Judy Garland's Funeral Draws Her Colleagues
While legions of her fans maintained an ardent vigil in the hot and humid streets, colleagues of Judy Garland bade her farewell yesterday in a swift, simple service at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home. "Judy's great gift," James Mason said in his eulogy, "was that she could wring tears out of hearts of rock." But there were few tears and seats to spare yesterday in the flower-bedecked room where an estimated 20,000 people had paused between noon Wednesday and 11 A.M. yesterday to peer into the glass-enclosed coffin of their favorite. "She gave so richly and so generously," said Mr. Mason, who had played opposite Miss Garland in "A Star Is Born," "that there was no currency in which to repay her."
By LAWRENCE VAN GELDER
Waiting for celebrities outside, pressed against gray police stanchions barring them from the chapel at 81st Street and Madison Avenue, a crowd estimated at 1,300 to 1,500, waited for a renewed glimpse of the celebrities. From the ranks of show business were Ray Bolger, who played the Scarecrow to Miss Garland's Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," and Lauren Bacall, Alan King, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Johnny Mercer, Paula Wayne, Fred Ebb, Freddie Bartholomew, Otto Preminger and Spyros Skouras; and Harold Arlen, who wrote the song most closely associated with Miss Garland: "Over the Rainbow." Also in attendance were fellow entertainers Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, who reportedly helped to pay for the cost of Garland's funeral. Mickey Rooney, who co-starred with Miss Garland in the Andy Hardy films when both were young, appeared briefly at the funeral home, evoking gasps and cheers from the spectators. He was not among the 200 people who remained for the service.
Mayor and Mrs. Lindsay were among the guests, as was Mrs. Patricia Kennedy Lawford.Present, too, were Miss Garland's children, Liza Minnelli and Lorna and Joseph Luft, and Sid Luft, her third husband, and Mickey Deans, her fifth, whom the 47-year-old star married in March.The Rev. Peter A. Delaney of Marylebone Church, London, who officiated at Miss Garland's marriage to Mr. Deans, conducted the 20-minute Episcopal service.
In a departure from custom, friends of the family reported, the service included a reading from one of Miss Garland's favorite Bible passages, I Corinthians, xiii, which begins: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." Although the press was barred from the actual service, portions of the funeral, including Mr. Mason's eulogy, were audible through a loudspeaker provided by Campbell's in an upstairs room. In 1926, the same concern handles the funeral of Rudolph Valentino, whose death led to a massive display of grief from a desolate public that thronged to the Campbell chapel, then at Broadway and 66th Street. Lois Smith, Miss Minnelli's public relations representative, said that the service yesterday had been intended by Miss Minnelli to convey a "feeling of joy."
Jack French, Miss Garland's musical accompanist, began the funeral with an organ rendition of one of Miss Garland's favorite songs, "Here's to Us," from the Broadway production "Little Me."He ended the service with "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," which the mourners sang. Then, the coffin containing the body of Miss Garland, who died last Sunday in London of an apparently accidental overdose of sleeping pills, was placed in a waiting hearse that headed a cortege of three limousines and a flower car. Under a blanket of yellow roses, the coffin was taken to Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, N.Y. There it was placed in a crypt where it will remain until a mausoleum is built. Several hundred people were awaiting the arrival of the coffin, and when they lingered about the crypt long after the coffin was emplaced, a policeman told them: "The funeral of Judy Garland is over. We would appreciate you leaving." On Madison Avenue, where the crowd had surged through the barricades as the funeral ended, a few of Miss Garland's fans, clutching flowers, still clustered. "I have nothing else to do right now," said one.
It was a sad passing - I had grown up with Judy in her 40s glory days and seen her during her performance come back yrs going to a couple live ones and 2 of the TV Show tapings. But it was no surprise to me that she passed when she did - she looked 25 yrs older than she was by the time she went.ReplyDelete
Drugs and alcohol know no names. She had her demons. But she like Jack Wild left a lasting legacy for those who grew up with their inimitable talent.Delete
I was in the crowd of thousands who waited in line for hours to enter the chapel and pass by Judy's coffin. This may be odd to say, but she was radiant and beautifully dressed and coiffed. I never saw her in life, but even in death she had a magic "something" that so few have. She was the best and gave so much happiness to us all.ReplyDelete
A friend of mine also saw her twice in death he said she even had some sparkle in her hair she looked terrific ! Very sad thoDelete
Judy will never be equaled.It boggles the mind that she was able to weave gold and do anything. This was a mentally ill woman.In spite of that she captured the hearts of the many.I loved her even thou she was a no show in Boston hiding out in a hotel.ReplyDelete
So sad but she even had some sparkle in her hair !ReplyDelete
Judy Garland was almost certainly the most dynamic, talented and amazing female performer of the 20th Century. Oh how she needed A FOR REAL LOVE that was strong enough to keep her off the booze. A truly tragic figure in her later years. But, of course, remembered fondly by all who ever knew her OR saw her in live or theater performance. she was magic.ReplyDelete
Now I don't know if this is true but I read it online and wonder about it..And I quote. " All these years later it still amazes me that, despite all the wealthy people who claimed to be her show business friends, her body was left for a staggering amount of time at the morgue-unclaimed-after her autopsy was completed. The fact was that neither Deans (her last husband) nor her children had the money to pay for her funeral. Not one of her ex-husbands, nor Micky Rooney, nor Jerry Herman, NONE of them came forward to pay for her funeral. In the end it was none other than FRANK SINATRA who stepped forward to take care of the matter. Totally disgusted, Sinatra contacted Liza Minnelli, sent her the money and ordered her "Now GO BURY YOUR MOTHER!" at which point Judy was finally buried. To his complete credit, Sinatra refused to discuss his intervention in the matter of getting Garland buried, right up to the end of his days. In sharp contrast, Rooney-to the end of his days-never failed to toot his own horn about what a supposedly close, supportive friend he had been to Garland." I had never heard about it before now, but if it is true how absolutely heart breaking! R.I.P. Judy Garland.ReplyDelete
From what I understand, Bing Crosby and Ray Bolger also paid for the funeral. Sinatra also paid for some of Lorna and Joey's schooling afterwards from what I understand.Delete
I think Rooney had no $$ to contribute but putting pride aside he could have said, I'm financially busted but how else could I help. He & Judy were very close but Rooney's pride always got in his way. Frank, bing, & ray --- good people.! True cirs always showReplyDelete
I was 16 years old; there working at Macy's on the day of her funeral. I thought it was a Parade in her honor. Little did I know, it was a crowd of her fans on the march in her honor!ReplyDelete
I read this article after reading Lorna Luft's book ME & MY SHADOWS in which she, in a very touching way, describes her mom's death and burial. It is obvious that she loved her mom dearly despite all the stress that the drug use did to the family.ReplyDelete
At the time Judy died and was buried, I was living in New Orleans and was about to start a summer job at the YMCA there, my last summer job ever. As I later learned from Lorna Luft's book ME AND MY SHADOWS, Judy went through a lot of abuse at the hands of her agents, and her last husband, Mickey Deans, was no help, either.ReplyDelete