Liza celebrates Judy Garland’s 90th birthday

Sunday Jun 10, 2012

Judy Garland would have turned 90 today, an occasion not left remembered by Turner Classic Movies, which dedicated a day of programming to the star; or her daughter Liza Minnelli, who posted the following on her website:

"Today is a day for celebration. We celebrate the privilege of having had Mama touch all of our lives.

"She left us with so many feelings we never would have discovered about ourselves until she exquisitely translated them to us with her voice.

"She is to be missed deeply, yes...But, what if we never had her?

"That's what we celebrate today.

"Mama gave each and every one of us the gift of hope, laughter, and love."


Garland was such a galvanizing icon for gay culture in Post War America that her death (at xx in 1969) is said to have prompted the Stonewall Riots.

Nor has she lost much of her celebrity over the years - new generations remain fascinated with the Garland legend largely due to the endearing popularity of "The Wizard of Oz" and YouTube.

Garland’s television appearances - mostly from her failed 1962 variety series - are happily preserved, as do many of her screen appearances.

To remember Judy, here are a some of our favorite Garland moments:

A singer and her band

One of the most heartbreaking torch songs is staged by George Cukor as a number about a girl singer and a band rehearsing in a late-night LA dive:

Barbra and Judy

One of the most memorable moments on Garland’s television show was this duet with the very young Barbra Streisand singing in counterpoint two of their signature songs.

A Cole Porter Medley/1965 Oscars

In 1965 the Academy Awards paid tribute to composer Cole Porter with a medley of his hits sung by Garland. The voice strains towards the end, but after eight-minutes, who’s wouldn’t?

Clang, clang went the trolley

"Meet Me in St. Louis" was Garland’s second pivotal film (first was "Wizard of Oz," the third was "A Star is Born.") In it she still played an ingenue, but gets one of the great teenage love yearning songs of all time: "The Trolley Song."

Dorothy no more

Not long after "Meet Me in St. Louis," Garland had a featured number in the ensemble musical "Ziegfeld Follies" entitled "The Great Lady Has An Interview." Written by her great friend and musical genius Kay Thompson, it’s a spoof of a classy actress that wants to play a sexy dame in a movie. It was directed by Garland’s then husband Vincente Minnelli.


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