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Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland

Gerald Clarke

4 Reviews

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Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

* Definitive biography of Hollywood's brightest musical star - Judy Garland (1922-1969).

Judy Garland, the girl with the pigtails in THE WIZARD OF OZ, was an entertainer of almost magical power. The woman of half a dozen comebacks and a hundred heartbreaks. To tell her story, Gerald Clarke took ten years, travelled thousands of miles across two continents, conducted hundreds of interviews, and combed through mountains of documents, many of which were unavailable to other biographers. Combining a novelist's skill and a movie director's eye, Clarke re-creates the golden age of Hollywood with cinematic urgency: Louis B Mayer, the patriarch of MGM; sexy Lana Turner, Judy's friend and idol, who had a habit of trying to snatch away any man Judy expressed interest in; clarinettist Artie Shaw, handsome Tyrone Power; boy genius Orson Welles and brilliant director Vincente Minnelli, who fathered her first child, Liza. Towards the end of her life, Garland tried to tell her own story. With access to her tape recordings - and her revelatory unfinished manuscript - Clarke is able to tell Judy's story as she herself might have told it.

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Praise for Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland

  • [A] masterful biography. - SUNDAY TIMES

  • A Hollywood biography in the classic mould...[it is the] deep insecurity allied with greatness that Clarke explores so well. This is a sympathetic biography in that it seeks explanations, although Clarke properly makes no attempt to gloss over the Garland - GLASGOW HERALD

  • This biography carries us through Garland's show-stopping highs and pill-popping lows in high style, showing her considerable wit and glamour as well as the misery of a young performer manipulated by the studio...Clarke's biography whips smoothly through the years with minimal hyperbole and his subject emerges triumphant. - OBSERVER

  • There have been plenty of books on Judy, but Clarke is the only writer to have access to her 68 manuscript pages of her unfinished biography. Drawing on a remarkable number of sources, he has produced the definitive life. - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

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