How men turned Judy Garland into a drug-addled woman

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London, June 18 : From a sweet film icon Judy Garland was turned into a drug-addled victim because of the men in her life, says the actress' new biography.

Judy Garland, her children have said, hardly gave them much of a childhood.

She dragged them from hotel to hotel, often flitting out under cover of darkness without paying her bills, and subjected them to her repeated suicide attempts and a string of disastrous relationships.

In the 'Andy Hardy' movies, in which she starred alongside Mickey Rooney, she won over the public with her image as the good-hearted girl next door, while in 'The Wizard Of Oz' the role of 'Dorothy' cemented her status as an icon of sweet innocence and guileless charm.

Beneath the surface, however, all was not well.

Aged 14 Garland landed a contract with MGM and came under the influence of the studio's legendary boss Louis B Mayer. He saw that her natural screen presence had the potential to turn her into a star and was soon running virtually every aspect of her life, reports The Daily Express.

He took to groping her in his office, telling her as he put a hand on her left breast that she "sang from the heart". When she found the courage to tell him to back off, he wept in shame.

MGM even attempted to control her romantic involvements. She fell in love with and married composer David Rose in 1941. MGM, however, disapproved and later forced Judy to have an abortion. The pair had divorced by 1945.

She next married Vincente Minnelli, who directed her in the musical 'Meet Me In St Louis'. They had daughter Liza in 1946, which triggered Judy's post-natal depression. It also wasn't long before rumours of Vincente's homosexuality reached his wife.

When she found him in bed with another man she slit her wrists, though she had cheated on him with several men, including Orson Welles and Yul Brynner.

They divorced in 1951 and drink and drugs took hold. She was a constant no-show on film sets and MGM fired her in 1950. She attempted suicide again and suffered several nervous breakdowns.

Judy hired Sid Luft as her manager and he organised a series of concerts in Europe and New York which were a huge success. The couple married and had a daughter and a son. But Judy's infidelity doomed that relationship too.

Marriage number four was to actor Mark Herron and was short-lived when he turned out to be gay.

Meeting musician and producer Mickey Deans changed all that but this brief stab at happiness was also destined for failure.

Just weeks into their marriage, a row broke out in their London home which spilled into the street. Mickey was unable to calm the screaming Judy so he stormed off.

On his return, he found his wife slumped naked and lifeless on the toilet, dead from an accidental overdose of barbiturates. At 47, Judy Garland had finally succumbed to the addiction, despair and torment that had dogged her for much of her tragic life.

ANI

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