In 1969, a renowned actress died from a drug overdose, after battling addiction for several years. The actress was Judy Garland. She died at the age of 47.
Her death was shocking and sad, but few were surprised by its nature. The end was inevitable since Judy had led an unstable life for quite a while.
Before her death, Judy claimed that she was often painted as a tragic figure, more than she was. Even though she died at still a prime age, she had lived many lives. Her stardom began as a child actress and later in life became a gay icon.
Her professional and personal life was full of highs and lows. Her most memorable career moments were in “The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘Summer Stock.”
She was a well-celebrated actress in Hollywood before her death. Besides playing a heroine on stages, Judy’s personal life was in turmoil.
Judy Garland’s Early Life
Judy’s childhood was dark and filled with too much for a child to handle. Ironically, most of the films she starred in as a child had joyful and hopeful themes.
Judy took her acting skills from her mother, Ethel Gumm, who was also an actress. Her mother mounted too much pressure on young Judy by being too demanding.
It is alleged that she gave Judy pills to enhance her stage energy when Judy was just ten years old. That would be the beginning of Judy’s struggle with substance abuse.
MGM studio encouraged her to exercise toxic behaviors, which would help her liven her stage performance Such practices included abuse of cigarettes and pills to suppress appetite. Judy was put on a strict diet of chicken soup and black coffee.
This was to ensure that she maintained her physical appeal. Such pressure easily got to the teenage Judy. It affected her self-confidence and ruined her esteem. In her 20’s, she began to experience mental breakdowns.