In 1968, Judy Garland take it on a five-week run of performances at London’s speak of the town cabaret club. This operation of mirrors would revolve out to be among the renowned performer’s last; she passed away of an inadvertently overdose the complying with year, in ~ 47. The new film Judy, directed by Rupert Goold and also starring Renée Zellweger together the eponymous superstar, concentrates on this period in Garland’s life. Her career, through this point, had currently spanned much more than four decades, consisting of her breakthrough function as Dorothy in 1939’s The magician of Oz.

But if Garland became an international symbol of stage and also screen, she likewise endured number of struggles in her personal life, consisting of a reliance on drugs, a cable of marriages that ended in heartbreak and also challenges v her mental health. Together journalist anne Helen Petersen, author of Scandals of classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance and Drama indigenous the golden e of American Cinema, writes: “Garland to be the an initial public victim that stardom, and also certainly not the last.”


Here’s the true story behind the movie Judy, and also the highs and lows the Garland’s life in and also out that the spotlight.

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She ended up being a child star through MGM, yet her success largely robbed she of a childhood

Born Frances Ethel Gumm in cool Rapids, Minn., in 1922, Garland came from a showbiz family. She was already performing through the age of four, and also at 7 she joined the successful singing-and-dancing act she older sisters had grew — all at the insistence of their mother, Ethel. The family members moved to California in 1926 in search of better fame for the Gumm sisters, that had, by this audioeditorfree.com, been changed as the Garlands.

It was at 13 the a young Judy would certainly commit to a contract through MGM, among the world’s greatest film studios. According to Hollywood legend, studio ceo Louis B. Mayer signed her on the spot there is no a display screen test. These early on MGM days observed the start of Garland’s lifelong battles with addiction, body image and mental health, largely sustained by the studio’s determination to mold her right into a profitable box-office star. These difficult audioeditorfree.coms are depicted in flashbacks in the movie; in one, Judy is made come celebrate she 16th birthday two months early, due to the fact that that’s the only audioeditorfree.com the will job-related with her schedule, and also she’s not allowed to go almost everywhere near she cake.

Unlike various other glamorous gibbs of the audioeditorfree.com, like Lana Turner, Garland was marketed as much more of one “ugly duckling,” according to Petersen. She on-screen storylines and frequent partnership with other teen actor Mickey Rooney would often reflect this status, v Garland’s girl-next-door personality harboring some type of unrequited like on Rooney’s all-American boy. “She didn’t look like the remainder of those MGM stars…she becomes this type of avatar for the rejected, not sexy enough, no pretty enough person,” stated Petersen top top a 2014 illustration of film chronicler Karina Longworth’s podcast You have to Remember This.


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Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in a promotional portrait because that director George B. Seitz"s film, "Love find Andy Hardy," circa 1938

It was extensively reported that MGM likewise used medicine to modulate young performers on set, as portrayed in Judy, strong its young actors through “pep pills,” otherwise known as amphetamines, to power them v the exhausting needs of shoot schedules, as well as “downers,” or barbiturates, to force them to get enough sleep. The reliance on drugs, and the continuous pressure and also comments about Garland’s figure (Louis B. Mayer apparently nicknamed her “my small hunchback”), resulted in Garland’s unhealthy partnership with she weight.


In the film, she is photographed share a milkshake with Rooney, yet she’s not permitted to eat the food on the table in between them despite expressing her hunger. Indeed, tabloid gossip magazines reported at the audioeditorfree.com that studio minders in ~ MGM, and Louis B. Mayer himself, insisted the she “reduce.” One widely-circulated anecdote speak of Garland attempting come order a common lunch at the studio canteen, only to be brought a bowl of soup and also a plate of having lunch by staff. “My life to be a mix of absolute chaos and absolute solitude,” Garland later said, reflecting on her unusual, and also troubled, adolescence.

One story of Garland likewise alleged that she was sexually harassed by Mayer, beginning around the audioeditorfree.com once The wizard of Oz to be released, as soon as Garland was 16. Making use of notes native a partial memoir written by Garland herself, previous audioeditorfree.com writer Gerald Clarke write in Get Happy: The Life the Judy Garland the “between the periods of sixteen and also twenty, Judy herself to be to be approached because that sex — and also approached again and again,” through Mayer himself and also other studio executives.


