I think of Judy Garland, and I draw a blank. Her professional success and painful personal life have been documented in many biographies, so I see no reason to go over them here. She was a talented singer and actress whose films make regular appearances on Turner Classic Movies (Ted Turner bought the MGM catalogue about 25 years ago), and her albums and videotape of her many television performances are still around to remind us of what a tremendous talent she was. And my guess is a lot of boys fell in love with her as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz.
She sang “The Trolley Song” in 1944’s Meet Me In St. Louis. You might remember Nora Dunn and Jan Hooks playing lounge singers on Saturday Night Live and how they would break into this.
She starred in Summer Stock with Gene Kelly in 1950, where she sang “Get Happy.” Early in her years at MGM, Louis B. Mayer convinced her she was fat and unattractive. He hadn’t seen this clip.
Judy was an icon in the gay community, particularly among gay men, who appreciate her talent and empathize with the struggles in her life. When she was asked how she felt about that, she replied “I couldn’t care less. I sing to people.”
Judy Garland, your Two for Tuesday, January 10, 2016.