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1940s / Louella Parsons on Judy Garland
i wish Louella Parsons "GOOD NEWS" from a 1949 MODERN SCREEN magazine had indeed been correct . . . she died twenty years later of an accidental overdose of barbiturates. . " WHAT IS really the matter with Judy Garland? That is the question hurled at me everywhere I go. All right, let's get at it. Judy is a nervous and frail little girl who suffers from a sensitiveness almost bordering on neurosis. It is her particular temperament to be either walking in the clouds with excitement or way down in the dumps with worry. The least thing to go wrong leaves her sleepless and shattered. She has never learned the philosophy of "taking it easy." Last year, when she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, she got in the habit of taking sleeping pills -- too many of them -- to get the rest she had to have. I'm not revealing any secrets telling you that. It was printed at the time. But for a highly emotional and highly strung girl to completely abandon sedatives, as Judy attempted to do when she realized she was taking too many, puts a terrific strain on the nervous system. The trouble is, Judy does not take enough time to rest. The minute she starts feeling better she wants to go back to work. She cried like a baby when she learned she was not strong enough to make The Barkleys of Broadway with Fred Astaire so soon following The Pirate and Easter Parade. "I'm missing the greatest role of my career," she sobbed. With Judy -- each role is always the greatest. Sometimes I believe Judy's frail little form is packed with too much talent for her own good. She is an artist, and I mean ARTIST, at too many things. She sings wonderfully and dances almost as well. And as for her acting -- well, listen to what Joseph Schenk, one of the really big men of our industry and head of 20th Century Fox (not Judy's studio) has to say. I sat next to Joe the night we saw Easter Parade. He told me, "Judy Garland is one of the great artists of the screen. She can do anything. I consider her as fine an actress as she is a musical comedy star. There is no drama I wouldn't trust her with. She could play such drama as Seventh Heaven as sensitively as a Janet Gaynor or a Helen Mencken." And I agree with every word Joe said. I am happy to tell you as I report the Hollywood news this month that Judy is coming along wonderfully, resting and getting back the bloom of health. Soon we will have her back on the screen -- her long battle with old Devil Nerves behind her and forgotten."