She was considered an icon in the gay community in the 1950s and 1960s. Her death and the loss of that emotional
icon in 1969 has been thought to be a contributing factor to the feeling of the passing of an era that helped spark
the Stonewall Riots that began the modern gay rights advocacy movement.
Sister of Mary Jane Gumm and Virginia Gumm.
Mother of Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft, and Joey Luft.
6/12/64: She married Mark Herron, although her divorce from Sidney Luft was not
settled. They were married in Mandarin by a Buddhist monk, and the validity of this marriage is not clear.
1961: Her record "Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall" garnered five Grammy Awards and remained at the
top of Billboard's charts for two months.
There is surviving footage of Garland performing the lead role of Annie Oakley in
Annie Get Your Gun (1950) before she was replaced by Betty Hutton, and this has
been included in many documentaries. Undoubtedly, the best is That's Entertainment! III (1994),
which for the first time assembled raw unedited footage for two musical numbers and presented them as they would
have looked had the film been completed with Garland. Also surviving today are
Garland's prerecordings of all songs for the production.
Originally screen-tested and signed to play the main supporting role of Helen Lawson, in
Valley of the Dolls (1967). The studio even provided her with a pool table in her dressing room at
her request. Eventually she backed out of the film and was ultimately replaced by Susan Hayward.
She kept her costume when she walked off the film, and proceeded to wear the sequined pantsuit while performing in
concerts around the world. The character of Neely O'Hara in the film was partially based on her
own history (with pills, alcohol, and failed marriages). Sadly, it was Garland's real-life pill
addiction that contributed to her leaving this film.
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 did not attend. James Mason 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 had the impression that Judy's last husband, Mickey Deans, 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.
Interred at Ferncliff Cemetery, Hartsdale, New York, USA.
Judy heard the same phrase in two movies: For Me and My Gal (1942) and
Easter Parade (1948). In both, her love interest (played by Gene Kelly and
Fred Astaire, respectively) says this: "Why didn't you tell me I was in love with you?"
The day she died, there was a tornado in Kansas.
Liza Minnelli said that Judy planned on calling her autobiography
Her portrayal of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939) was the inspiration for the
character of Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island" (1964). (From Kansas, ponytails,
lived on a farm with an aunt and uncle...).
Liza Minnelli originally wanted Mickey Rooney to deliver
Garland's eulogy, but she was afraid that he wouldn't be able to get through it. So James
Mason did it instead.
According to singer Mel Tormé, she had a powerful gift of retention. She could view a piece of
music once and have the entire thing memorized.
1997: Posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
1998: Garland's album, "Judy at Carnegie Hall" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
First cousin three times removed of US President Ulysses S. Grant.
September 2002: A Los Angeles federal judge barred Sidney Luft from selling the replacement
Juvenile Oscar she received for The Wizard of Oz (1939). Luft
was also ordered to pay nearly $60,000 to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to end
their second lawsuit against him for repeatedly trying to sell the statuette.
Favorite actor was Robert Donat (best known for his portrayal of the title character in the film
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)).
Her soulful and iconic performance of "Over The Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz
(1939) claimed the #1 spot on June 22, 2004 in The American Film Institute's list of "The
100 Years of The Greatest Songs". The AFI board said "Over The Rainbow" have captured the
nation's heart, echoed beyond the walls of a movie theater, and ultimately stand in our collective memory of the
film itself. It has resonated across the century, enriching America's film heritage and captivating artists and
She discouraged her children from entering show business, pointing out her financial and health problems resulting
from the nature of the entertainment business. Nevertheless, two of her children, Liza Minnelli
and Lorna Luft both became entertainers. Her son Joe lives in relative anonymity as a freelance
She experienced financial difficulties in the 1960s due to her overspending, periods of unemployment, owing of back
taxes and embezzlement of funds by her business manager. The IRS garnished most of her concert
revenues in the late 1960s. Her financial difficulties combined with her erratic behavior due to her drug
dependencies helped break up her marriages and estrange her children from her a year before her death.
Was a member of The International Order of Job's Daughters.
