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Judy Garland’s children are determined to preserve the legacy of the late “Wizard of Oz” star.
The actress, who was one of the box office movie stars of the 1940s and twice nominated for an Academy Award, died on June 22, 1969 at the age of 47 from an accidental overdose of barbiturates. She would have turned 100 on June 10.
The children of the movie star – Lisa Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joy Luft – teamed up with perfume developer Vincenzo Spinato to release “Judy’s Perfume – Garland’s Perfume”. They said it honors Garland, who never leaves her house without spraying her favorite perfume.
“I wanted…to capture what my mom was wearing so that everyone who wore it could feel her warmth,” Lorna, 69, told People magazine on Thursday.
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“Lorna actually had the idea to create a fragrance to honor my mother on her 100th birthday,” explained Minnelli, 76. “I entrusted Lorna with many necessary details, but she kept me informed, and when it came time to smell her newest unisex fragrance, it definitely smelled like my mom.
“Sometimes I feel like she keeps watching and guiding us,” the translator continued. “And she must have directed her thoughts to Vince, too, because he came up with the right fragrance for her. It’s great that we celebrate our mother’s legacy in such a special way. She would be delighted.”
The women told the outlet that they had fond memories of Garland, who fascinated her children with her sense of humor.
“There are so many wonderful memories of my mom – for the three of us, Lorna, Joey, and myself,” Minnelli said. “It would be hard to pick just one memory because it was always so interesting, engaging and so playful. Humor was his secret weapon.”
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“I have 16 years of favorite memories,” Lorna said. “I have his lifelong legacy that I can watch and listen to from his work. I consider myself very fortunate and very grateful to be his daughter.”
In August 2021, women noted that although the former child star’s life was often tumultuous, she had many happy times with loved ones.
“Yes, she had tragedies in her life, but they weren’t tragic,” Lorna told Closer Weekly at the time.
“I remember having so much fun with her when we were alone,” Garland’s son Joey recalls.
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“One of the biggest misconceptions about my mom was that she didn’t give me a happy childhood,” Minnelli said. “There were ups and downs, of course, but I can say that I was very happy.”
Minnelli noted that Garland was “very protective and strict” as a parent, but also “very funny” and “incredibly smart”.
And when Minnelli was feeling down, it was her mother who cheered her up.
“My fondest memories of my mother are the conversations we had,” Minnelli explained. “When I was a teenager, I became his best friend and best friend. We laughed and talked for hours.
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Minnelli even shared that she can still feel her mother’s presence today.
“When he called her, she was there,” the star said. “And I call her a lot.”
In March 2021, 1940s star Margaret O’Brien spoke to Fox News Digital about what it was like to work with Garland on the 1944 musical “Meet Me in St. Louis.”
Garland married film director Vincente Minnelli in 1945. The marriage lasted until 1951.
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“Oh, she was so cool,” the 84-year-old said at the time. “She was really. She was great with the kids. She was childish herself. She loved jumping rope with the other kids. She always made me laugh I adored him.”
In the movie, Garland’s character Esther Smith is best known for singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to her grieving sister, Totti (O’Brien). The family was preparing to leave their beloved home in St. Louis for New York.
However, O’Brien said Garland initially refused to sing the song, which remains a holiday favorite decades later.
“The original lyrics were very dark and boring, which I think fit the scene because we were meant to be sad,” O’Brien said. But Judy said, ‘I can’t sing that to little Margaret! She’ll cry, and everyone will think I’m a crank.’
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NPR reported that the film’s producers denied Garland’s request to review the lyrics. According to the director, it was co-star Tom Drake who pulled songwriter Hugh Martin aside and encouraged him to make the switch. Martin later said he came home and wrote a more upbeat version of the song used in the movie.
The path will resonate with US forces serving abroad during World War II. Then Garland sang it live at the Hollywood Military Club.
“Thank God, they softened those words,” O’Brien said. “Of course, that’s what made it such a classic song. We still hear it every year during the holidays. And we can thank Judy for that.”
O’Brien said Meet Me in St. Louis holds a special place in the heart of Garland.
“There was a romance with Vincente Minnelli,” she said. From their romance, Lisa Minnelli was born. So, of course, the movie had fond memories of Judy. Vincent was a very nice director and easy to work with. He made sure that the studio did not overburden Judy and that she had reasonable hours of work.
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“Unfortunately, other directors have exhausted Judy,” she explained. And he made sure we had a happy, calm set with good hours. And he made sure Jodi got plenty of rest. She was always very happy on set. I never saw her sad or nervous or anything like that. Just during filming. She was A positive experience for all of us.
O’Brien said she and Garland have kept in touch over the years.
“The last time I spoke to him was at a big dinner party in Hollywood,” O’Brien said. ‘She saw me, and she came and said, ‘Oh, Margaret! How are you?’ Every time we saw each other, it was like we never broke up. I am now a very good friend with his kids, especially his son. They all turned out to be such good and wonderful people. Only you can tell how much these kids love their mom. I definitely loved her and worked with her. I’ve He was truly a special person and I will never forget her.