Five husbands, problem abuse and also crippling psychological anxiety overshadowed the star’s professional legacy in her last days.

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Singer, dancer, actor and icon the old Hollywood, Judy Garland spent much of her troubled life seek the sort of tranquility of psychic she frequently sang around in songs, such together “Get Happy,” or “Over the Rainbow.” regardless of the adoration she obtained from countless fans around the world, Garland’s an individual life to be an exercise in perseverance as she attempted to navigate childhood fame, a pushy phase mother, father-figure studio executives, suicidal thoughts and also actions, five marriages and drug dependency.


Forced into performing by she parents, Garland claimed 'the just time ns felt wanted once I to be a kid was once I was on stage'

Born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922, in grand Rapids, Minnesota, Garland would make she theatrical debut at the period of two and also a half. “The just time i felt wanted as soon as I to be a son was when I to be on stage, performing,” Garland when said of she childhood, which was spent performing together her 2 older siblings mary Jane and Virginia, and constantly under the watchful, and usually critical according come Garland, rigid of she mother, Ethel.

Garland’s dad Frank Gumm, who like his mam was a former vaudevillian, ran a movie theater in grand Rapids that likewise hosted live performances. His marriage to Ethel to be troubled and also the enhancement of a third child to be unwelcomed, so much so the he supposedly inquired about the opportunity of end the pregnancy. Only 4 years after she birth, Garland’s parents uprooted the family and moved come Lancaster, California, after ~ rumors circulated the Frank had actually made sexual advancements towards the male ushers at the theater.


In California, Ethel would certainly push hard for she daughters to come to be noticed, through the expect they would certainly one day show up in motion pictures. Performing as the Gumm Sisters and then the Garland Sisters, the trio would certainly entertain at bars, clubs and theaters, with few of the venues gift of questionable repute. However success was Ethel’s goal for her daughters and she would continue to push, even going as far as presenting the young Garland come pills in bespeak to rise energy or encourage sleep, according to biographer Gerald Clark. Such antics caused a strained familial relationship, with Garland once referring to her mommy as “the actual Wicked Witch of the West.”


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Judy Garland performing with her sister Virginia and Mary Jane. Castle were known as The Gumm Sisters.

Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images


MGM put Garland top top a strict diet and also encouraged her to take 'pep pills'

Signed to MGM in 1935, teenage Garland would certainly go top top to find fame in more than 2 dozen films for the studio, consisting of the Andy Hardy collection with co-star Mickey Rooney. Due to her diminutive stature – she stood four feet 11 ½ inches high – and cherubic face, Garland was often actors as characters younger 보다 her actual age. Dancing and also singing in body-hugging costumes drew attention to her physique, with the an outcome that studio head luigi B. Mayer and also other executives put Garland ~ above a strict regimen of black coffee, chicken soup and also cigarettes in stimulate to save her weight down.


Alongside her lessened intake, Garland was additionally given pills come suppress she appetite and rise her energy. Recognized as “pep pills” in the industry, lock were utilized to certain performers might work long, grueling hours and were often partnered with sleep-inducing medication known as downers. “They’d offer us pills to keep us on ours feet lengthy after we were exhausted,” Garland called biographer Paul Donnelley the the practice. “Then they’d take united state to the studio hospital and also knock united state out with sleeping pills.” for the rest of her life, Garland would count on pills, yo-yo dieting and heavy alcohol usage to cope with performing and the mental pressures of stardom.


During these early on years she was also subjected to sexual harassment and propositioned for sex through studio executives, consisting of Mayer that Garland accused of undesirable physical overtures. “Don’t think they all didn’t try,” she stated in she unfinished memoir for random House.


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She married her first husband once she to be 19

Garland completed international fame and also a one-of-a-kind Academy compensation for she portrayal that Dorothy in the 1939 standard film The magician of Oz. 2 years later, not yet two decades of age, she would certainly marry her very first husband, bandleader David rose who was 12 years she senior. Divorced in 1944, Garland would remarry just a year later on to director Vincent Minnelli, whom she met top top the set of Meet Me in St. Louis.

Minnelli motivated his wife to drop she girl-next-door image and also they operated together again top top 1945’s The Clock and also 1948’s The Pirate. In 1946 they invited a daughter, Liza Minnelli. 


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Judy Garland through her second husband, manager Vincente Minnelli, and their daughter, Liza Minnelli.