Groucho Marx called her not winning an Oscar for A Star Is Born (1954), "the
biggest robbery since Brink's." Hedda Hopper later reported that her loss to Grace
Kelly for The Country Girl (1954) was the result of the closest Oscar vote up till that time that didn't
end in a tie, with just six votes separating the two. In any event, it was a heartbreak from which she never really
recovered and which has remained a matter of some controversy ever since.
Always had crooked front teeth, for which an MGM dentist fitted her with removable caps to wear in
her films, including The Wizard of Oz (1939).
Her daughter Liza Minnelli was once married to Jack Haley Jr., the son of her
The Wizard of Oz (1939) co-star Jack Haley, who played the Tin
Has a special variety of rose named after her. The petals are yellow (Garland adored yellow roses)
and the tips are bright red. It took devoted fans almost nine years after her death to find a rose company in
Britain interested in naming a rose officially for her, and the Judy Garland rose
didn't appear in the US until 1991. Several JG rose bushes are planted outside of her burial crypt, and at the
Judy Garland museum in Grand Rapids.
She was three-quarters Scottish and one-quarter Irish in ancestry.
1952: Received a Special Tony Award "for an important contribution to the revival of vaudeville
through her recent stint at the Palace Theatre.".
When she married Vincente Minnelli, Louis B. Mayer gave her away.
Had weight problems most of her life. Drastic weight fluctuations often affected continuity in her films and can be
seen in Words and Music (1948) and Summer Stock (1950).
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),
along with Toto (portrayed by Terry). The other films honored were Beau
Geste (1939), Stagecoach (1939), and Gone with the Wind (1939).
Is portrayed by Judy Davis and Tammy Blanchard in "Life with Judy
Garland: Me and My Shadows" (2001), by Elizabeth Karsell in James Dean
(2001) (TV) and by Andrea McArdle in Rainbow (1978) (TV).
The song "Quiet Please, There's A Lady On Stage" from the stage musical "The Boy From
Oz" was written by Peter Allen (Liza Minnelli's former husband) as a tribute to her.
Was pregnant with her first child Liza Minnelli while filming her minor role in Till the
Clouds Roll By (1946). In order to hide her pregnant stomach she was hidden behind stacks of dishes while
singing "Look For The Silver Lining". She had also recorded a song "Do You Love
Me", which was cut before release. Her scenes were directed by her then husband Vincente
After serving as the music director on her short-lived CBS series, Mel Tormé wrote a vicious
tell-all book about his talented but challenging former boss. So frustrated from the experience, his words in
"The Other Side of The Rainbow: With Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol" portrayed
Garland as hopelessly drug-addicted, unprofessional and a horror to work with.
During her first marriage to David Rose, Judy was forced to undergo an abortion
at the insistence of MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer who feared that pregnancy would hurt her
good-girl image. The event left her traumatized for the rest of her life.
6/10/06: Pictured on a 39¢ USA commemorative postage stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series.
The godparents of her daughter Liza Minnelli were Ira Gershwin and Kay
Grandmother of Vanessa and Jesse Richards, children of singer Lorna
Godfather of her daughter Lorna Luft was Frank Sinatra.
Father was movie theater owner Francis 'Frank' Gumm (born 20 March, 1886 - died 17 November,
1935). Mother was Ethel Milne (born 17 November, 1893 - died 05 January, 1953).
Born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and later lived up in Lancaster, California. John Wayne, then
attending college at USC, was a neighbor of Judy's.
Gave birth to all three of her children via Caesarean section. She also suffered from postpartum depression after
the birth of her two daughters Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft.
The famous theme song David Raksin wrote for the film Laura (1944) was originally
entitled "Judy" in honor of her.
Had intense fears of flying, horses, and guns.
Was considered for the role of Careen O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939), but
the role was eventually given to Ann Rutherford, so Judy immediately began
working on The Wizard of Oz (1939), a film which was considered for as early as 1937.
As a teenager on the MGM lots, she was good friends with Lana Turner and Ann
Johnnie Ray was best man at her wedding to fifth husband Mickey Deans.
Did not attend the 1955 Academy Awards, where she was nominated as Best Actress for her portrayal of Vicki
Lester in A Star Is Born (1954), because she was in hospital after giving birth to her
third child and only son Joey Luft.
