For many gay men (of a certain age) 2019 is not just the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots but also the 50th Anniversary of the untimely death of one of the greatest ever gay icons Judy Garland. She died aged 47 in London on June 22nd 1969 on the verge of making another comeback at the urging of her 5th, and youngest husband, of just three months Mickey Deans.
Garland was always a tormented soul and despite her enormous natural talent her life was one extreme high speed roller coaster which always seem totally out of control. Despite this …. or maybe because of this …. Judy has been revered as one of finest tragic heroines who the gay community worshiped. She was after all almost one of us as two of her 5 husbands were gay.
Several attempts to portray her in fictionalised accounts of her life have not always been warmly greeted by the LGBTQ community who want to preserve the memory of her authenticity. Notable exceptions have been Judy Davis’s multi-award winning performance in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows and the unexpected brilliant Tony-nominated performance of a British soap star Tracie Bennet in End of The Rainbow on Broadway.
Now Hollywood is having a go having cast Academy Award Winner Renee Zellweger in JUDY in what is actually an adaption of End of The Rainbow which focuses on Judy’ last troubling days in London. Directed by Brit theatre director Rupert Goold, the first trailer was released yesterday on the Pride in London Stage in Trafalgar Square and is included below.
In this short clip Zellweger is seen giving her all, but we really will not know if that is really enough to satisfy die hard fans until the film is in movie theaters this September. We are holding our breath until then.