Modern Screen
October 1940

articles042

Revealing Intimate and Intriguing Tidbits About Judy Garland

Judy has what she calls “insane” food habits. She likes to eat corn on the cob with grape jelly. (She once dropped an ear of corn in some grape jelly by accident and it tasted swell) She never eats any two things together. If she has meat and potato on her plate, she eats all the meat first, then all the potato. She never eats on time. If dinner is at seven, she stalls around until eight. She loves to eat hamburgers (but not with onions!), little thin hot cakes and wienies just before she goes to bed. She says they make her sleep like a log.

When, she drives herself in her little red coupe, she has only one window open and all the doors locked. She sings with the radio as she drives. She likes to listen to the radio only when it is on as loud as possible. She has a portable radio in her room at home and two others in other parts of the house. She usually has all three of them going at once, at the top of their etheric lungs. She likes to feel that the orchestra is right in the room with her. She and Mickey have this bond in common: they both like noise and plenty of it. Her mother and sister are contemplating the addition of a sound-proof room to the house for the sake of their ear-drums.

She’s always going to the movies, goes at least three or four times a week. She likes double features; she wishes they would have “treble” features. She likes to sit in the fifth or sixth row from the front, eat candy, chew gum and put her feet up on the back of the seat in front of her. And she sees her favorite pictures over and over again. She saw Bette Davis in “Dangerous” fourteen times. She saw Bob Montgomery and Maureen O’Sullivan in “Hideout” six times. She has already seen “Rebecca” three times. She cries horribly in pictures when they are sad. She says, “I cry right out loud.” The only time she ever really laughs is when she sees a comedy film. Otherwise, surprisingly enough, she doesn’t laugh often. When she is pleased or amused her whole face brightens, but she doesn’t laugh aloud.

She bites her fingernails and stuffs money in her pocketbooks and sweater pockets and forgets she has it. Once a week she goes through all her pocketbooks and pockets and finds “a little fortune I didn’t know I had.” She steals combs. She doesn’t mean to, she just absent-mindedly picks them up at hairdressers and from her friends’ dressing-tables and makes off with them. She has a good memory for telephone numbers and addresses but a bad memory for names. She starts to introduce her best friend to someone and can’t remember her friend’s name.

Judy has lived in Hollywood, in Beverly Hills rather, for five years. She has had only one contract, a sevenyear one with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and still has more than two years to go on it.

Judy loves to go “basement” shopping. She always feels so good, she says, when she finds a bargain.’ Her favorite dress last summer Was a little cotton dress she found for $5.95. She wore it steadily for weeks. She always buys too many things, she says, things she doesn’t really need. Especially sweaters and skirts and shoes. More especially, shoes. She has a ridiculous number of shoes, seventy-three pairs at the last count. She has to buy her own shoes for pictures, “which accounts for the jillions I own.” She is always planning to give some of them away and then, at the last minute, changes her mind. She has a terrible time parting with anything old even if she can’t use it. Her dream is to have a house with a roomy, oldfashioned attic where she can store away the accumulation of her lifetime so that her great-grandchildren can find the things in the years to come. She is, she says, “a naturalborn ‘saver.'”

She loves to go shopping at the Five & Ten. Her bureau drawers are cluttered with little bottles of hand lotions, little boxes of powder and little packets of soap. She loves to shop in drugstores. In the “ritzy” drugstores she just “nose-shops,” she says. That is, she goes around sniffing and sampling all the expensive perfumes. She gets hay fever from some kinds of perfume. From Arpege, for instance, which is her favorite. Paul Whiteman gave her four bottles of imported perfume when he worked with her in “Strike Up The Band” and she went around sneezing for six weeks. “Better to sneeze than not to smell like that,” she explained.

Judy loves the “corner” drugstores, too, like the one in Hollywood where Cliff Edwards takes over the cash-register when the girl is off and Bob Taylor comes in and whips himself up a malted milk and everyone drops in and “dishes the dirt.” She’d like to live in a small town and hash things over the back fence.

