A new biopic about Judy Garland’s final shows is set to start filming, starring Bridget Jones actress Renee Zellweger.
The film, which will simply be called Judy, will cover the winter of 1968 when Judy Garland visited London to perform a series of sell-out concerts over five weeks at the Talk of the Town. They were to be Judy’s final concerts, as tragically she died of an overdose aged 47 in June 1969 – 30 years after she rose to world-wide fame in The Wizard of Oz.
At the time, she was fresh from being fired from the film The Valley of the Dolls, having missed rehearsals and been replaced by Susan Haywood. There were serious doubts about whether she was well enough and dedicated enough to perform in the concerts – although thankfully they were a big success.
According to the release from the film company, this was a time when Judy was ‘fragile’ and ‘exhausted’ as well as ‘haunted by memories of a childhood lost to Hollywood’. Perhaps not entirely surprisingly, after a gruelling career that started at the tender age of two. It will also cover the period when she fell in love with her fifth husband Mickey Deans and will feature hits including Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
Renee Zellweger, who you’ll know as Bridget Jones but also showed Judy-esque song and dance skills in Chicago, is 48 making her one year older than Judy was when she died.
We’ve always had a soft spot for Judy – after all, her checked dress and red shoes were a formative part of our childhoods – and we hope Renee will bring the same warmth and vulnerability to the role.
Filming starts in February.
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