15 Judy Garland Quotes on Fame, Loneliness, and Getting Over the Rainbow

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Happy birthday to Wizard of Oz songstress Judy Garland. The actress drew crowds with her remarkable talent and moving voice that made her a star. She graced the stage and screen for over 40 years, but her life was marked by tragedy due to the pressures of child fame, resulting in drug addiction (perpetuated by the studios that fed her pills to keep her on top of her game, according to Judy herself), insecurity, depression, and a battle with alcohol. Despite her hardships, Judy remains a beloved icon with a fascinating story full of vulnerability, grit, determination, and truthfulness. We look back at some of Garland’s most personal quotes in honor of the actress and singer.

“I’ve always taken The Wizard of Oz very seriously, you know. I believe in the idea of the rainbow. And I’ve spent my entire life trying to get over it.”

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other, and a little more loving, have a little more empathy, and maybe we’d like each other a little bit more”

“I’m a woman who wants to reach out and take 40 million people in her arms.”

“I can live without money, but I cannot live without love.”

“I certainly didn’t ask to be a legend.”

“In the silence of night I have often wished for just a few words of love from one man, rather than the applause of thousands of people.”

“I’ve been treated brutally by the press, but I’ll be damned if I’ll have my audience mistreated.”

“I wanted to stay like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Life wasn’t as complicated then. But I can’t help growing up. No one can. Time won’t stop and life won’t stand still. But I have a feeling that if I just look backward once in a while at Dorothy, if I am off beat in any way, I’ll get back on the soundtrack again. . . . Dorothy and I thought a lot alike when I made The Wizard of Oz. I like to think we still do.”

“People think of me as a neurotic kid, full of fits and depressions, biting my fingernails to the bone, living under an eternal shadow of illness and collapse.Why do people insist on seeing an aura of tragedy around me always? My life isn’t tragic at all. I laugh a lot these days. At myself, too. Lord, if I couldn’t laugh at myself I don’t think I’d be alive.”

“How strange when an illusion dies. It’s as though you’ve lost a child.”

“If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?”

“I’ve never looked through a keyhole without finding someone was looking back.”

“I have a machine in my throat that gets into many people’s ears and affects them. . . . There’s something about my voice that makes them see all the sadness and humor they’ve experienced. It makes them know they aren’t too different; they aren’t apart.”

“You have to enjoy your work. You have to enjoy what you’re doing and believe what you’re doing. And then there’s always an element of luck and timing, and I seem to have gotten caught up in a lovely whirlwind that is quite invigorating.”