As Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland made her way into Hollywood as a beloved icon. The nutritious Kansas farm girl Dorothy, who found herself in the land of the Ojaswi and wanted to return home, was lovely and caring, and the audience was smooched with her from the very first scene.
But Leading and Creating the 1939 classic was a more treacherous scenario for a teenager to navigate than the imaginary perils of Oz. Mala endured very long working hours and a studio system, keeping the eyes closed, and indeed often encouraged, to work with artists like stimulants and sleeping pills. Use to ensure that they will be able to rest.
By the time 17-year-old Garland filmed Oz, she was already addicted to barbiturates and amphetamines. Her use of drugs began before the actress slipped into those ruby slippers, in part due to studio owners who demanded that they remain slim, and energetic enough to cope during the filming days.
Substance abuse will become an issue when she fights the remainder of her life until she dies from an accidental overdose in 1969 at the age of 47, with her three children (Lisa Minnelli and Lorna and Joey Luft ) Leaving behind, five marriages and an artistic legacy are often seen. From the tragedies of her short life.
Garland’s mother was the first person who gave him the pills
Born on June 10, 1922 in Grand Rapids, MN, Frances Ethel Gum was inspired to bring her daughters to the stage at an early age by her mother Attlee as a frustrated young Woodville performer. At the age of two and a half, Garland was in the news with her sisters. In later life, Garland would remember his mother as “the real evil witch of the West”.
According to Get Happy: Gerald Clarke, biographer of The Life of Judy Garland, Garland’s mother provided the first pills – for both energy and sleep – not yet to her 10-year-old daughter.
The studio called him ‘Fat Pig with Piggles’
Signed as a teenager with Metro Goldwyn Mayer, she appeared in more than two dozen films for the studio, with several co-star Mickey Rooney, who was herself a teenager at the time. Under the contract, she was constantly scrutinized by studio owners, especially in terms of her weight.
Garland appeared at the age of 14 in his first feature film in 1936, a musical comedy about a football coach called Pigskin Parade. Lewis B., the head of the studio. Meyer and MGM owners were reportedly concerned about any additional weight on the already dwindling star, referring to them as “fat little pigs with piglets”.
Which will be the first of many. Diet, Garland’s food intake was severely restricted and closely monitored. To maintain his weight, Meyer insisted that he consume only chicken soup, black coffee and cigarettes with pills to ease his appetite.
Garland’s third husband Sid Luft wrote in her memoir Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland, “In most of her teenage and adult life, she was on either benzrine or a diet or both.” “Unlike other actresses, she could not successfully camouflage the extra weight, especially because she danced and sang in revealing costumes. At just 4 feet 11, inches, she could be underweight and still be heavy on screen or May appear out of proportion. ”
Judy Garland through the years
Garland said that taking pills was ‘a way of life’
Known in the industry as “Peps Pills”, Garland was not alone in being forced to take drugs. Her co-star Rooney – both appeared in films together such as Babes in Arms, Love finalist Andy Hardy and Strike Up the Band – were also forced to consume them. Both Garland and Rooney were stretched to the limits for the studio, and neither talked about what they used to do until years later.
He said, “We used to work day and night.” After we get tired they give us pills to keep us on our feet. They then took us to the studio hospital and knocked us out with sleeping pills – Mickey dropped me on one bed and me on another, ”Garland told biographer Paul Donley.
“Then after four hours they wake us up and give us peps pills again so that we can work for 72 hours continuously. Half the time when we were hanging from the ceiling but it was a way of life for us. ”
A year before The Wizard of Oz, studio managers were sending memos to each other detailing Garland’s food intake. By the time the cameras started rolling on the film, Garland was already in the upper / downer drug cycle.