A Day With Mickey and Judy

Mickey Rooney Judy Garland book

Judy called Mickey and asked him if he would help her. She has a TV show at CBS and the bosses wanted to see her. Her ratings where slipping and they wanted to meet at her home later in the day. She knew Mickey would help with some ideas. He was filming at MGM that day but she knew going to the studio would be a big problem. She hadn’t been there in eighteen years since they fired her. She blamed MGM for all her problems.

Mickey told me to pick her up at her home inBrentwood. Judy was panicking when I got there. She had five cars and told me to put a case of Blue Nun wine in the back seat. It turned out I never got any of her cars to start. We left in my car with the Blue Nun in my back seat. As we drove out of the driveway, she popped a pill. When we got to MGM I drove through the studio gates, she popped another pill. I felt like it was Gloria Swanson arriving at the gates ofParamountin “Sunset Boulevard”.

She said, ”Mickey and I worked every day on three musicals at the same time for the “Andy Hardy Films” it was making MGM a fortune and exhausting us. They gave us uppers and downers to keep up our energy for the dance numbers and long hours. We didn’t know we were being hooked”. Later in life, they both were under the influence. Mickey found Jesus and got the cure but Judy never got over the drugs or booze.

Mickey told me he was working at hotel in Reno, Nevada, sitting in a coffee shop when a blonde bus boy came up to his table and said; “Jesus loves you Mickey Rooney”. He was shocked and felt he had been saved. He jumped up from the table, rushed to the cashier, and said; “Where’s that blonde bus boy that was at my table?” “We don’t have a blonde bus boy, Mr. Rooney”.

Judy adored Mickey and he her, but there was no romance. Mickey had many girls he dated but he felt Judy was like a sister. We stopped at stage 15 where Mickey was filming. I took the case of Blue Nun from the back of my car and we went to his dressing room. Judy opened a bottle of wine and settled down and said; “Find Mickey”. I went on to the stage; Mickey was working on a RodSterling, “ Twilight Zone” show playing a gambler who owned money to a bookie who threatens him. Mickey was acting into the telephone the whole time, no other performer was in the show. He finishes the scene, and the crew applauds him. “Judy is here, we’ll meet you in the commissary for lunch”. I said.

I went back to the dressing room. Judy had found a French actor, with a French Poodle and was kissing and hugging the dog and drinking the wine. She was already high. I told the actor we had to leave for an appointment; to get rid him.

When we got to the commissary, it was packed with people, Judy was shaking. I opened the door and we walked in. The room went silent and then, whispers. We see Arthur Freed, the producer of “Meet me InSaint Louis,” of her best movies. “Look, its Arthur Freed, he’s not coming over here?  Ah, he is.  I, I, can’t stand him. What will I do?” she asked. “Relax. He’s smiling. Smile back. He just wants to say hello.” I said. Arthur says; “Judy, so good to see you, working on something again?” “Good to see you Arthur. No I’m seeing Mickey for lunch.” Judy looks and sees Mickey at table waving at us. We go to his table.  Judy began to relax and looked like she was having a good time.  I brought up to Mickey. “Do you have some ideas for her show?  Judy looked like she wasn’t interested so I gave up.  We went back to the dressing room and Mickey had to go back to the stage to finish the TV film. I loaded Judy into my car, she was drunk.  As we left the Studio she pooped another pill. She said; “I hated every moment. You cannot imagine how terrible I feel. It brought back all those bad memories. I should have never come back.”

When I got on the freeway going back to her house, she was silent and looked over at the car next to us where a cat was sitting on a man’s shoulder. She let out a scream and said, “That cat is driving that car”. She dived to the floorboard of the car and stayed there until I got her home. The cars of the CBS Bosses were there in her driveway waiting. I thought, are they in for it. I thought, I said, “Good bye and good luck, Sweetheart”. I was glad she didn’t ask me to be in her meeting and drove off.

About William Louis Gardner

William Louis Gardner was born in Minnesota and finished school there. He joined the US Air Force and worked at the Pentagon in the Target Library of the world. Went on to the Pasadena Playhouse to learn television and movie making. He got a job with actress Marion Davies at her home. There He met a movie agent and started a career in Hollywood. William Louis Gardner has worked in Hollywood as the agent, personal secretary, PR advisor and manager for for Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Jill St.John, Bobby Van and director, John Huston. William Gardner is the author of two books, "Confessions of a Hollywood Agent," and "The Games End." William on GooglePlus
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