By the time of her death in 1969, Garland had appeared in more than 35 films. She has been called one of the greats of entertainment, and her reputation has endured. In 1992, Gerald Clarke of Architectural Digest dubbed Garland "probably the greatest American entertainer of the twentieth century". O'Brien believes that "No one in the history of Hollywood ever packed the musical wallop that Garland did", explaining, "She had the biggest, most versatile voice in movies. Her Technicolor musicals... defined the genre. The songs she introduced were Oscar gold. Her film career frames the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals." Turner Classic Movies dubbed Garland "history's most poignant voice". Entertainment Weekly's Gene Lyons dubbed Garland "the Madonna of her generation". The American Film Institute named her eighth among the Greatest female stars of Golden Age Hollywood cinema. In June 1998, in The New York Times, Camille Paglia wrote that, "Garland was a personality on the grand scale who makes our current crop of pop stars look lightweight and evanescent." In recent years, Garland's legacy has maintained fans of all different ages, both younger and older. In 2010, The Huffington Post contributor Joan E. Dowlin concluded that Garland possessed a distinct "it" quality by "exemplif[ying] the star quality of charisma, musical talent, natural acting ability, and, despite what the studio honchos said, good looks (even if they were the girl next door looks)". AllMusic's biographer William Ruhlmann said that "the core of her significance as an artist remains her amazing voice and emotional commitment to her songs", and believes that "her career is sometimes viewed more as an object lesson in Hollywood excess than as the remarkable string of multimedia accomplishments it was". In 2012, Strassler described Garland as "more than an icon... Like Charlie Chaplin and Lucille Ball, she created a template that the powers that be have forever been trying, with varied levels of success, to replicate."
After Garland's body had been embalmed by Desmond Henley, Deans travelled with her remains to New York City on June 26, where an estimated 20,000 people lined up to pay their respects at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in Manhattan, which remained open all night long to accommodate the overflowing crowd. On June 27, James Mason gave a eulogy at the funeral, an Episcopal service led by the Rev. Peter A. Delaney of St Marylebone Parish Church, London, who had officiated at her marriage to Deans, three months earlier. "Judy's great gift", Mason said in his eulogy, "was that she could wring tears out of hearts of rock.... She gave so richly and so generously, that there was no currency in which to repay her." The public and press were barred. She was interred in a crypt in the community mausoleum at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, a small town 24 miles (39 km) north of midtown Manhattan.More Info
Writing for Turner Classic Movies, biographer Jonathan Riggs observed that Garland had a tendency to imbue her vocals with a paradoxical combination of "fragility and resilience" that eventually became a signature trademark of hers. Louis Bayard of The Washington Post described Garland's voice as "throbbing", believing it to be capable of "connect[ing] with [audiences] in a way no other voice does". Bayard also believes that listeners "find it hard to disentwine the sorrow in her voice from the sorrow that dogged her life", while Dowlin argued that, "Listening to Judy sing ... makes me forget all of the angst and suffering she must have endured." The New York Times obituarist in 1969 observed that Garland, whether intentionally or not, "brought with her ... all the well-publicized phantoms of her emotional breakdown, her career collapses and comebacks" on stage during later performances. The same writer said that Garland's voice changed and lost some of its quality as she aged, although she retained much of her personality. Contributing to the Irish Independent, Julia Molony observed Garland's voice, although "still rich with emotion", had finally begun to "creak with the weight of years of disappointment and hard-living" by the time she performed at Carnegie Hall in 1961. Similarly, the live record's entry in the Library of Congress wrote that "while her voice was still strong, it had also gained a bit of heft and a bit of wear"; author Cary O'Dell believes Garland's rasp and "occasional quiver" only "upped the emotional quotient of many of her numbers", particularly on her signature songs "Over the Rainbow" and "The Man That Got Away". Garland stated that she always felt most safe and at home while performing onstage, regardless of the condition of her voice. Her musical talent has been commended by her peers; opera singer Maria Callas once said that Garland possessed "the most superb voice she had ever heard", while singer and actor Bing Crosby said that "no other singer could be compared to her" when Garland was rested.More Info
Garland appeared in a number of television specials beginning in 1955. The first was the 1955 debut episode of Ford Star Jubilee; this was the first full-scale color broadcast ever on CBS and was a ratings triumph, scoring a 34.8 Nielsen rating. She signed a three-year, $300,000 contract with the network. Only one additional special was broadcast in 1956, a live concert-edition of General Electric Theater, before the relationship between the Lufts and CBS broke down in a dispute over the planned format of upcoming specials.More Info
According to Malony, Garland was one of Hollywood's hardest-working performers during the 1940s, which Malony claims she used as a coping mechanism after her first marriage imploded. However, studio employees recall that Garland had a tendency to be quite intense, headstrong and volatile; Judy Garland: The Secret Life of an American Legend author David Shipman claims that several individuals were frustrated by Garland's "narcissism" and "growing instability", while millions of fans found her public demeanor and psychological state to be "fragile", appearing neurotic in interviews. MGM reports that Garland was consistently tardy and demonstrated erratic behavior, which resulted in several delays and disruptions to filming schedules until she was finally dismissed from the studio, which had deemed her unreliable and difficult to manage. Farrell called Garland "A grab bag of contradictions" which "has always been a feast for the American imagination", describing her public persona as "awkward yet direct, bashful yet brash". Describing the singer as "Tender and endearing yet savage and turbulent", Paglia wrote that Garland "cut a path of destruction through many lives. And out of that chaos, she made art of still-searing intensity." Calling her "a creature of extremes, greedy, sensual, and demanding, gluttonous for pleasure and pain", Paglia also compared Garland to entertainer Frank Sinatra due to their shared "emblematic personality ... into whom the mass audience projected its hopes and disappointments", while observing that she lacked Sinatra's survival skills.More Info
Garland possessed a contralto vocal range. Her singing voice has been described as brassy, powerful, effortless and resonant, often demonstrating a tremulous, powerful vibrato. Although her range was comparatively limited, Garland was capable of alternating between female and male-sounding timbres with little effort. The Richmond Times-Dispatch correspondent Tony Farrell wrote she possessed "a deep, velvety contralto voice that could turn on a dime to belt out the high notes", while Ron O'Brien, producer of tribute album The Definitive Collection – Judy Garland (2006), wrote the singer's combination of natural phrasing, elegant delivery, mature pathos "and powerful dramatic dynamics she brings to ... songs make her [renditions] the definitive interpretations". The Huffington Post writer Joan E. Dowlin called the period of Garland's music career between 1937 and 1945 the "innocent years", during which the critic believes the singer's "voice was vibrant and her musical expression exuberant", taking note of its resonance and distinct, "rich yet sweet" quality "that grabs you and pulls you in". Garland's voice would often vary to suit the song she was interpreting, ranging from soft, engaging and tender during ballads to humorous on some of her duets with other artists. Her more joyful, belted performances have been compared to entertainers Sophie Tucker, Ethel Merman, and Al Jolson. Although her musical repertoire consisted largely of cast recordings, show tunes and traditional pop standards, Garland was also capable of singing soul, blues, and jazz music, which Dowlin compared to singer Elvis Presley.More Info
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