Judy Garland was a special girl. She was extremely talented, with a great voice and she was a great performer. But it’s true that, for the MGM she was different from the rest of the actresses. She looked like an ordinary girl, not like an extremely beautiful lady. And probably, that was the key of her success and sure the audience loved her for that. Honestly, I see her very beautiful, she is an exception. While she was working in the MGM, she also studied with girls like Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and Lana Turner. This had an effect on her; she had a lot of insecurities, probably because of that.
The artistic industry is probably a tough place and probably is not the best place for children. I’m sure today it’s different, but it’s true that the actors and actresses expose themselves to the people and that’s something dangerous sometimes. In the case of Judy Garland, her childhood was completely unusual, working, performing, dancing and singing all the time. The MGM used her to produce a huge amount of films and that affected her physically and psychologically.
When she signed her contract with MGM, unfortunately her father passed away. She had a really close relationship with him, she loved him so much, so it was really hard for her. He never saw her performing on screen, but he heard her voice performing on the radio. She became popular singing ‘Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart’. This song became very important for her because it reminded her a lot of him. She performed it in most of her concerts. The lyrics of the song are very emotional, so it inspired her and became one of her favourite songs.
The MGM wasn’t really sure with her, they didn’t know which kind of movie she could be able to do. They knew that she had an extraordinary voice and sure that they could find something. But the 20th Century Fox started to be interested on her after listening her on the radio. So, the MGM produced the first movie for Judy Garland. It was ‘Pigskin Parade’ (1936). She appears as natural, without makeup and wigs. It’s only her, performing some songs.
After that, she produced a few more movies before one of the most important films on her career: ‘The Wizard of Oz’. But it wasn’t easy for her. At that time, she started to take some pills to sleep. She was working all day, feeling exhausted, arrived home, had a shower, had her dinner and read and study the scripts for the following day. She was so nervous and anxious that she needed to take some pills to sleep and then in the morning had to take some more pills to be awake and be able to work. Definitely, she was working too much.