Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Nov 11, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 528 pages
4 Reviews
She lived at full throttle on stage, screen, and in real life, with highs that made history and lows that finally brought down the curtain at age forty-seven. Judy Garland died over thirty years ago, but no biography has so completely captured her spirit -- and demons -- until now.

From her tumultuous early years as a child performer to her tragic last days, Gerald Clarke reveals the authentic Judy in a biography rich in new detail and unprecedented revelations. Based on hundreds of interviews and drawing on her own unfinished -- and unpublished -- autobiography, Get Happy presents the real Judy Garland in all her flawed glory.

With the same skill, style, and storytelling flair that made his bestselling Capote a landmark literary biography, Gerald Clarke sorts through the secrets and the scandals, the legends and the lies, to create a portrait of Judy Garland as candid as it is compassionate.

Here are her early years, during which her parents sowed the seeds of heartbreak and self-destruction that would plague her for decades ... the golden age of Hollywood, brought into sharp focus with cinematic urgency, from the hidden private lives of the movie world's biggest stars to the cold-eyed businessmen who controlled the machine ... and a parade of brilliant and gifted men -- lovers and artists, impresarios and crooks -- who helped her reach so many creative pinnacles yet left her hopeless and alone after each seemingly inevitable fall.

Here, then, is Judy Garland in all her magic and despair: the woman, the star, the legend, in a riveting saga of tragedy, resurrection, and genius.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - voz - LibraryThing

This might have once passed as a reasonable biography but audiences today are looking for a new angles on people's time on earth. Superficial re-telling of who said what to whom. Only just readable, if not for the interesting subject. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pamfb7557 - LibraryThing

I love Judy Garland, and I have read other biographies, the best of which was written by Anne Edwards. I didn't learn anything I didn't already know, and the book wasn't particularly engaging. Read full review

Selected pages


CHAPTER 1Ethel and Frank
CHAPTER 2A Meager Streamand a Love Like Niagara
CHAPTER 3A Princess in the Realm of MakeBelieve
CHAPTER 4Production No 1060The Wizard of Oz
CHAPTER 5The Men of Her Dreams
CHAPTER 6A Ride to Nowhere on the GarRose Railway
CHAPTER 7In Love with Harvard College
CHAPTER 8A Marriage Made in MetroGoldwynMayer
CHAPTER 13The Holmby Hills Rat Pack
CHAPTER 14A Standoff at the Stanhope and the End of Sid
CHAPTER 15A Need to Be Needed and a Disaster in Melbourne
CHAPTER 16LizaRiding a Whirlwind
CHAPTER 17Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory

CHAPTER 9A Hell in Heaven
CHAPTER 10I Am an Addict
CHAPTER 11Resurrection
CHAPTER 12A Golden Deal and a Death in a Parking Lot

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About the author (2009)

Gerald Clarke is the author of Capote, the much acclaimed, bestselling biography of Truman Capote. He has also written for many magazines, including Esquire, Architectural Digest, and Time, where for many years he was a senior writer. A native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Yale, he now lives in Bridgehampton, in eastern Long Island, New York.

From the Hardcover edition.

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