Liza Minnelli Says Mom Judy Garland Would Calm Her Stage Fright

by Chase Thomas
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Judy Garland was an early Hollywood legend in the 1930s and beyond. Most folks remember her for her excellent work in “The Wizard of Oz.” However, Liza Minnelli knew Garland as, well, “mom.” Minnelli would eventually follow in her mother’s footsteps in Hollywood, but it was not always easy for Minnelli to make it all work. In a conversation with Fox News, Liza Minnelli said that her mom Judy Garland would calm her stage fright.

She told the network, “My mom was my mom.” She continued, “You know, other people think of her as Judy Garland. That’s mama. If I get frightened, I’d look at her, and she would somehow know, and she would calm me down. Just by her look.” Garland knew how to be there for her daughter. She was very vulnerable and honest in describing her early fears in show business. Still, it is great to learn her late mother was there for her when she needed her.

Liza Minnelli on ‘Arrested Development’

Minnelli found lots of success in the early 2000s, where she starred as Lucille 2 alongside the late Jessica Walters in Arrested Development. The show did not find early rating success on FOX, but years later as folks found the show it became a big-time hit that is still binge-watched by so many today.

Her role was a different one, and her character often dealt with bouts of vertigo. She told Vulture, “I don’t know; I thought it was funny. You know who helped me a great deal with this? Sam Harris. He’s got a great sense of humor, and he’s absolutely brilliant. I was willing to do practically anything for a laugh.”

How It All Worked

She continued, “Oh, yeah! Absolutely. But you know that one where she comes out of the thing for, you know, her balance problem, and she runs to the man and she goes right over his back? Did you see that? Well, it happened naturally. I mean, I said to the guy, ‘It’s easier on the fall if we do it this way,’ and then we just walk back, my legs go up and down. He said, ‘You’re right.’ So we did it that way, my legs went up — a little further than I thought.” How funny is that? She had to lean into the part and make it all work in a comedic way because it was a sitcom and her bouts, typically alongside Buster Bluth, were a big part of her character moments.

She concluded, “I thought, ‘Relax and keep going.’ And that’s how that happened. [Laughs.] And they screamed, you know … the cameraman. It’s a wonderful atmosphere. Hold on one second, dear. [Pause.] Hi, sorry! No, I had to — my dog wanted to come on the bed.” It all worked, though, and the show was a huge hit.

You can watch Arrested Development on Netflix.

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