Judy Garland’s Net Worth At Her Death Much Better Than Presented In The Movie

JUDY was #7 in the top 10 (via BoxOfficeMojo.com) despite limited screenings.

Before getting to the headline, JUDY ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ had a great first weekend with limited screenings. Many critics are raving about how great Renee Zellweger does in the film. With “only” 461 theaters the film made almost $3 million dollars. Will expect based on first weekend results there should be wider screenings starting this coming weekend.

When seeing the movie, JUDY, viewers are presented with the impression that Judy Garland was quite literally broke in the year before her death. In the movie she can’t stay at the hotel she normally stays at because the bill hasn’t been paid, so she must gather up her children and take them to her ex-husband’s house.

According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, Judy Garland was worth, adjusted for inflation, $20 million dollars at her death.

Sure, she might have had mounting back taxes, but that is a honeypot of money. How was she so broke? The official story is that she had it stolen from her by thieving managers, industry leeches (primarily by?) her ex-husbands. She owed a bunch of back taxes and needed to take on those Talk of The Town singing gigs in London to make enough money so she could be with her children more.

Just making $1/million in a lifetime is a lot of money. Let’s say you averaged $30,000 a year. It would take roughly 33 working years. If you started working at 18, that means you would need to work until you’re 51 before you’ve generated a million dollars.

Maybe there should be a sequel to JUDY which explains how anybody can be worth $20 million and be so “broke”? I know, I know, taxes, divorce, bad business decisions, etc. Rhetorical. Sort of.

Famous People That Died At 47 Like Judy Garland

47 is too young to die. For Judy Garland, who started acting as a baby, she lived two lives in the entertainment business.

The movie Judy (PREVIEW) opens this Friday September 27, 2019 and covers the troubled last year of Judy Garland’s life when she gigged at London’s The Talk Of The Town.

Here are some other famous personalities who died at 47:

  • John Jacob Astor IV – died at the sinking of the RMS TItanic
  • Klara Hitler – Adolf Hitler’s mother
  • Rodney King – famously beaten by police officers
  • Jim Jones – cult leader
Renée Zellwegger interviewed on what it was like playing Judy:

One of the things most interesting about this movie is that Zellweger is actually tackling singing Garland’s signature songs, in particular the immortal “Over The Rainbow” Garland’s voice was not only iconic, but somehow older and greater than her fragile frame.

Featured, and oddly almost cut from The Wizard of Oz, it is considered one of the greatest songs ever, and quite rightfully so:

How good is Zellwegger singing? Pretty amazing actually, listen to this:

Renee Zellwegger covering “Over The Rainbow” in the movie JUDY

For contrast, here is Judy Garland’s final live performance of “Over The Rainbow”:

March 25, 1969 – Judy Garland’s final performance of “Over The Rainbow”

Less than three months later (June 22, 1969), Judy was gone from this earth, but never has left our love and fond memories.


Who doesn’t love the magical “Over The Rainbow” by the immortal Judy Garland. Her voice is as magical as the first time I saw her singing in The Wizard Of Oz, a movie as timeless as the song.

Can you believe that was first released in 1939?!?! That is 80 years ago and it’s still my favorite ever musical and easily in my top 10 films of all time. It’s just one of the greatest films ever made, period. And I’m not a fan of musicals.

The whole black and white Kansas and then switches to color in Oz… just such an awe-inspiring film. I need to rewatch this again soon so I can be a child all over again. It’s that powerful. Without Judy Garland in that film, it’s not the same and, sadly, her treatment during the filming appeared to be something out of a horror film (or not).

So, what do we know and don’t know about JUDY the film:

  • Renee Zellweger, age 50, spent two hours in the makeup chair transforming into Judy Garland
  • Zellweger has been singing in movies for over 20 years and, yes, she is taking on the daunting task of covering Judy Garland on such seminal tracks as “Over The Rainbow”
  • Rupert Goold directs. He is best known for extensive directing the stage.
  • Film is based on Peter Quilter’s musical “End Of The Rainbow” which primarily covers the one year before Garland’s death at age 47 (!!!!) in 1969 where she played a series of sold-out shows.
  • Zellweger tried to reach out to Liza Minnelli, Garland’s daughter, for research in the role via a mutual friend, but was unsuccessful
  • Liza Minnelli has released a statement on her Facebook that says she “does not sanction” this film about her mother.
  • Zellweger spent two years with Judy in her head, listening to music, preparing for this role and it brought her repeatedly to tears

And just for a cool article aside, the believed to be last living actor — and she was merely an extra — that was in The Wizard of Oz, 98 year old Meredythe Glass, opines what it was really like hearing the amazing Judy Garland sing:

Meredythe Glass was just another green lady from Oz. As she quietly chatted and laughed with her fellow Oz residents, their faces smeared with greasepaint to stand out under the harsh studio lights, this “beautiful music” began. Judy Garland started singing “Over the Rainbow,” and the Oz residents fell silent. Everyone fell silent. And when it was over, the applause was deafening. “It would not stop,” said Glass.

Judy Garland died at age 47, and would be 97 years old if she were still alive today, just about the age of Meredythe Glass. Imagine what more music, movies and magic we could have had if she had lived?

We’ll have to settle for dreaming what lies over the rainbow … and arrives in theaters everywhere September 27.