Day 34 of Colourisation Project – June 10
Born this day, June 10 in 1922, the daughter of vaudeville professionals, Judy Garland was only 17 when she enchanted the world with her beautiful voice and plaintive rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in The Wizard of Oz.
She made thirty-two feature films during her short life. Despite her great professional success, her life was plagued with depression and doubts. Buckling under studio pressure to look a certain way, she was placed on a steady diet of pills – uppers to keep thin and provide energy and downers in order to sleep. She struggled with prescription drug addiction while battling anorexia and alcoholism. She had five shots at marriage and produced three children; Liza Minelli, Lorna Luft and Joey Luft, all of whom went into show biz.
In 1969 after several suicide attempts, she eventually succumbed to an accidental overdose of barbiturates at age 47.
Publicity Shot Coloured by Loredana Crupi
Born Frances Ethel Gumm, Judy Garland started out in films in the Andy Hardy series alongside, Mickey Rooney. She then went on to star in a long string of musicals for MGM, including For Me and My Gal, Strike Up the Band, Ziegfeld Girl and Meet Me in St. Louis.
The late 1950s was a tumultuous period for Judy. She developed a reputation for being unreliable and unstable and in 1950 was dropped by MGM. However there was no disputing her natural talent both as an actress and a singer. In 1954 she was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the Warner Bros production of A Star is Born.
In the midst of her drug and alcohol abuse, Judy gave the performance of her life at Carnegie Hall in April 1961. Considered by many to be the greatest night in showbiz history, a live recording of the concert was released as a double album, Judy at Carnegie Hall. This album earned her a Grammy Award for ‘Album of the Year’. So popular is this album that it has never been out of print.
In 1961 she also received an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of a woman persecuted by Nazis in Judgment at Nuremberg.
In 1963 to 1964, she starred in her own TV show, The Judy Garland Show. Garland was in great demand and in 1967, made a critically acclaimed return to Broadway for At Home at the Palace. The following year she went to London for several appearances at London’s Talk of the Town. However it was evident here that Judy Garland was still battling her demons and did not perform so well on stage.
Her life came to an end at the age of 47 while in London.
In 1997, she was awarded a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1999 the American Film Institute named Garland as one of the ten greatest female stars in the history of cinema.
“That’s the way we worked, and that’s the way we got thin. That’s the way we got mixed up. And that’s the way we lost contact.” Judy Garland