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March 16, 2024

Adorable Photographs of Judy Garland With Her Baby Daughter Liza Minnelli in the 1940s and 1950s

When it comes to famous mothers and daughters, Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli may be one of the most iconic pairs. The talented mother-daughter duo grew up together: Garland was 23 when she gave birth to Minnelli, who would later say she was her mom’s best friend.

Garland gave birth to Liza May Minnelli on March 12, 1946. Garland and her second husband, Vincente Minnelli, had married the year before, on June 15, 1945 — just one year after her first marriage to David Rose ended. Though it was not reported at the time, Garland was hospitalized for a month following her daughter’s birth. She had surgery to correct an issue from her cesarean section; she is also believed to have had postpartum depression.

Despite what many believe, particularly due to Garland’s substance use, Minnelli said she had a happy childhood with her mother and her younger siblings, Lorna and Joey Luft, whom Garland welcomed with her third husband, Sidney Luft.

“One of the biggest misconceptions about my mama is that she didn’t provide me with a happy childhood,” Minnelli told Vogue. “There were highs and lows for sure, but I can say I was very happy. If people choose to believe that or not, it’s up to them, but I know I was happy.”

Garland was always supportive of Minnelli entering the industry, and the two became especially close as Minnelli grew up. “My fondest memory of my mama was the conversations we had. As I became a teenager, I became her best friend and confidante. We would laugh and talk for hours. Sometimes in person, sometimes on the phone, depending where we were.”

Minnelli was 23 years old when her mother died in 1969. Garland, at just 47, was found in her home, and her death was attributed to an accidental overdose.

In 1972, Minnelli recalled being the “calm center in the vortex” after her mother’s death. “When she died, I almost knew why,” she told TIME. “She let her guard down. She didn’t die from an overdose. I think she just got tired. She lived like a taut wire. I don’t think she ever looked for real happiness, because she always thought happiness would mean the end.”


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