Meet Me In St. Louis…at the Altar

15 Jun

On June 15, 1945, 23-year-old Hollywood Star, Judy Garland marries Famous Hollywood Director, Vincente Minnelli, her second husband, his first marriage. The couple had one daughter, actress and singer Liza Minnelli.
Garland was born Frances Gumm in 1922, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Her parents ran a movie theater, and at age three Frances joined her two older sisters in a vaudeville act that ran before the movie. Her mother later took them on the vaudeville circuit, and although the girls weren’t especially well received, Frances drew the attention of MGM’s production head, Louis B. Mayer. He signed her when she was 13 years old. Two years later, she made the first of her nine films with Mickey Rooney. Garland truly became a star in 1939 with The Wizard of Oz, in which she played Dorothy, a role originally intended for Shirley Temple. She also delighted audiences in other musicals, including Strike Up the Band (1941), For Me and My Gal (1942), and Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).
In 1941, at age 19, Garland married band leader David Rose, but the marriage broke up in 1945, and Garland then married director Minnelli, who had directed her in Meet Me in St. Louis.Minnelli was born in Chicago in 1903 and, like Garland, entered show business while a toddler, performing in a family act. He dropped out of school at 16 and became a costume designer and stage manager for the live acts that preceded films show at a Chicago theater chain, then moved to New York, eventually becoming art director at Radio City Music Hall. He began directing Broadway musicals in 1935, and MGM hired him as a film director in 1940.
After their marriage, Garland and Minnelli also worked together on The Clock (1945) and The Pirate (1948). Their daughter, Liza, was born in 1946, and the marriage lasted until 1951. Vincente Minnelli went on to direct Oscar-winning films that included An American in Paris (1951), Band Wagon (1953), and Gigi. He also directed Father of the Bride (1950).
After the marriage, Garland’s career declined. She had used amphetamines and sleeping pills since adolescence, and her dependence on drugs and alcohol undermined her career and led to several nervous breakdowns and suicide attempts. Her third husband, Sid Luft, managed her comeback in the early 1950s, booking her in triumphant live engagements in London and New York. She won a nomination for the Best Actress Oscar for A Star Is Born (1954), but her downward spiral resumed in the 1960s, and she died of an overdose of sleeping pills in 1968.
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Posted by on June 15, 2006 in Actresses, Hollywood Trivia


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