In Streisand‘s memoir, My Name is Barbra, she shares a look into her friendship with the Wizard of Oz star
Barbra Streisand’s memoir My Name is Barbra released Tuesday, and among the stories and personal musings shared throughout the book’s 992 pages, are details of her friendship with the fellow legend Judy Garland.
From 1963 to 1964, Garland had her own musical variety show that aired on CBS, and on one episode sang a duet with the EGOT winner. In an excerpt shared with People, Streisand wrote, “Judy and I became friends. We spoke on the phone, and she came to one of the rare parties I gave at my New York apartment.” She recalled, “I think she arrived late. And I remember her saying something I never quite understood: ‘Don’t let them do to you what they did to me.’”
“I should have asked her what she meant, but I didn’t want to appear too nosy,” she added, “Six years after we did [The Judy Garland Show], she was dead at the age of forty‑seven. What a tragedy… and such a loss. She was an extraordinary talent.”
Garland was 16 when she signed with MGM to play Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz. The studio gave the then-teenager barbiturates and amphetamines designed to wake her up in the morning, fall asleep at night, and control her weight. The actress would become addicted, and in 1969, she died at the age of 47 of an accidental barbiturate overdose.
Streisand also wrote that Garland’s daughter Liza Minnelli said her mother was in awe of the singer’s talent. “[H]er mother’s first reaction on hearing me sing was to say, ‘I’m never going to open my mouth again,’” she said. “She was like that, very self‑deprecating. And deeply vulnerable.”