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American film producer Sid Luft was the third husband of famed performer Judy Garland. He is credited with reviving her career in the 1950s.
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including the film A Star Is Born and the Broadway concert series At Home at the Palace. He died in 2005.
After a brief stint as a talent agent, Luft became a film producer. He made the B-movie comedy Kilroy Was Here (1947) with Jackie Cooper and Jackie Coogan and its sequel French Leave (1948) before meeting up Judy Garland. At the time, Garland was in a career slump after being let go from her film contract with MGM. She was also in bad shape personally as well, suffering from depression and chemical dependency.
Variety. The couple married in 1952 and welcomed their first child together, Lorna, that same year.
Two years later, Luft produced one of Garland’s most famous film roles. A Star Is Born (1954) featured Garland as a performer who sacrifices love for fame. Netting six Academy Award nominations, the film brought nods for Garland and her co-star James Mason. So did the song, “The Man That Got Away,” which Garland performed with palatable emotion.
Luft and Garland welcomed a son, Joey, in 1955. Continuing to work on Garland’s career, he produced several tours and concerts for her. Their marriage, however, was a stormy one and was marked by several separations. When they finally divorced in 1965, the couple had engaged in an ugly custody battle over their two children. Garland told the court that “He struck me many times. He did a lot of drinking.”
Despite this difficult situation, Luft still acted as a producer for one of Garland’s most famous Broadway concert series, At Home at the Palace, in 1967. Not long after these performances, Garland began her own downward spiral. And at the time of her death of an accidental overdose in 1969, both of the children were living with Luft in Los Angeles.
Judy Garland’s Hollywood (1997). But Luft got into legal trouble when tried to sell the special juvenile Academy Award belonging to Garland.
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