She only performed "Over The Rainbow" twice during her many television appearances, which
spanned 14 years. She performed it on her first TV Special, "Ford Star Jubilee" (1955) episode,
"The Judy Garland Special" in 1955, and sang it to her children on The Christmas
Edition of her weekly "The Judy Garland Show" (1963).
Betty Asher, who worked on the MGM lots, served as her maid of honor during her wedding to Vincente Minnelli in 1945.
Was close friends with Lauren Bacall, who had once been her neighbor during the 1950s. Had
Judy won the 1955 Best Actress Oscar for A Star Is Born (1954),
Lauren would have accepted the Oscar statuette on her behalf.
Offered the lead role in The Three Faces of Eve (1957), but turned down the role because the
storyline bore too many resemblances to her own personal life. The role was then given to Joanne
Woodward who went on to win the Best Actress Oscar for her performance.
Was Matron of Honor at the wedding of actor Don DeFore and Marion Holmes
DeFore on February 14, 1942.
The only witnesses present at her Las Vegas wedding to David Rose in 1941 were her mother and
In a performance of "Come Rain Or Come Shine" on her 1963-64 variety show on CBS TV, though
forgetting some of the words and seemingly "out of sync" with the orchestra she still managed to give a quite
powerful and memorable performance.
Performed two songs in films that won the Academy Award for Best Original Song:
"Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz (1939) and "On the Atchison,
Topeka and the Santa Fe" from The Harvey Girls (1946). Performed four more songs that
were nominated: "Our Love Affair" from Strike Up the Band (1940), "How
About You?" from Babes on Broadway (1941), "The Trolley Song" from
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), and "The Man That Got Away" from A Star Is
Born (1954). Performed others that became standards, including "Have Yourself a Merry Little
Christmas" from Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).
She performed with her sisters at the 1933-34 World's Fair in Chicago on the infamous midway (where Sally
Rand was the main attraction), more specifically in the Old Mexico Club, where they sold
out every night. During their third week at the club, it unexpectedly closed due to an expired liquor license.
Judy served as the grand marshal in a parade for the Fair's "Children's Day" in early 1934. It was
during their last day in Chicago that Frances Gumm changed her name to Judy
Garland during a performance at the Oriental Theater, partly at the advice of George Jessel, who
Judy headlined CBS TV's first special, "Ford Star Jubilee" (1955). She performed
many of her standards including "Get Happy", "Carolina in the Morning" and
"The Trolley Song".Judy and guest David Wayne as tramps
performed "A Couple of Swells" from "Easter Parade", Wayne doing
Fred Astaire's part. After that number, Judy still in tramp make-up closed the
show with "Over The Rainbow".
Mentioned in the song "Happy Phantom" by Tori Amos and "A Room at the
Heartbreak Hotel" by U2.
Initially refused to appear in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) as she had recently begun to portray
characters her own age, such as in Presenting Lily Mars (1943), and was tired of playing virginal
teenage characters. She later relented after much persuasion and not only did she meet her future husband
Vincente Minnelli on set but her performance in the film was also one of her most famous during
her MGM years.
The first film she made after marrying Vincente Minnelli was The Harvey Girls
Became good friends with Doris Day on the Warner Bros. lots when she was filming
A Star Is Born (1954) at the same time that Day was filming Young at
Did not get on with Lucille Bremer, who played her sister in Meet Me in St. Louis
(1944). She thought that Bremer couldn't act and repeatedly tried to have her fired from the film,
but to no avail.
Was replaced by Ginger Rogers in the film The Barkleys of Broadway (1949) after
being suspended from MGM for her tardiness.
Replaced June Allyson in the film Royal Wedding (1951) after she became pregnant,
but her failure to report to the set led to her being replaced by Jane Powell.
A close friend was Katharine Hepburn, with whom she would regularly stay during her most serious
bouts of depression in order to recover.
Despite numerous concert and television appearances in the 1960s, Garland remained constantly in
debt. This was due in part to then-manager David Begelman embezzling hundreds of thousands of
dollars from his clients, with Garland chief among them. Begelman even went so
far as to claim a Cadilac, presented to Garland for an appearance on "The Jack Paar
Program" (1962) as his own.
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.
Dated John F. Kennedy, Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, Frank
Sinatra, Robert Stack, and Yul Brynner. She remained close friends
with each man even after their romantic relationships ended.