Garland was married 5 audioeditorfree.coms

The an initial of Garland’s 5 marriages was at period 19, come composer David Rose. Her 2nd was to director Vincent Minnelli in 1945, after that directed she in Meet Me in St. Louis the ahead year. The early 1950s brought much adjust for Garland — she would separate from Minnelli and also negotiate a release from she contract in ~ MGM, wherein her career had been marked by suspensions, publicized suicide attempts and also struggles v drugs. She would likewise meet Sidney Luft, “a somewhat questionable man-about-town v a questionable past,” follow to Petersen.

Luft (portrayed in the movie by Rufus Sewell) would come to be Garland’s manager, engineering her go back to the stage and also her heralded comeback in 1954’s A Star Is Born, because that which Garland obtained an Academy compensation nomination for best Actress. The pair would different after 11 years of marital relationship in 1963. At their divorce proceedings in 1965, Garland accused Luft of residential abuse and also dependence ~ above alcohol, eventually winning custody of your two kids Lorna and also Joey. By the moment of the film’s events, Garland is on difficult audioeditorfree.coms financially and also must leaving her children in order to earn money in London.


After a short-lived marital relationship to American actor note Herron in 1965, Garland met nightclub manager Mickey Deans, portrayed in Judy by Finn Wittrock. In the movie, the pair meets at a party. Deans woos Garland, surprising her in London through hiding under a room-service tray and enjoying a brief romance which easily turns sour, v Deans do the efforts to do a buck off of having effectively gained entry right into her orbit.

In real life, lock met as soon as Deans, 12 years Garland’s junior, ceded drugs to she hotel in brand-new York in 1966, and also married 3 years later in London. Deans and also Garland’s partnership was supposedly fraught; anecdotes from the audioeditorfree.com said that throughout her performances in London, he required her come perform regardless of her being too unwell to execute so. Together Judy Garland tribute artist Peter Mac writes, Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft recalled share a limousine through Deans after she mother’s funeral in 1969. “He insisted at protecting against at a Manhattan office and it became clear to Lorna that he was striking his book deal only hours after she Mother’s services,” writes Mac. Deans’ book, Weep No More, mine Lady: The finest Selling Story the Judy Garland, was published in 1972.


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She had three children

One scene in the film — the same party in ~ which Garland and Deans meet — reflects a light and breezy interaction between Garland and her young adult daughter, Liza Minnelli (Gemma-Leah Devereux). Liza Minnelli is Garland’s just child with her 2nd husband Vincent Minnelli; Garland additionally had a son, Joey, and also a daughter, Lorna, with 3rd husband Sidney Luft. The comparisons in between Minnelli and also Garland started from very early age. In 1959, when she was 12, she was explained by audioeditorfree.com as “strikingly near to gift a doe-eyed, wonder-struck replica of her mother.” The pair were close, performing onstage together numerous audioeditorfree.coms during Garland’s lifeaudioeditorfree.com.

Minelli recalled in a 1970 audioeditorfree.com profile the she visited 14 various schools, she childhood marked by moving from one house to another. “That was probably due to the fact that Mama was so broke and maybe she owed money to landlords,” she called audioeditorfree.com. She stated that she had actually “a puffy audioeditorfree.com growing up,” and also that although there to be some hard audioeditorfree.coms financially, she took pleasure in her childhood in the company of movie stars and moguls that the Hollywood market through both her mother and also father’s connections.


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As the eldest child, Minelli additionally took treatment of her mother when she to be struggling with drugs, alcohol and her psychological health. As audioeditorfree.com report in 1972 in an article around Minnelli’s life, a young Liza would shot to speak her mother out of her depressive episodes. “Saving Judy ended up being one of her chores, like washing the key or sweeping the kitchen floor. When a week, she and Lorna would certainly sit down and empty out three quarters that Judy’s resting capsules and also refill them v sugar,” audioeditorfree.com reported, portraying a type of function reversal in between parent and also children. Both daughters would follow in their mother’s footsteps in show business, with Minnelli winning an Oscar because that her turn in 1972’s Cabaret.

Fiercely security of her mother’s legacy, Minnelli distanced it s her from the movie. “I carry out not approve nor ratify the upcoming film around Judy Garland in any way,” she wrote in a statement post to her social media in June 2018. In a later interview around Judy, Minnelli dubbed Zellweger “a wonderful” actor, adding, “I simply hope lock don’t carry out what they constantly do. That’s all I’ve obtained to say.”

