In 1951, Garland began a four-month concert tour of Britain and Ireland, where she played to sold-out audiences throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland. The successful concert tour was the first of her many comebacks, with performances centered on songs by Al Jolson and revival of vaudevillian "tradition". Garland performed complete shows as tributes to Jolson in her concerts at the London Palladium in April and at New York's Palace Theater later that year. Garland said after the Palladium show: "I suddenly knew that this was the beginning of a new life ... Hollywood thought I was through; then came the wonderful opportunity to appear at the London Palladium, where I can truthfully say Judy Garland was reborn." Her appearances at the Palladium lasted for four weeks, where she received rave reviews and an ovation described by the Palladium manager as the loudest he had ever heard.
During this time, Garland was still in her teens when she experienced her first serious adult romance with bandleader Artie Shaw. She was deeply devoted to him and was devastated in early 1940 when he eloped with Lana Turner. Garland began a relationship with musician David Rose, and on her 18th birthday, he gave her an engagement ring. The studio intervened because, at the time, he was still married to actress and singer Martha Raye. They agreed to wait a year to allow for his divorce to become final. During that time, Garland had a brief affair with songwriter Johnny Mercer. After her break-up with Mercer, Garland and Rose were wed on July 27, 1941. "A true rarity" is what media called it. The couple agreed to a trial separation in January 1943, and divorced in 1944.More Info
During her early years at the studio, she was photographed and dressed in plain garments or frilly juvenile gowns and costumes to match the "girl-next-door" image created for her. They had her wear removable caps on her teeth and rubberized discs to reshape her nose. Eventually, on the set of Meet Me in St. Louis when she was 21 years old, Garland met Dotty Ponedel, a makeup artist who worked at MGM. After reviewing the additions to her look, Garland was surprised when Ponedel said that the caps and discs that Garland had been using were not needed, as she was “a pretty girl.” Ponedel went forward with being Garland's makeup artist. The work that Ponedel did on Garland for Meet Me in St. Louis made Garland so happy that Ponedel became Garland's advisor every time she worked on a film under MGM.More Info
Thrilled by the huge box-office receipts of Easter Parade, MGM immediately teamed Garland and Astaire in The Barkleys of Broadway. During the initial filming, Garland was taking prescription barbiturate sleeping pills along with illicitly obtained pills containing morphine. Around this time, she also developed a serious problem with alcohol. These, in combination with migraine headaches, led her to miss several shooting days in a row. After being advised by her doctor that she would only be able to work in four- to five-day increments with extended rest periods between, MGM executive Arthur Freed made the decision to suspend her on July 18, 1948. She was replaced in the film by Ginger Rogers. When her suspension was over, she was summoned back to work and ultimately performed two songs as a guest in the Rodgers and Hart biopic Words and Music (1948), which was her last appearance with Mickey Rooney. Despite the all-star cast, Words and Music barely broke even at the box office. Having regained her strength, as well as some needed weight during her suspension, Garland felt much better and in the fall of 1948, she returned to MGM to replace a pregnant June Allyson for the musical film In the Good Old Summertime (1949) co-starring Van Johnson. Although she was sometimes late arriving at the studio during the making of this picture, she managed to complete it five days ahead of schedule. Her daughter Liza made her film debut at the age of two and a half at the end of the film. In The Good Old Summertime was enormously successful at the box office.More Info
Garland was initially outfitted in a blonde wig for the part, but Freed and LeRoy decided against it shortly into filming. Her blue gingham dress was chosen for its blurring effect on her figure, which made her look younger. Shooting commenced on October 13, 1938, and it was completed on March 16, 1939, with a final cost of more than US$2 million. With the conclusion of filming, MGM kept Garland busy with promotional tours and the shooting of Babes in Arms (also 1939), directed by Busby Berkeley. She and Rooney were sent on a cross-country promotional tour, culminating in the August 17 New York City premiere at the Capitol Theater, which included a five-show-a-day appearance schedule for the two stars. Garland was put on a diet during filming in a further attempt to minimize her curves.More Info
In her next film, For Me and My Gal (1942), Garland performed with Gene Kelly in his first screen appearance. She was given the "glamor treatment" in Presenting Lily Mars (1943), in which she was dressed in "grown-up" gowns. Her lightened hair was also pulled up in a stylish fashion. However, no matter how glamorous or beautiful she appeared on screen or in photographs, she was never confident in her appearance and never escaped the "girl-next-door" image that the studio had created for her.More Info
We don't show ads. Help us keep it that way.