Judy Garland – Splendor and Downfall of a Legend (hardback)
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Judy Garland – Splendor and Downfall of a Legend (hardback)

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Judy Garland – Splendor and Downfall of a Legend

by Bertrand Tessier


308 pages


ISBN 9798887711188   


The critically acclaimed biography of Judy Garland that reads like a novel.

200 photos, many published for the first time, from private collections around the world.


“Extremely well documented, the biography by Bertrand Tessier hides nothing of the highs and lows of the American star.” - Le Figaro

“The journalist Bertrand Tessier recounts with talent the extraordinary destiny of a woman killed by the star system and the abuses it engenders, as well as the demons it never puts to sleep.” - Le Soir

“A very touching account that reveals what’s behind the scenes in Hollywood and the fabulous story of a small girl full of talent who became a legend. The story of a star who will shine eternally.” - Dealer de lignes

“What the film Judy doesn’t show is told in the biography by Bertrand Tessier. In its sobriety and rhythm, it reflects quite well her mad race to ruin.” - Revus & Confinés

Bertrand Tessier is a journalist, author, and director. He has published fifteen biographies and directed twenty documentaries devoted to film stars, most notably from the Hollywood golden age, including one in 2019 on the Judy Garland-Vincente Minnelli couple, and another in 2021, called "Roger Corman: The Pope of Pop Cinema, " which won the Best Documentary award at the 2022 Beverly Hills Film Festival. With Myriam Brough, he created California Prod, which produces documentaries for television. He lives in Paris and Los Angeles.


Lawrence Schulman is an award-winning music producer, critic, and translator who has produced, compiled, and written the liner notes for numerous Judy Garland releases over the past thirty years on a variety of labels. He writes for the ARSC Journal and translates for the French website OpusHD.net, which specializes in high-resolution classical releases. An American and French national, he lives on Mount Desert Island in Maine.

"Judy Garland was a child star, a global musical legend, and a shining talent blighted by addiction. Journalist Tessier's (Jean-Pierre Melville) biography carefully charts Garland's career and her decline, and it explains how Garland's life was shaped when first given drugs to help her to lose weight and then to help her sleep. Garland was born Frances Gumm in 1922 in Grand Rapids, MN, into a family of musicians and performers. In 1926, the family headed to California, where the movie industry was in full swing. With her mother as manager, the gifted Garland earned a contract at MGM in 1937, and two years later, The Wizard of Oz made her a star. The author effectively describes Garland's need for love and validation, her shattered relationships, and her continuous need to work, mainly just to keep afloat financially. Some readers, however, may find parts of the translation to be ungainly. The squandering of a redoubtable performer with remarkable talent threads throughout the book.
VERDICT: This sincere and affectionate examination is heavily-laden with photographs and will appeal to the legend's many fans."
- Library Journal