Icons of the Century
Garland’s life personifies the dark shadow trailing the Great American Success Story.
She started in showbiz at 3 and died before extricating herself from its suffocating hold.
In the interim, she gave her adoring fans Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”; the Andy Hardy movies, with Mickey Rooney; “Meet Me in St. Louis”; “The Harvey Girls”; “Easter Parade”; and “A Star Is Born” — to say nothing of plenty of amazing records.
When the pics petered out, she faced her public by singing to them in person, in performances often captured for TV.
Her decline was precipitous, yet her death, at 47, was somehow still a shock. It ensured immortality needlessly, for no one hearing the emotion trembling in Garland’s voice could ever forget it.