1940s child star Margaret O’Brien says her mother kept her from suffering same fate as Judy Garland

Margaret O’Brien is grateful that her mother is there to protect her from a fate similar to that of co-star Judy Garland.

The former child star, one of the last surviving talents of Hollywood’s golden age, worked alongside the actress in the 1944 musical “Meet Me in St. Louis”. O’Brien won a Special Juvenile Academy Award for Outstanding Child Actress of 1944.

“I was very lucky to have a mother who spoke to [studio head] Louis B. Mayer, “the 84-year-old told Page Six on Thursday.” I think Judy’s mother was afraid to speak and didn’t really speak like she should have for Judy. “

“I didn’t say anything back because Judy mentioned that about her mother,” O’Brien added.


Judy Garland originally didn’t want to sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to Margaret O’Brien on “Meet Me in St. Louis” because she thought the lyrics were too depressing.
(Getty Images)

O’Brien spoke about how his childhood in Hollywood was different from that of the “The Wizard of Oz” star, who was targeted by studio executives because of her weight. Garland was forced to take amphetamines and barbiturates as she worked grueling hours on set.

“When I got to the studio, everything was taken off,” O’Brien explained. “The teachers from the school were in the field. There were no pills, no diet pills or anything like that when I arrived. Sadly, just before that, they had no idea how bad diet pills would be for you. “

Garland, who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, died in 1969 at the age of 47 from an accidental overdose.

“I never had any problems,” O’Brien said at the point of sale. “My mom was very pretty, she had a Dolores Del Rio look. Louis B. Mayer liked that kind of look, he tried to be really nice because my mom was very pretty. In fact, he asked her to. marry a … time, but she said, “Absolutely not! You are not my type. “


Bob Hope introduces Margaret O'Brien to the premiere

Bob Hope presents Margaret O’Brien with the Academy’s first Oscarette for Best Performance by a Child Actress in 1944.
(Getty Images)

“She could talk and he was listening to her,” O’Brien continued. “She was almost like a suffragist in the 40s. She was ambitious but not too ambitious. If I didn’t want to do something, she would go to Mr. Mayer and say to him: ‘My child worked hard, I am not take her to this. She was very conscientious but very aware that I should have fun in my childhood. “

In March, O’Brien spoke to Fox News about how she instantly connected with Garland on set.

“Oh, she was so wonderful! O’Brien gushed. “She really was. She was just wonderful with the kids. She was childish herself. She loved skipping rope on the set with the other kids. She always made me laugh. I just loved her. “

O’Brien revealed that “Meet Me in St. Louis” holds a special place in Garland’s heart.


Margaret O'Brien (left) told Fox News she still has wonderful memories of working with Judy Garland (right).

Margaret O’Brien (left) told Fox News she still has wonderful memories of working with Judy Garland (right).
(Bettmann Archives / Getty Images)

“There was a romance with [director] Vicente Minelli, ”she said. “And from their romance came Liza Minnelli. So of course, the film has fond memories of Judy. Vincente was a very nice director who was easy to work with. He made sure the studio didn’t overload Judy and that she had reasonable hours. “

“Unfortunately, other directors overworked Judy,” she shared. “But he protected her. And he made sure we had a happy, calm set with good hours. And he made sure Judy got plenty of rest. She was always very happy on set. I didn’t. Never saw her sad or nervous or anything like that while filming. It was a positive experience for all of us. “

O’Brien said she and Garland have kept in touch over the years.

“The last time I spoke to him was at a big Hollywood dinner,” O’Brien said. “She saw me, came over and said, ‘Oh, hello Margaret! How are you?’ Every time we saw each other it was like we hadn’t been apart. I am now very good friends with her children, especially her son. They all turned out to be very nice and wonderful people. You can just say how much these kids love their mother. I certainly loved her and just worked with her. She was a really special person. And I never forgot her. “

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