Judy Garland: Beyond the Rainbow

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"She was born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, on June 10, 1922. She died Judy Garland of a drug overdose in London on June 22, 1969, just twelve days after her 47th birthday. During her all too brief life she lived, loved, and died in the public eye. As a dancer, singer, and movie icon, she shone as few stars before or after her have. At the tender age of seventeen, her performance as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz won her immediate--and lasting--fame. Over the next thirty years she performed in no fewer than thirty-three other films, including such classics as Babes in Arms, For Me and My Gal, Meet Me in St. Louis, Easter Parade, and A Star Is Born. Twice nominated for an Oscar, she won a rare, special Academy Award for The Wizard of Oz. As a singer, she had few if any peers, and her Palace Theater concerts in the 1950s set attendance records that to this day have never been broken. As a dancer she danced with the best: Fred Astaire, Ray Bolger, Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse, and Mickey Rooney. Like Marilyn Monroe, Judy's destiny was to have a life often more dramatic than her work, and like Elizabeth Taylor, her hospital stays often required more time than her movies. Throughout her life she suffered from all sorts of illnesses., real or imagined, and yet morning after morning she would turn up for work, often only an hour or two after performing in a nightclub act. Up until her day, movie studios had protected their top box-office stars behind a thick wall of discreet publicists. Judy was the first one they left hanging out to dry: with her their solution seems to have been to fill her with so many pills her friends reported that most mornings she rattled. The 'juicy' facts of Judy Garland's life are well known: the disastrous marriages, the drug abuse, the tragic death. Here, with the perspective of thirty years, Sheridan Morley and Ruth Leon probe more deeply to answer the 'how' and 'why' of her existence, in a book that is published to coincide both with the thirtieth anniversary of her death and the sixtieth anniversary of her unforgettable breakthrough in The Wizard of Oz."--Jacket.

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About the author (1999)

Sheridan Morley is a theater critic, broadcaster, and biographer. He lives in London, England.

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