Judy Garland was eager to write an autobiography about her public struggles with suicide, alcohol and life in the studio system assembly line. Why? Because she wanted the world to finally hear the truth about the girl behind those famous ruby red slippers.
"It's going to be one hell of a great — everlastingly great — book with humor, tears, fun, emotion, and love," she described. But due to her sudden death at the age of 47 from an accidental overdose of barbiturates, the actress was never able to complete her memoir.
In a new book titled, Judy Garland On Judy Garland, Interviews and Encounters, her most important interviews from print and television have been complied to give a glimpse inside the star's complicated world.
"I wanted to believe and I tried my damnedest to believe in the rainbow that I tried to get over and I couldn't," she once said. Here are her thoughts on the battles she fought so hard to overcome:
"They'd give us pep pills. Then they'd take us to the studio hospital and knock us cold with sleeping pills. After four hours they'd wake us up and give us the pep pills again," said Judy, who signed a contract with MGM at age 13. "That's the way we worked, and that's the way we got thin. That's the way we got mixed up. And that's the way we lost contact."
"No wonder I was strange. Imagine whipping out of bed, dashing over to the doctor's office, lying down on a torn leather couch, telling my troubles to an old man who couldn't hear, who answered with an accent I couldn't understand and then dashing to Metro to make movie love to Mickey Rooney," she said of her frequent co-star.
"I hate the sun. For thirty-six years I looked out the window every morning and there it was, always the same. And I don't like swimming pools. But I stayed there and I don't know why, perhaps because I thought it was my home."
"At times I've pretty much been a walking advertisement for sleeping pills. Even though pills come on doctor's prescriptions, as mine did, they can be a tremendous strain on the nervous systems. I was having my share of troubles with the studio and, there's no doubt about it, my physical condition didn't help."
Judy spent eight months in a Boston hospital following a nervous breakdown and suicide attempt. "While I stood there in the bathroom with a shattered glass in my hand, and Vincent [Minnelli] and my secretary, Tully, were pounding on the door, I knew I couldn't solve anything by running away — and that's what killing yourself is."
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