The life story of Judy Garland

Every woman should have at least one pair of red shoes that have a miraculous effect on the mood, especially on men. All unfaithful Tom can be convinced of that as soon as they watch the film “The Wizard of Oz”, which, although made in 1939, is still considered one of the most beloved achievements of all time, which is why UNESCO in 2007 included it in the list of world cultural heritage.

For the stellar status of red shoes, one can be grateful to the couple with whom Dorothy, a girl from Kansas, walked on the ground from a fairy tale called Oz in the company of Can, Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow, and in this realization she was enchanted by actress Judy Garland.

This role secured her world fame and millions of fans who followed her development from a child star to a mature actress and singer of a beautiful counter-alto. They were with her when she fought the battle against Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the powerful studio that created her, when her husbands cheated on her, when she covered up suicide attempts, and when she ended her life in 1969, tens of thousands came. Is to pay homage to her.

But, the life story of Judy Garland, it is different than many thought!


Judy was born on June 10, 1922, as Francis Itl Jim, the youngest child of Itl and Francis Jim, theater entertainers with modest talent but different ambitions. Her father was satisfied with running a small cinema and secretly enjoying homosexual fantasies, while her mother wanted glamour.

The Jimmy sisters were the name under which Mary Jane, Dorothy Virginia and Francis Itle performed in cinemas and clubs, without the right to an ordinary childhood. When Frank’s longing for local young men came to light, the audience boycotted their cinema, which is why the family, in 1926, moved to California, not far from Los Angeles.

Baby, as Judy’s parents called her at the time, soon performed alone, and when she rebelled and persuaded her mother to return home from the tour to see her beloved father, she punished her and locked her alone in a hotel room, pretending to be she left her. Later, Judy, with the help of a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, tried to get rid of those demons from her childhood, and experts discovered the root of her fear of abandonment and the inferiority complex, while the actress called her mother an evil witch in an interview.

Film career

As early as 1935, she signed a seven-year contract with the production company “MGM”, and the general director, Louis B. Mayer, paid her a hundred dollars a week on behalf of the studio for complete control over her personal life. That year, her father died, and she described his death in the following words:

“It’s the scariest thing that happened to me, because no one was with me anymore”.

There are different speculations about Judy and Mayer’s relationship, who took on the role of her father, but not a gentle one. It was speculated that he liked young girls, and those who would reject him could say goodbye to their careers. He often said that she sang from the heart, and after that compliment, he would put his hand on her chest to feel the power of her voice.

– Luckily, I didn’t sing from another part of anatomy – the actress commented on his behavior years later.

From the age of fourteen, she started taking various pills for weight loss, sleep, waking up … In order to make the girl who grew and changed, her mother and the leaders of the house “MGM” make her a nice girl from the neighborhood, they corrected her weight and working elan diet, amphetamines and barbiturates.

According to the strict orders of Louis B. Mayer, they were allowed to serve her only chicken soup in the studio canteens, so she was more often hungry than full, which is why she struggled with regulating her body weight all her life. In a few months, she knew how to gain weight, and then lose about twenty kilograms. Until the studio decided to let her grow up, her body was restrained with various belts and corsets.

So it was in the film “The Wizard of Oz”, in which, as a sixteen-year-old, she played an eleven-year-old girl. The film, which during that time swallowed a record budget of 2.7 million dollars, worked on 600 actors, 124 dwarfs and four directors, and was eventually signed by Victor Fleming, became a hit, and the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow “, is forever etched in the collective memory. He received six Oscar nominations, one of which ended up in Judas’ hands, as a confirmation of the best in the category of the youngest actress.

Private life

Although she tried to maintain the image that the studio assigned to her in public, so she stated that she does not think about boys and marriage, the reality of this artist was different. She had her first sexual experience when she was less than fifteen years old, and at the party after the Oscars, she became close to eight-year-old Tyrone Powell, who attracted the sighs of women around the world from the movies.

The romance was short-lived, but it contributed to his divorce from the French actress Anabel. Although their relationship fell apart, she did a lot for Judy’s self-confidence, and ranked her among seducers like Ave Gardner and Lane Turner. Shortly after that emotional crash, the actress fell in love with the young director David Rossi, whom she married in 1941, despite the opposition of her mother and the leader of “MGM”. Although she hoped that with this move she would regain control over her personal life, it was not even close to that. Namely, while filming the musical “Babes on Broadway”, she found out that she was pregnant, and soon, on the orders of her studio and mother, she had to have an abortion. The procedure was performed by a surgeon who was on the payroll of her film studio, and the audience was told how she operated on the tonsils. She returned to filming only four days later, and no one cared how she felt. And she felt miserable and abandoned again. She realized that her husband could not defend her from Mayer and the greedy mother who spent and invested her money badly, and there was more than enough of her, because she was one of the ten highest paid actresses of that time. Although at the height of her fame, she was deeply unhappy.

When her marriage broke up in 1943, she sought solace in her lovers, and even in her mistresses. She was very much in love with screenwriter Joe Menkiviz, who is claimed to have been the love of her life. He tried to protect her from the big boss when they imposed an even more deadly pace on her work, since they found out that she was visiting a psychiatrist. Her self-confidence returned somewhat when the producers asked her to play in the film “Presenting Lilly Mars” instead of the very popular beauty and acting star, Lane Turner. However, she seemed to be more and more unaware of herself, she turned to pills more and more often, and she was tormented by nightmares and insomnia.

