Judy Garland was an American actress, singer, and vaudevillian who had a net worth of $40,000 at the time of her death, which would be equivalent to $300,000 now after inflation. Before reaching 18, she had made more than $400,000 in movie salaries and would go on to earn about $10 million during her career, or roughly $100 million after inflation.
Judy Garland was one of the most successful actors in the world at the time, as well as a talented vocalist. Garland came from a time when actresses were supposed to be able to sing and dance, and she was one of the few who could do all of these things equally well.
Judy received numerous accolades and honors as a result of her accomplishments. Academic Juvenile Award, Golden Globe Award, Special Tony Award, Grammy Award, and numerous other honors were among them.
Her career began when she was a teenager, and she paid a high price for her entrance into the entertainment industry. Garland battled substance misuse from a young age and suffered from emotions of low self-worth throughout her life. The great actress also struggled financially, resulting in incredibly low net worth at the time of her death.
Frances Ethel Gumm was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, on June 10th, 1922. Frances was raised by parents who were both vaudevillians, and she showed an early interest in music and dance.
During this time, she and her siblings frequently performed together. After her father’s alleged gay leanings became public knowledge in their hometown, the Gumm family eventually fled to Lancaster, California. The proximity of Frances to Hollywood opened up a slew of fresh possibilities for the aspiring young actress.
The Gumm Sisters began acting together in various television appearances in 1928. The group’s name was eventually altered to the “Garland Sisters,” and it was never made clear why they chose that name – through several hypotheses surfaced later. Burton Lane, a lyricist, singled out Judy Garland and set up an audition for her at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. Garland was offered a deal after playing a song during the audition.
Unfortunately for Garland, the studio had no idea what to do with him. She was in the awkward “in-between” stage between child and adult roles when she was 13 years old. She was also told over and over that she was an “ugly duckling” who lacked the physical attractiveness of her contemporaries Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor.
Despite this, Garland was a great actress and singer who brought in a significant amount of money for MGM. “Loves Finds Andy Hardy,” “Babes in Arms,” “Andy Hardy Meets Debutante,” and “Life Begins for Andy Hardy” were among the films in which she starred. Garland was given amphetamines during this time to keep her awake during long shoots. Barbiturates were administered to her when it was time for her to sleep. MGM later refuted this claim.
The studio was never content with Judy’s weight, which is an undeniable fact. She was continually placed on diets and forced to consume nothing but soup and greens. All of this fed Judy’s self-doubt, which would grow increasingly perverted and self-destructive over the years.
Judy Garland achieved a significant breakthrough in 1939 when she was hired as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” This became one of her most defining roles, and the immortal song “Over the Rainbow” became her claim to fame. Garland switched to adult roles and began her first serious engagement with Artie Shaw following this achievement. She then wed David Rose, but the couple divorced by 1944. Throughout the relationship, Garland underwent an abortion. In 1943, another abortion would occur.
After taking on more adult parts, Garland completed her MGM contract with several major films. The first was 1948’s “The Pirate,” during which Garland had her first nervous breakdown and attempted suicide. After “Easter Parade’s” economic success, Garland began abusing a variety of substances, including sleeping pills and morphine. Garland’s acting performance began to decline as she entered a downward spiral. She was regularly sacked from films, and she would sometimes simply not show up to work. In 1950, MGM terminated her contract, ostensibly sparking another suicide attempt by Judy Garland. By the end of the year, her contract was terminated.
At the end of her theatrical career, Judy enjoyed success despite her difficulties. Garland began a serious comeback and returned to her vaudeville origins. During this time, she also began performing alongside Liza Minnelli, her daughter. Garland returned to Hollywood in the mid-1950s with “A Star Is Born.” She was expected to win an Academy Award for this performance, but Grace Kelly received it instead in what has been called as one of the largest thefts in the history of the film industry.
Garland began to appear on television more frequently in the 1960s and beyond, and was even granted her show. When this event was canceled, she returned to the stage and performed with her 18-year-old daughter Liza. Numerous unpleasant divorces and escalating financial hardships during this period drove Garland to become progressively despondent. By the end of the 1960s, it was evident she was on a downward spiral.
In 1935, Judy’s initial contract with MGM paid $100 per week. Before being cast as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” her weekly compensation had been doubled to $500. Her principal co-stars earned $3,000 every week. In total, Judy earned $9,649 from Oz, equivalent to almost $190,000 in current currency. Throughout the majority of Judy’s mother’s early career, she received a portion of these wages.
Judy might earn between $15,000 and $20,000 per week performing on Broadway in the early 1950s. This is equivalent to earning $163,000 a week now. In 1955, when she appeared in “The Ford Star Jubilee,” she made $100,000.
Judy was paid $200,000 for her final film, 1963’s “I Could Keep Singing,” and was guaranteed 10% of the profit after the film grossed $3 million.
Throughout most of her life, Judy’s most steady source of income was between $50,000 and $80,000 each year from music royalties. Unfortunately, the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board garnished a portion of these royalties following tax issues.
How Did Judy Garland Died Cause of Death?
Garland was discovered dead in a restroom on June 22, 1969, by her last husband, Mickey Deans. She was aged 47 years. Judy’s health was rapidly failing while she performed her final concerts in London and Copenhagen, and it was eventually established that she died from an overdose of barbiturates. Garland had taken an extremely large dose of the drug over an extended period, but suicide was ruled out.
In addition, the autopsy stated that Garland would have died shortly from cirrhosis, a severe decline in liver function, even though subsequent tests disproved this allegation. A second physician hypothesized that Judy’s eating condition contributed in some way to her demise.
Despite earning millions of dollars at the height of her career, Judy was in grave straits by the end of her life due to serious financial difficulties. Decades of financial mismanagement combined with her generosity to family and friends left her in so much debt that many of the bequests could not be carried out.
A few years before her death, Judy found she owed the IRS $500,000 in back taxes. That is roughly $4 million in current dollars. This was due to embezzlement and poor management on the part of her agents, Freddie Fields, and David Begelman. The Internal Revenue Service issued a tax lien on her Brentwood, Los Angeles, home and began garnishing royalties from her recording contract with Capitol Records and other commercial operations. Judy was ultimately compelled to sell the house at a significant discount, culminating in a period of hotel hopping during which she regularly left large unpaid bills.
In 1967, Judy made over $200,000 on a 27-night engagement at the Palace Theater in New York. She received 75% of the show’s proceeds. Unfortunately, the majority of these proceeds were confiscated by the IRS. Following Judy’s death, her daughter Liza Minnelli raised the funds necessary to settle the estate’s debts. Over 500 of her personal belongings were auctioned off, collecting $250,000 (almost $1 million in current dollars). Frank Sinatra also donated personally to pay off the bills.
What is Judy Garland’s net worth?
At the time of her passing, Garland’s net worth was approximately $40,000. Although it may not seem like much, this amount is roughly $300,000 in current currency.
Although her net worth may not have been as large as anticipated, Garland’s earnings as an actor and performer were through the roof. Before her 18th birthday, the actress earned $400,000, or nearly $7.4 million today.
Throughout her career, Garland earned the equivalent of $100 million in today’s dollars. Her estate was worth $4 million at the time of her death, and she earned between $50,000 and $80,000 a year from song royalties in the 1960s.