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Judy Garland: The Other Side of the Rainbow

Freedland, Michael
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JR Books

Based on talks with people who actually knew her—from the woman who used to babysit the star to the producers and friends who knew Judy's problems as well as her successes—this is the real Judy Garland Stripped bare, without the hype, this is a unique biography of the superstar born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. It reveals how she was shunned by local people when she made her only visit back to her birthplace by people who considered her a Jezebel, how her father was run out of town because he was gay, and how overworked she was while making The Wizard of Oz. The man who established the first Judy Garland fan club tells how he reluctantly walked out of one of her performances because she was so bad. Stevie Phillips, the "carer" imposed by Judy's agents, describes her as a "train wreck," while the son of the man who employed her at New York's biggest night club describes how she let him down, failing to appear for shows. We hear about a friend of the family asking MGM to cancel her contract because the work pressure was too much—but then we also hear how Judy was fired from Annie Get Your Gun and went through the MGM corridors in war paint and carrying her tomahawk "looking for someone to scalp" as TV-producer George Slaughter put it. This is a bittersweet story: sad, funny, very human, and full of personal stories not from stars but from the sort of people few biographers bother to talk to, but who provide the best and the truest tales.

©2002-2022 Blair Frodelius • Blair & Co.