Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009

Before Another Star Was Born

Before the Screen Actors' Guild came along, actors were at the mercy of their contracts and the studios that wrote them. So when Judy Garland became pregnant in 1941, MGM executives — along with her mother and her husband, composer David Rose — reacted by "recommending" an abortion lest she risk damaging her wholesome image as the pig-tailed girl next door; she got one.

But when Garland became pregnant again five years later, her new husband, director Vincente Minnelli, convinced his bosses to film her scenes in the star-studded movie Till the Clouds Roll By in the early months of her "condition." A variety of creative props were used to conceal her 4-month-old pregnancy, from a stack of dishes to a circus costume to the even less subtle ballerina tutu. Garland's daughter, Liza Minnelli, would later boast about her "appearance" in the film.