Photo: Getty Images


Garland apparently attempted suicide twice

Though look at blessed through a effective career and a child she had actually longed for, Garland endured crippling anxiety and was self-medicating through pills top top a continuous basis. Fired indigenous MGM ~ 15 years, she had actually a nervous break down and reportedly attempted suicide twice. Her marital relationship in trouble, Garland began an affair through the male who would become her third husband, Sid Luft. Garland and also Minnelli divorce in 1951.


Though she was married, unemployed and recovering after ~ a suicide attempt, tourism manager and also producer Luft was enthralled by Garland and wrote in his memoir that he feel “an electrical force” between them. Married in 1952 it would be Garland’s longest union and also the pair had two children together: Lorna (born 1952) and Joey (born 1955). Luft became Garland’s manager and also aided in her casting for 1954’s A Star Is Born, i beg your pardon the pair produced v their company and to be billed as a comeback because that the star. Garland obtained an Academy award nomination for finest actress for the picture, losing to elegant Kelly because that The nation Girl.

According come Luft, Garland’s substance abuse ongoing throughout and also strained your union to the suggest that through 1962 they to be living virtually different lives. Frequently high on medication, Luft composed their young kids “wouldn’t establish was stoned” when she invested time v them. They divorce in 1965 amid accusations the abuse ~ above Luft’s part, despite he denied the claims.


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Her fourth marriage lasted 5 months

Husband number 4 was note Herron, an actor and tour promoter who developed Garland’s 2 1964 London Palladium concerts in i m sorry she performed alongside daughter Liza. Garland married Herron in 1965 however they be separate only five months later. A divorce to be granted v Garland testifying that Herron had beaten her. In Herron’s 1996 obituary in the Los Angeles Times, that is quoted together saying he had actually “only hit she in self-defense.”


By this point in she life, Garland was “a demented, demanding, supremely talented medicine addict,” wrote Stevie Phillips, Garland’s previous agent in her publication Judy & Liza & Robert & Freddie & David & Sue & Me, i m sorry chronicled Phillips' 4 years functioning for the star. Garland’s life was stayed in a constant state that drama and near hysteria, according to the memoir, including one occasion once the star set fire come her very own dressing room.

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Garland to be strapped because that cash one year before her death

Years of substance abuse had actually weakened Garland’s body and also voice, and by 1968 she was also in dire jae won straits as result of mismanagement and embezzlement of she money. She’d spent the front decade continuing to experience excessive highs: her eponymous 1963 television range show was well received; and very public lows: she to be booed in ~ a 1964 concert in Melbourne, Australia.

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Personal debts and money owed to the IRS caused Garland selling her Brentwood, California house at a below-value price, and in an effort to raise more funds she welcomed an market to execute a five-week operation of mirrors at the speak of the town nightclub in London. The collection of shows form the basis of the 2019 movie Judy, certification Renee Zellweger as Garland.

The mirrors were billed as one more comeback for the star. “I’m the queen the the comeback,” Garland stated to cock Cavett throughout a 1968 interview. “I’m getting exhausted of comes back. Ns really am. I can’t even go to… the flour room there is no making a comeback.”


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Garland overdosed on barbiturates and died at period 47

It was in London she married she fifth and also last husband, American musician Mickey Deans, that revealed in his 1972 book, Weep No More, mine Lady: The ideal Selling Story that Judy Garland, that the an initial time lock met was when he delivered a parcel of stimulant pills come her brand-new York hotel in 1966. Deans, 12 year Garland’s junior, accompanied her to London and the couple set up home at a rented mews residence in Belgravia, marrying in ~ a it is registered office in march 1969, wherein Garland told reporters, “Finally, finally, i am loved.”


Three months later Deans would uncover Garland dead in the toilet of their London home. Rule accidental, her cause of death was because of an overdose of barbiturates ingested over a long period of time. There to be no ide or evidence of suicide.

Her death, only 12 days adhering to her 47th birthday, made headlines around the world. The media commemorated her professional legacy but also gave lot attention to she troubled private life, in particular, her five marriages, constant illnesses and virtually life-long substance abuse. According to she New York Times obituary, Garland’s “personal life often seemed a fruitless search for the delight promised in ‘Over the Rainbow,’ the track she made renowned in the movie The wizard of Oz.”