July 2020 Book of the Month
“Judy & Liza At The End Of The Rainbow”
by Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince
JUDY! AND LIZA!—the greatest mother-and-daughter saga in show biz—live again in the tear-soaked pages of my latest show biz biography, Too Many Damn Rainbows, co-authored with Danforth Prince for Blood Moon Productions.
The tragic ending of the last days of Judy was recently brought to the screen by Renée Zellweger in the film, Judy, which won her a Best Actress Oscar. The real Judy died young and nearly destitute at the age of 47 in a mews house in London, where she was living with her fifth husband, Mickey Deans.
The unique saga of the teenage girl who immortalized herself as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz is evoked for today’s audience. It’s all here—the glamour and the glitz, the countless love affairs that included Frank Sinatra and John F. Kennedy; the drugs and the booze; the nightmares and the suicide attempts; and also the triumphs and glory.
One of Judy’s biggest hits was the song, “The Man That Got Away.” In her case, all of her lovers got away, as she plunged into five disastrous marriages and many aborted affairs.
Having been fired by MGM, she made a spectacular comeback in A Star is Born (1954), but her glory was short lived. We visit the concerts where an ovation could last thirty minutes, or end in disaster as she was pelted with objects thrown at her from the audience.
As MGM’s tap-dancing Ann Miller predicted, “It is unlikely the world will ever see the likes of Judy and Liza ever again.”
“My mother—hailed as the world’s greatest entertainer—lived eighty lives during her short time with us,” Liza said.
Lesser known is the sometimes jealous rivalry between these two stars, as Judy faded into the 1960s, and Liza began her slow emergence. She crawled out from behind Judy’s shadow to become a star in her own right, especially in the film Cabaret (1992).
“I did it my way and on my own,” Liza said. She had her own whirlwind of heartbreaks, battles, and a dizzy, fast-changing love life, choosing all the wrong men, as her mother had done.
Each of them led roller coaster lives, Judy telling her daughter, “You’ve got only one life to live, so make it a hell of a ride.”
For the first time, the secret life of the acclaimed director, Vincente Minnelli, is revealed. Liza’s father (Judy’s husband) was one of the creative forces behind Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), An American in Paris (1951), and Gigi (1958). Judy complained that her flamboyant, lipstick-wearing husband spent more time in bed with Gene Kelly than with her.
For millions of fans, Judy will forever be the innocent Dorothy dancing down the Yellow Brick Road in The Wizard of Oz (1939) to the other side of the rainbow. Liza followed her down that road, searching for both the childhood and the love that always eluded her.
Judy Garland survives today as a cult goddess, her movies still shown and her recordings heard (and sometimes memorized by fans) around the world.
is still with us, nursing memories of her former acclaim and her first visit as a little girl when she went to visit her parents at MGM, the “dream factory” of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
For many stars, none more so than Judy, Hollywood became the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. This book reveals a pithy slice of it.
Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, Too Many Damn Rainbows is by celebrity author Darwin Porter and his co-author, Danforth Prince. Softcover with 734 pages and 200 photos, it’s the never-before-told saga of the greatest mother-daughter act in show business.
For more information about Porter’s biographies of Hollywood legends click on www.BloodMoonProductions.com. For information about how you can meet him for an overnight at his home in New York City, click on https://AirBnb.com/h/Magnolia-House
or contact DanforthPrince@gmail.com. Be sure to listen to Darwin’s discussions with Anita at regular intervals on Zoomertimes TV. Boomer Times: Bringing you better access to a familiar friend.