Judy Garland 100: Wizard of Oz nightmare began with the real Wicked Witch in her life

The Wizard Of Oz: Judy Garland stars as Dorothy in trailer

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Shockingly, Garland was not the first choice for the role. The studio had wanted Shirley Temple and then Deanna Durbin. Before and during the shoot, there were concerns she didn’t look girlish enough. It’s one of the reasons for that famous blue gingham dress – the pattern “blurred” slightly on-screen, concealing her already adult curves. The 16-year-old also had her chest heavily bandaged flat. All of this had painful echoes of her shocking childhood, her ongoing appalling treatment by the studios and then the behaviour of her three iconic co-stars. SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH JUDY GARLAND’S 1967 INTERVIEW WITH BARBARA WALTERS

In 1959, Garland spent seven weeks in hospital, during which time she vowed to start writing a tell-all autobiography that would blow the roof off her traumatic childhood and her suffering under the notorious Hollywood studio system.

A $20,000 advance was paid and many hours of tapes were recorded. The book was never completed but editor Randy L Schmidt complied excerpts along with archive interviews into Judy Garland on Judy Garland: Interviews and Encounters.

In the star’s own voice, her account of what she went through is heartbreaking and harrowing.

It all began with her childhood. Frances Ethel Gumm was put on the stage as a child with her two older sisters, by vaudevillian parents.

She later said of her whole life: “I’m not something you wind up and put on the stage,” but that’s exactly what her mother Ethel did, and it set the pattern for her entire life.

Garland said Ethel was a “stage mother – a mean one. The real “ife Wicked Witch of the West.

“She would sort of stand in the wings when I was a little girl and if I didn’t feel good, if I was sick to my tummy, she’d say: ‘You get out and sing or I’ll wrap you around the bedpost and break you off short!'”

The young Frances had no real childhood at all, saying: “I was on stage from the age of two. I missed a lot. It’s a very lonesome life.

“I don’t remember having any birthdays as a child. My mother was always afraid the studio would decide I was too old to play child parts. So we just ignored them.”

She had her big-screen break at 14 in 1936’s Pigskin Parade, swiftly followed by a star-making turn in 1937’s The Broadway Melody of 1938. By the time she started filming The Wizard of Oz in 1938, it was already her seventh film – and the shocking methods used by the studios to maintain the production line with young stars like Garland, Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor would overshadow the rest of her life.


Her Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow co-stars were competitive showbiz veterans. Like her, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley had all come through the ruthlessly competitive vaudeville circuits but were all considerably older and disinclined to be generous. They resented feeling upstaged by her, froze her out behind the scenes and crowded her out whenever they danced up the Yellow Brick Road until the director had to intervene. 

Garland recalled: “They’d shut me out. They’d close in, the three of them, and I would be in back of them dancing. The director, Victor Fleming, would say, ‘Hold it! You three dirty hams, let that little girl in there!'”

Ironically, her only friend on set was actress Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West. 


Source: Read Full Article