She is five feet two and a half inches tall, weighs one hundred and eight pounds and grew just exactly an inch in this past year.

The singing Garland has never taken but one singing lesson in her life and that was in New York a year or so ago. She sings from her chest. The toney teacher” to whom she was recommended had her bring her voice up in her throat by inserting a pencil in her mouth. The result was that Judy couldn’t talk and the teacher criticized her “poor diction.” She also made her practise singing while blowing on pieces of paper! Judy got out of that atelier in an hour land a half and never went back.

She hasn’t any superstitions but she has quite a bevy of pet phobias. She can’t climb a ladder, for instance, she falls right off. If she stands on a chair, she falls, too. She has an “in-back-ofme” phobia. When she is driving she always feels that someone is about to crash into the back of her car. Head-on collisions never trouble her, it’s that in-back-of-me bogey. Sometimes, at home, when she’s the last to go to bed, she remembers that she forgot to turn off I the downstairs lights. She goes down to check. And feels sure that someone is in back of her. She tries to keep herself under control by saying, “There is no one in back of me, there is no one in back of me,” but all the time she is walking faster and faster until, like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” she looks as though she is being carried along by a hurricane until she is whisked into her room and the door banged shut. She also had a phobia about bumble bees or anything, except snakes, (she likes snakes) that crawls or flies. She gets hysterical when a bumble bee buzzes in her hearing. Spiders are her downfall. When she finds a spider in her room she calls her mother, her sister and the help to rout the invader. She doesn’t mind mice. She rather likes them. They have such cute ears, she says, and “look so hopeful.”

Judy hates to wear hats, except little “college” hats, the kind you wear on the back of your head, or turbans. She has a mean hand with turbans; she can swing them as no-one else can, her girl friends say. They’re always asking her to wrap theirs for them. She’s a very sympathetic girl, her friends also say. When they have any troubles or problems, they always take them to Judy. She somehow manages to straighten them cut.

Her watches never keep time. They’re always slow. Perhaps they’ve given up trying to keep up with Judy, who always goes fast. She never walks anywhere, always runs and usually the hop, skip and jump kind of a run. She has
seven watches—gifts from different people—including a lapel watch, a finger-ring watch and a key watch. The key watch is a tiny watch inserted into her housekey and was given her by the sponsors of the Harvest Moon Ball. When it’s five-thirty in the afternoon her watches always say it’s two-thirty—all seven of them. She never worries about anything. She thinks worrying is “so futile.” She says she always does the very best she can and, if that isn’t good enough, she forgets it.

Judy dreams almost every night. Always the same kind of a dream. She dreams that she wakes up and talks to somebody or calls someone on the phone. And then, when she does wake up, she can’t be sure whether she really dreamed it or not and has to call the person to find out. It’s very confusing!

When Judy goes on dates she doesn’t like to get all dressed up and go to swanky night clubs, except once a month. She likes to go to other kids’ houses or have them come to hers and just roll back the rugs, dance, play records and talk. She never was a violent jitterbug. She jittered some, but not much nor for long. She likes to rhumba. The week before she finished in “Strike Up The Band” she had all the kids in the cast, Mickey, June Preisser, Margaret Early, Bill Tracy, Leonard Sues and the others, up to her house. Mickey and about five other kids stayed on after the others left and played badminton and went nightswimming in the pool. Judy likes to swim at night because there are no bumble bees in the moonlight. She just acquired a swimming pool this year and now Sunday afternoons have become very “open house” at the Garlands.