Was in consideration for the role of Sophie MacDonald in The Razor's Edge (1946)
but Anne Baxter, who went on to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her
performance, was cast instead.
One of the few actresses to have danced with both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly in
the movies, other actresses that have also done this includes Rita Hayworth, Cyd
Charisse, Vera-Ellen, Debbie Reynolds, and Leslie
Returned to work eleven months after giving birth to her daughter Lorna Luft in order to film
A Star Is Born (1954).
In Little Nelly Kelly she performed the only death scene of her career as well as her first
Wore fake teeth while performing as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 classic, The Wizard of
It was vaudeville star George Jessel who suggested to the Gumm family that Frances
Gumm be renamed Judy Garland.
Made her debut as a stage performer at the age of 2.
Her album Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall, which was released in 1961, garnered her 5 Grammy
Judy spent her final days with husband Mickey Deans at a small mews house on
London's Cadogan Lane, near Sloane Square. Her final hours were spent listening
to her hit records. Mickey later claimed that she played "Over The Rainbow" at
least 30 times that day.
Judy was given many nicknames by friends and peers: Jootes (Mickey Rooney),
Judalein (Oz director Victor Fleming), Baby (family), Little Miss Leather
Lungs (billing by her stage mother Ethel), The Little Girl with the Big Voice, Miss Show Business
(in England), Queen of the Musicals (critics), The World's Greatest Entertainer (fans)
and The Greatest Entertainer of the 20th Century (fans)."
Whenever somebody asked her, "Who would you like to look like?", Judy's instantaneous reply was
always, "Lana Turner. That is beauty."
At the height of her drug addiction Judy would rifle other people's medicine cabinets. She would
simply knock on friends' doors to ask if she could use the bathroom. Word of her acquisitive habits soon got
round, and when Judy was expected, bathrooms were emptied of almost everything but shaving cream and
"The Pirate" was the only picture Judy ever made that failed to yield Metro a profit.
Jacqueline Susann, modeled the character of Neely O'Hara in "Valley of
the Dolls" after Judy.
During shooting of "A Star is Born" her thermos contained a stiff combination of vodka and
grapefruit juice. Later, for the picture's premiere, Judy asked Michael Woulfe, her dress
designer, to make her a hand muff big enough to hide a bottle of vodka.
Had a love affair with Tyrone Power at the same time Lana Turner was having an affair with Power.
She gave Gene Kelly his start in movies when in 1942 she refused to have anyone but Kelly co-star
with her in the movie "For Me and My Gal" which made him a star and led to two more films
together, "The Pirate" and her last MGM film "Summer Stock."
Although she was America's most famous child star of her day she failed an audition for "Our
Her salary for "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) was $500/week.
Judy's body was 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 Judy to a permanent resting spot. Liza was under the
impression that Judy's last husband, Mickey Deans, had made the necessary
arrangements but Deans claimed to have no money. Liza then took on the task of
raising the funds to have Judy properly buried.
During the making of "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), MGM forced her to fast on
alternate days so that she would more closely resemble the gaunt eleven-year-old Dorothy.
She divorced her fourth husband Mark Herron after she found out he was gay.
Married five times in all. When she invited her daughter Liza Minnelli to her fifth wedding,
Minnelli replied, "I can't make it, Mama, but I promise I'll come to your next
The site of the home in Grand Rapids, Minnesota where she spent the first five years of her life
is now occupied by a multiplex cinema in the town's only shopping center.
Never won an Oscar for Best Actress but in 1939 she did win a special Oscar for Juvenile Acting in "The
Wizard of Oz."
Shirley Temple was originally supposed to appear in "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) but
couldn't be released from her studio for contractual reasons, which was why Judy Garland got the
Played opposite Mickey Rooney 10 times.
She started her own television variety show in 1963, which had to be canceled after one season because the
competition, "Bonanza," was too strong.
She was voted the 23rd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
She was voted the 22nd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premiere Magazine.
Was named #8 Actress on The AFI 50 Greatest Screen Legends.
2006: Her performance as Vicki Lester in A Star Is Born (1954) is ranked
#72 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time.
Her performance as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939) is ranked
#17 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.