47 (passed away Jun. 22nd, 1969)
Jun. 10th, 1922
Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA
4' 11 1/2
Judy Garland's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
She immediately attracted attention in such films as Pigskin Parade (1936), Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) and Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937), but Judy Garland didn't truly become a star until she was cast in The Wizard of Oz (1939). Her performance as Dorothy won her a special Juvenile Oscar, and it was this role, of course, that gave her her most famous song, "Over the Rainbow." She then appeared in a long string of classic MGM musicals, including Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Easter Parade (1948) and several with her friend, Mickey Rooney (I). Unfortunately, the same studio that made her a star unwittingly made her a drug addict, providing her with amphetamines to keep her energy level high and her weight level down. This in turn kept her wide awake at night, unable to sleep, so she was given barbiturates to help her sleep. She soon couldn't live without these "wonder drugs." She also couldn't seem to live without a man, as she went through several affairs, often with older men, and by 1950 had been married twice, to bandleader David Rose (I) and director Vincente Minnelli. She had a daughter, Liza Minnelli, with Vincente. All during this time her drug intake had increased dramatically, which led to increasingly erratic behavior and she often failed to show up on time at the studio. MGM eventually couldn't take it any more, and her contract was terminated in 1950. She divorced Minnelli the following year and married producer Sidney Luft. Luft, the father of her daughter Lorna Luft and son Joey Luft, took it upon himself to orchestrate her comeback with a series of very successful concert tours. He also produced the film A Star Is Born (1954), in which many feel she gave her greatest performance. By now she was concentrating on her career as a singer, which was winning her more legions of fans. She continued touring throughout the 1950s and 1960s, appearing in three more films and starring in her own television variety show in 1963, which had to be canceled after one season because the competition, "Bonanza" (1959), was too strong. She divorced Luft and married actor Mark Herron (I); she divorced him when she found out he was gay, and married disco manager Mickey Deans. Throughout this time, however, she still continued her dependency on prescription drugs, and finally the inevitable happened: on the night of June 22, 1969, she overdosed on barbiturates and died. Thousands mourned the world over. It was a sad way to end, but she has left a great legacy: her many films and recordings, as well as her children. Liza and Lorna are now singers as well, carrying on the family tradition.
- 6/27/69: Her funeral was held in Manhattan at the Frank E. Campbell funeral home at Madison Ave. and 81st St., and 22,000 people filed past her open coffin over a 24-hour period. Ex-husband 'Vincente Minnelli' (qv) did not attend. 'James Mason (I)' (qv) delivered the eulogy. Her body had been stored in a temporary crypt for over one year. The reason for this is that no one had come forward to pay the expense of moving her to a permanent resting spot at Ferncliff Cemetery in Ardsley, NY. 'Liza Minnelli' (qv) had the impression that Judy's last husband, 'Mickey Deans' (qv), had made the necessary arrangements but Deans claimed to have no money. Liza then took on the task of raising the funds to have her properly buried. Death was caused by an "incautious self-overdosage of Seconal" which had raised the barbiturate level in her body beyond its tolerance.
- Adding to her appeal within the gay community, Garland always acknowledged her gay fan base at a time when homosexuality was seldom even discussed. Late in her career and in dire need of money, she even accepted work singing in a New York City gay bar.
- 3/23/90: Pictured on one of four 25¢ USA commemorative postage stamps honoring classic films released in 1939. The stamp shows Judy Garland as Dorothy in _The Wizard of Oz (1939)_ (qv), along with Toto (portrayed by 'Terry (III)' (qv)). The other films honored were _Beau Geste (1939)_ (qv), _Stagecoach (1939)_ (qv), and _Gone with the Wind (1939)_ (qv).
- Mother of 'Liza Minnelli' (qv), 'Lorna Luft' (qv), and 'Joey Luft' (qv).
- Her daughter 'Liza Minnelli' (qv) was once married to 'Jack Haley Jr.' (qv), the son of her _The Wizard of Oz (1939)_ (qv) co-star 'Jack Haley (I)' (qv), who played the Tin Man.
- Her portrayal of Dorothy in _The Wizard of Oz (1939)_ (qv) was the inspiration for the character of Mary Ann on _"Gilligan's Island" (1964)_ (qv). (From Kansas, ponytails, lived on a farm with an aunt and uncle...).
- Godfather of her daughter 'Lorna Luft' (qv) was 'Frank Sinatra' (qv)
- 'Johnnie Ray' (qv) was best man at her wedding to fifth husband 'Mickey Deans' (qv).