friend Frank Sinatra. In 1978, a selection of Garland's personal items was auctioned off by her ex-husband Sidney Luft with the support of their daughter Lorna and their son Joe. Almost 500 items, ranging from copper cookware to musical arrangements, were offered for sale. The auction raised US$250,000 (equivalent to $784,567 in 2019) for her heirs.

At the request of her children, Garland's remains were disinterred from Ferncliff Cemetery in January 2017 and re-interred 2,800 miles (4,500 km) across the country at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

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