What Was Judy Garland’s Cause Of Death?

When Judy Garland died of a drug overdose at the age of 47 in 1969, many were saddened but few were surprised. Unfortunately, her death was all too similar to her life.

I’m always being painted a more tragic figure than I am,” Judy Garland said in 1962. “Actually, I get awfully bored with myself as a tragic figure.” But in the summer of 1969, her tragic legacy was cemented by her untimely death.

Judy Garland died at the age of 47, but she had lived many lives. Garland’s personal and professional life was full of tremendous highs and devastating lows, from child star to leading lady to the gay icon.

Garland was a Hollywood institution before her death, from clicking her heels in The Wizard of Oz to tap-dancing in Summer Stock. Garland’s inner world was as shaky as her trademark vibrato, despite the heroines she’d been known for playing from the 1930s to the 1950s.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a blizzard,” she once commented. “An absolute blizzard.” Indeed, pain, addiction, and self-doubt were as familiar to Garland as her beloved audiences — particularly toward the end of her life.

The 2019 film Judy, starring Renée Zellweger, explores Judy Garland’s final days in London, but even the songbird’s beloved medium of film cannot capture the tragedy of her death.

The true story that inspired the film Judy is even more tragic.

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