One of her best girl friends is pretty little Betty Jane Graham. Judy’s best friends are her old friends, which tells a little tale in one sentence. Judy and Betty Jane first met when they were six years old and both tried out for a part in a Universal picture which starred Slim Summerville. Each youngster thought the other would get the part so they didn’t like each other. They were rivals in rompers. Neither of them got it (Cora Sue Collins did), and Judy and Betty Jane have been pals ever since. Betty often comes to the studio with Judy, sits with her while she has her hair done, her make-up put on, and stays with her on the set. Every hour or so, the girls send out for chocolate malted milks or cokes. Leonard Sues is another grade school pal of Judy’s and Betty’s. The three are inseparable. Leonard plays the trumpet in the band in “Strike Up The Band.”

Judy writes poetry. And loves to read it. She has written ten poems of her own—ten, that is, that she hasn’t torn up. She is her own severest critic and if she doesn’t like the poem, she destroys it. She has done an oil painting, too— a landscape.

She always reads the funny papers and buys comic magazines by the bale. Her favorite movie actors are Clark Gable and Cary Grant. Cary is on the M-G-M lot now, working with Katy Hepburn in “The Philadelphia Story.” Judy sees him in the commissary every day at lunch-time. He always says “Hulloa, Judy,” and she answers, “Hulloa, Mr. Grant.” Judy is frank and friendly, but there is none of this “Hi, toots,” calling people she doesn’t know well by their first names. She wears a pleasing mantle of dignity over her friendliness, and it is very becoming. Her favorite movie actresses are Bette Davis and Margaret Sullavan. Her favorite stage actress is Katharine Cornell. She has never met any one of them. She would like to be of “the school” of Davis and Sullavan. She is not, she says, “depending upon her singing.” She is delighted because, in her next picture, “Little Nellie Kelly,” she plays her own mother. It’s the first time she’s played a character part. She is taking it very seriously as, some day, she hopes to be taken. She trails around after her mother, copying mannerisms and “making notes.”

On the set of “The Wizard of Oz,” Director Victor Fleming always called
her “Ange.” She doesn’t know why. Busby Berkeley, directing “Strike Up The Band,” calls her “Butch” and calls Mickey, “Stinky.” Mickey always calls her “Jutes” and her mother and sister call her “Judaline.”

When Judy and Mickey are working together, the set is a three-ring circus, with one round of crazy acts after another going on. Judy helps Mickey with the songs he writes, making suggestions and recording them for him.
‘ She has a record machine in her dressingroom. Louis B. Mayer gave it to her on her last, her eighteenth birthday.

Her favorite radio programs are the New York Symphonic Concerts. She always listens to them on Sundays. If she is up late enough (she goes to bed at nine o’clock when she is not dating), she always listens to the Rhapsody in Wax broadcasts. She also likes Information, Please and the Lux Theatre of the Air. She has two favorite types of books, biographies of musicians and memoirs of doctors. Judy used to want to be a doctor or a designer. Now she’s decided to “concentrate on my own career.” She loves pets but likes to have only one at a time. She has a little, blonde cocker spaniel. She doesn’t care particularly for cats because “they’re never friendly.” And she doesn’t like birds for pets “because you can’t pat them.” She likes pets you can cuddle. Her favorite song is “Over The Rainbow.” She does sing in the shower.

Judy has what she calls “happy unforgettable things” and “unhappy unforgettable things.” A “happy unforgettable” occurred when she made her personal appearance tour in New York three and a half years ago. For the first time, she saw her name in electric lights on Broadway, that dearest dream of all true troupers. An “unhappy unforgettable” is when the studio made her give up her new motor bike. It was a Christmas gift. It had a rumble seat among its many attractions. Into the rumble Betty Jane would hop and off they would go. One day they meant to drive into a Drive-in but somehow, they not only drove into it but over it, counters and all!

Judy’s biggest athletic thrill of the year was when she and Bill Stoefen played Paulette Goddard and Bill Tilden on the Ambassador courts and each side won one set!