When she finished filming “Girl Crazy”, she asked Mayer for a half-year break in order to go for treatment, but “MGM” did not want to be left without such a lucrative star. After he refused her request, she called her friends more and more often at night to complain to them. During one night, waiting for a psychiatrist to call her, she drank a bottle of vodka with barbiturates. The studio later called it her first fake suicide attempt, and many others followed until 26 years later, she really managed to take her own life.

However, until the final end, Garland alternately experienced periods of happiness, severe depression, ups and downs, often seeking love from men who loved her, but not the way she wanted.

Namely, many of them were covert homosexuals who, due to the false norms of the then Hollywood, hid their sexual orientation. One of them was the director Vincent Minnelli with whom she recorded “We’ll Meet in St. Louis”. Although she didn’t like him at first, in the end she succumbed to his charm. They were married in 1945, this time with Mayer’s and mother’s blessing.

Health problems

Judy soon became pregnant, and then gave birth to a girl named Lisa May Minnelli. However, soon everything goes downhill, because Judy fell into postpartum depression combined with a growing dependence on pills. She often fell into paranoia, which was most often directed at her husband.

In the middle of 1947, the tabloids announced that the actress was getting sicker and that she was in a complete nervous disorder. She ended up in a private psychiatric clinic, and “MGM” refused to give her a salary until she returned to filming.

In addition, she had problems with the tax service, which revealed that her mother did not pay taxes, while her husband refused to bring her daughter to visit. Then she tried to take her own life again, after which her second marriage started to break down and her career slowed down. She sought solace in the arms of young Jul Briner, and her husband in the arms of their homemaker.

The press soon found out about her drug addiction, and when the studio suspended her due to delays and inappropriate behavior on the set, the public declared her a drug addict and an alcoholic. After she was fired from the filming of “Royal Wedding”, she tried to cut her neck with a piece of glass. After all, “MGM” gave up on her and in 1950 they terminated the contract. For 16 years of shooting and 28 films, the studio earned $80 million, and after the breakup, they did not want to give her severance pay, pension, or even organize a farewell party.

Without a job, money and a marriage that existed only on paper, she decided to send her daughter to Minnelli to seek happiness in New York. There she met Sidney Sid Luft, and later said it was love at first sight.

After officially divorcing the then very successful Minnelli in 1951, she got engaged to a new chosen one with whom she forged a return to the stage, but this time as a singer. They started her four-month tour of Great Britain in London’s “Palladium”, and although she was fatter than ever and looked tortured, the audience welcomed her enthusiastically. From there, she went to New York, where for nineteen weeks, twice a day, she performed at the renovated Broadway Palace Theater, and was listened to by 800,000 people, which is one of the greatest triumphs in the history of show business. She felt successful and loved, so she decided to remarry two days before her thirtieth birthday.

Not long after, Judy and Sydney realized themselves in the role of parents. First their son John was born, and then their daughter Lorna. Although she finally started, her mother made sure that it wasn’t like that, so she sued her and asked for support, when she used the opportunity to spit on her daughter in the newspapers. The two did not even manage to reconcile, since Itl suffered a heart attack and died in 1953.

Judy ate her conscience so much that even returning to the cameras to screen the movie “The Star is Born” didn’t help her. Despite the fact that after a four-year break, she dreamed of returning to the cameras, the shooting woke up old demons, drugs and diet pills. Within ten months, she was addicted again, which also affected her marriage, which they tried to save with another child, her son Joseph Willie, who was born in 1955 on the night of the “Oscar” for which she was nominated, but the statue ended up in the hands of Grace Kelly for the role of “Girls from the Village.”

Problems in marriage

However, the bad situation in the marriage continued, and the quarrels turned into fights, so in 1956, Judy filed for divorce for the first time, but they decided to give their love another chance. They lasted until 1961, when they officially broke up, but the actress treated the dissatisfaction from home with love trips. Even Frank Sinatra was her consolation.

However, even then, there was no end to Sid, because they often reconciled and parted, so that their relationship would end in 1965 after a very nasty court divorce and a hard fight over child custody and the division of money. Judy still did not give up, but was looking for the right man who would fill the void of her lost childhood. Luck smiled on her when she met the young actor Mark Heron, whom she soon married in Las Vegas, and she found out even faster that he was also a homosexual. After six months, he asked the court to support him, after which she drove him away, but they did not officially divorce until 1967. By then, she had already met her fifth husband, a nightclub manager in Manhattan, Mickey Deans.

Before they got married, she changed hospital beds by taking off her speed, young lovers and tried to get her career back on track, but ended up as a victim of someone else’s greed for fame and money. Deans managed to persuade her to accept an engagement in the London club “Talk of the Town”, where they got married in 1969. Her fifth husband was also a homosexual, and neither he nor four of his predecessors managed to save her from herself.

The last days

She died naked on the bathroom floor from an overdose of barbiturates on the night of June 21, 1969. Dins found her only in the morning, stiff, after breaking down the locked bathroom door.

Her fans said goodbye to her by passing on Madison Avenue in New York, and it took the family more than a year to bury her in a tomb at Ferncliff Cemetery in New York. Namely, no one wanted to bear the costs of the funeral, so what she always suspected turned out to be true, that the audience loved her more than her closest ones.


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