Hollywood Flashback: Judy Davis Won an Emmy Playing Judy Garland in 2001
"So many eyeballs were going to be watching and ready to take out their scalpels that you'd better be right on about the details," executive producer Neil Meron says of the amount of effort that went into hair and makeup for the four-hour ABC miniseries.
In 2001, the four-hour ABC miniseries Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows cleaned up at the Emmys, where it won five awards: lead actress, supporting actress, costumes, hairstyling and makeup.
And it had been just those elements, especially star Judy Davis ("A tour de force performance"), that The Hollywood Reporter loved. (The Hollywood Reporter was less thrilled about the "plodding, unfocused script.")
Exec producer Neil Meron says an unusual amount of effort went into hair and makeup. "It's a period piece and you're dealing with one of the most iconic performers ever," says Meron. "So many eyeballs were going to be watching and ready to take out their scalpels that you'd better be right on about the details. It was the eyebrows; the prosthetics for when she gained weight; it even extended to wearing contact lenses and Judy being uncomfortable but knowing she had to get the eyes right."
As for the singing, that was left to Garland. Davis lip-synced songs ranging from "Over the Rainbow" to "The Man That Got Away."
When Emmy night came, Davis, then 46 (a year younger than Garland was when she died of an accidental drug overdose in 1969), was at work in Australia and unable to attend. When it was announced that she'd won, Steve Martin came onstage to accept and got one of the evening's bigger laughs with the line: "It's so good not to go home empty-handed."
This story first appeared in an August stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.