Nearly 50 years after her death, Judy Garland‘s son is revealing his fond memories of his famous mother.
“She always tried to be there for us, giving us support and lots of love,” the Meet Me in St. Louis star’s youngest child, Joey Luft, told Closer Weekly in an exclusive new interview.
Judy welcomed Joey, now 61-years-old, in March 1955 with her third husband, Sidney Luft. The iconic actress and Sidney — who were married from 1952 until 1965 — are also parents to an older daughter, Lorna Luft, 64.
Judy with her three children in January 1964.
The star — who passed away at age 47 in June 1969 — is additionally a mother to actress and singer Liza Minnelli, 70, with her second husband, Vincente Minnelli.
In his exclusive interview with Closer, Joey recalled being terrified watching his mother, Judy, in The Wizard of Oz for the first time. “When the [flying] monkeys kidnap Dorothy, I started crying and screaming, ‘They kidnapped my mom!'” he said.
Joey was so distraught, his babysitter had to call Judy in Europe, where she was filming her latest project. “She told me, ‘Monkeys didn’t kidnap me, everything’s fine!’ I calmed down after that,” he told Closer.
Judy’s son Joey in June 2010.
Judy — born Frances Ethel Gumm in June 1922 — made her acting debut at just two-years-old when she joined her two older sisters onstage at her father’s movie theater during a Christmas show in 1924. The Gumm Sisters subsequently performed together as a vaudeville act for years before Judy became a breakout star with MGM in the mid-1930s.
The star appeared in more than 35 films with MGM throughout her showbiz career. “There are so many interviews where she was asked, ‘Why do you work so hard?’ and she’d always say, ‘It’s for my children,'” Joey told Closer.
“She was strict, but I remember having a lot of fun with her! She had a great sense of humor,” Joey added. “One of her main mottos was, ‘The show must go on… and on time!'”
For more on Judy, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!
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