Her room at home is very tailored. The color scheme is beige, chartreuse and dark brown. Jackie Cooper’s mother, who has gone into the interior decorating business, did Judy’s room. The chairs and divans are upholstered in a soft, dark brown suede. The drapes are chartreuse, unruffled, severe. There is a fireplace in the room and it works— overtime. There are no frills nor cushions nor little “hobby shelves” around and about. Judy doesn’t collect anything but books and records. The only visible trinkets on her dressing-table are some graduated saddle-boots holding perfume. One side of the wall is devoted to autographed pictures. Gable’s, of course, Jackie Cooper’s, Freddie Bartholomew’s, Robert Stack’s, Mickey’s also, of course, and Cary Grant’s which has recently been added. The others are pictures of non-professionals. Now Judy is planning to “go feminine.” She wants to do over her dressing-room, “like something Marie Antoinette might have whipped up.” She’s going to have thousands of yards of chiffon drapes and
mirrored walls and do-dads and gewgaws.

A little girl in a Santa Ana hospital could tell you how warm Judy’s heart is. The little girl was dangerously ill and in her delirium she talked constantly about Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” The child’s mother wrote Judy a little note and told her about it and asked Judy if she would be kind enough to send the child an autographed picture of herself as Dorothy. She thought that when, or if, the fever broke, it might help her little girl through the crisis if she could find a picture of Dorothy where she could see it. Judy did better than that. She took the autographed picture to the hospital herself. And when the little girl came out of the fever, there was the living Dorothy standing by her bed. The doctors say there is no doubt but that the child’s recovery, certainly the rapidity of her recovery, is due in substantial part to Judy.

Unlike most screen youngsters, unlike most youngsters, perhaps, Judy has a horror of “going glamorous.” “In the first place,” she says, “I’m not the type. For one reason or another, glamour just doesn’t appeal to me. I’d rather bicycle across the country, or go on picnics, or play handball on the beach than any other things I can think of. And glamour girls aren’t supposed to do things like that.” As a matter of fact, Judy is so afraid that some day, albeit unconsciously, she may “hit the glamour trail” that all of her friends have been warned by her to be on the watch for any sign and, if any should appear, to squelch it before it gets a healthy start.

Judy graduated from the University High School in Sawtelle, last June. She wanted to graduate from a real school, not just from the studio schoolroom, so that she could have a real graduation dress, a real diploma tied with a white satin ribbon and all the fixings. She had them. And there were no photographers present. Judy had no more flowers than the other girls. And she got as many autographs in her Year Book as she gave. She wanted to be “just one of the class” that day, and she was. She had it. Now she is taking a post-graduate course in French.

Judy slipped out of the “sock stage” gracefully and quietly, making the transition so effortlessly that no one has been conscious of it. She looks younger than eighteen and acts younger than the average, sophisticated Eighteen of today. She doesn’t smoke. She doesn’t drink. She almost always wears sweaters and skirts. She uses lipstick for street wear but no rouge, mascara, nor eye shadow. When she’s making a picture she reddens her hair a little for the sake of the camera. She photographs better that way. When she’s not working, she doesn’t do anything about her hair. She never goes to beauty parlors. She can’t seem to “set a date.” Whenever she does, some of the kids drop by and say, “Let’s have a coke” and what is a girl to do? She says she knows she should diet, but doesn’t.

Her studio dressing-room is done in navy blue, red and white. It’s nautical, with anchors and ship lamps and things. She loves boats and the sea, but as she has never been on a boat for any length of time she says her dressing-room is the next best thing.

There is a swell understanding between Judy and her mother. Her mother never says, “You can’t do this or that,” because, says her mother, “Judy has never made it necessary.”

Judy has thought she was in love but knows she never has been, not really.

Cameramen can’t tell you whether Judy has a photogenic face or not. It’s never quiet long enough for them to tell—its expressions are constantly changing.

Judy puts dates under two headings, “Not A Special Date” and “A Special Date.” Most of her dates with Mickey come under the first heading. Most of them are “spur-of-the-moment-dates.” Mickey will call up at the last minute and ask, “What are you doing?” If Judy isn’t busy, he’ll drive over and Judy will come downstairs to find Mister Rooney raiding the refrigerator.