Garland ended up being a happy icon, specifically later in her career

The movie depicts a gay couple, played by Andy Nyman and Daniel Cerqueira, who are devoted fans and also repeat attendees that Garland’s shows. In one especially potent scene, Nyman’s character breaks under in tears after telling his idol around the persecution he and also his partner have endured, consisting of jail audioeditorfree.com because that obscenity charges. Your devotion is a moving tribute to the means in which Garland was, and remains, idolized by plenty of gay men.

A 1998 music review in the LGBTQ magazine The Advocate reads, “the surname Judy Garland is practically synonymous v gayness. She is one Elvis for Homosexuals — an symbol who transcends music to occupy realms of slim mythology.” This fanbase was likewise recognized widely during her lifeaudioeditorfree.com, although regularly phrased in an unfavorable terms; a 1967 audioeditorfree.com write-up referred come the “hysteria” the both Judy and her gay male fanbase, described as “the guys in chop trousers.”

There are several theories as to what contributed to Garland’s condition as a happy icon. Follow to Richard Dyer, writer of Heavenly Bodies: film Stars and also Society, reverence that Garland among gay men took on a new form in 1950, once she damaged off she contract with MGM and forged a rejuvenated career turn off the earlier of the success of 1954’s A Star Is Born and also her on-stage endeavors. Not just did her picture “speak come different aspects within male gay subcultures,” write Dyer, but she pertained to represent “gay men’s resilience in the challenge of oppression,” stemming native the perception of her as a star who had been knocked down only to triumphantly rise earlier up again. A comment indigenous one fan, consisted of in Heavenly Bodies, states “her audience, we, the happy people, can identify with her…could said to she in the difficulties she had actually on and also off stage.”


Garland’s funeral in new York City has also been quote by many as a reason for the Stonewall Riots, which launched a brand-new wave of LGBT activism. hundreds of fans turned the end to pay their respects come Garland at she funeral on June 27, 1969. The night, the famous gay bar the Stonewall Inn to be raided by police, as such establishments were typically targeted during that era; however this audioeditorfree.com, the patrons fought back. The role that Garland’s funeral played in the Stonewall uprising has been debated for years: numerous LGBTQ historians have actually said the there is a absence of evidence to attach the two events. However, rather say that while her funeral may not have directly caused the uprising, the outpouring that grief at she passing heightened emotions amongst the community. “People that say that it trivializes , to say the it’s linked to Judy Garland, don’t understand exactly how stars and also other cultural objects have the right to have remarkable meaning,” Petersen claimed on You must Remember This.

She check a late-career comeback in London but was already suffering from wellness issues

Judy focuses on Garland’s comeback performances at London’s speak of the city club in at an early stage 1968. A testimonial from that audioeditorfree.com noted that “she evokes pity and sorrow choose no various other superstar…in she we view the broken remnant the a gaudy period of showbiz which thought that glamour was a good enough substitute for genius.” and although the London present was offered out, the press and also her audience didn’t show up to always respond together rapturously together they had previously in her career. “It turned out to it is in the best flop of her life,” wrote audioeditorfree.com the the London performances a year later in Garland’s 1969 obituary, noting the she to be late for performances and also looked prefer a “walking casualty.”

Garland’s shows, i m sorry audioeditorfree.com called much more “seance” than “concert,” were recognized for her witty repartee and also patter with the audience, in i m sorry she would tell them just how much she loved them. Judy depicts the highs and lows of this performances in London, from show-stopping song-and-dance numbers choose “The Trolley Song” to nights once she mocked audience members and was heckled in return. In the film, the to meet booked a back-up show (Lonnie Donergan, play by man Dagleish) in situation Garland wasn’t able to make it onstage.

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Toward the end of her life, Garland had lost a good deal that weight, i beg your pardon the global press comment on frequently. In 1959, she was hospitalized after gift diagnosed v acute hepatitis and liver problems. She came ago from this low; 2 years later, she provided a legend appearance at Carnegie Hall, largely regarded together a career highlight. Yet her addictions, which had actually plagued her because her days in ~ MGM, would have a lasting impact on she health; one modern article listed that she suffered from “exhaustion, kidney ailments, nervous breakdowns, near-fatal medicine reactions, overweight, underweight and also injuries experienced in falls.” top top the morning the June 22, Deans found Garland collapsed in the restroom of their London house; the death was ruled as an inadvertently overdose of resting pills.

“She let she guard down. She didn’t dice from one overdose. Ns think she just gained tired,” Liza Minnelli called audioeditorfree.com in 1972. “She lived choose a straff wire. I don’t think she ever before looked for actual happiness, because she constantly thought delight would typical the end.”


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