Subsequent celebrities who have suffered from personal struggles with drug addiction and substance use disorder have been compared to Garland, particularly Michael Jackson. Garland's elder daughter Liza Minnelli had a personal life that was almost parallel to that of her mother's, having struggled with substance use disorder and several unsuccessful marriages. Paglia observed that actress Marilyn Monroe would exhibit behavior which was similar to that which Garland had exhibited a decade earlier in Meet Me in St. Louis, particularly tardiness.
In September, 1947, Garland joined the Committee for the First Amendment, an action group formed by Hollywood celebrities in support of the Hollywood Ten during the hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives led by J. Parnell Thomas, which was formed to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens, public employees, and organizations suspected of having Communist ties. The Committee for the First Amendment sought to protect the civil liberties of those accused. Other members included Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Dorothy Dandridge, John Garfield, Katharine Hepburn, Lena Horne, John Huston, Gene Kelly, and Billy Wilder. Garland took part in recording an all-star October 26, 1947 radio broadcast, Hollywood Fights Back, during which she exhorted listeners to action: "Before every free conscience in America is subpoenaed, please speak up! Say your piece! Write your congressman a letter—air mail special. Let the Congress know what you think of its Un-American Committee."More Info
Garland was left in a desperate situation which saw her sell her Brentwood home at a price far below its value. She was then cast in February 1967 for the role of Helen Lawson in Valley of the Dolls by 20th Century Fox. According to co-star Patty Duke, Garland was treated poorly by director Mark Robson on the set of Valley of the Dolls and was primarily hired so as to augment publicity for the film. After Garland's dismissal from the film, author Jacqueline Susann said in the 1967 television documentary Jacqueline Susann and the Valley of the Dolls, "I think Judy will always come back. She kids about making a lot of comebacks, but I think Judy has a kind of a thing where she has to get to the bottom of the rope and things have to get very, very rough for her. Then with an amazing inner strength that only comes of a certain genius, she comes back bigger than ever".More Info
Despite her success as a performer, Garland suffered from low self-esteem, particularly with regard to her weight, which she constantly dieted to maintain at the behest of the studio and Mayer; critics and historians believe this was a result of having been told that she was an "ugly duckling" by studio executives. Entertainment Weekly columnist Gene Lyons observed that both audiences and fellow members of the entertainment industry "tended either to love her or to hate her". At one point, Stevie Phillips, who had worked as an agent for Garland for four years, described her client as "a demented, demanding, supremely talented drug-addict". Royce argues that Garland maintained "astonishing strength and courage", even during difficult times. English actor Dirk Bogarde once called Garland "the funniest woman I have ever met". Ruhlmann wrote that the singer's personal life "contrasted so starkly with the exuberance and innocence of her film roles".More Info
After her television series was canceled, Garland returned to work on the stage. She returned to the London Palladium performing with her 18-year-old daughter Liza Minnelli in November 1964. The concert was also shown on the British television network ITV and it was one of her final appearances at the venue. She made guest appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show. Garland guest-hosted an episode of The Hollywood Palace with Vic Damone. She was invited back for a second episode in 1966 with Van Johnson as her guest. Problems with Garland's behavior ended her Hollywood Palace guest appearances.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
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