“My father was like a tough guy out of ‘Guys and Dolls’ and my mother felt that was a lot of fun,” the actress told Closer Weekly for the magazine’s latest issue.
“They loved each other and had a real bond, but their relationship could be volatile because my dad had a temper and wouldn’t say no," she continued. "And she had a temper and wouldn’t say no. So that got interesting!”
The couple tied the knot in 1952 and welcomed Lorna, now 66, that same year. Garland later gave birth to their son Joey in 1955. After 13 years of marriage, the pair called it quits in 1965. According to the outlet, while their marriage was turbulent, it was also the longest of Garland’s five unions.
The couple’s relationship is now the subject of a new Showtime documentary titled “Sid & Judy,” which is airing on October 18.
Garland passed away in 1969 at age 47 from a barbiturate overdose. Luft died in 2005 at age 89 from a heart attack.
Director Stephen Kijak told Closer Weekly he wanted to address some misconceptions about the marriage in the documentary.
“Sid has been accused of being an alcoholic, gambling and stealing [Judy’s] money, and all of those things are probably true,” he said. “But what is also true is that they had great respect and love for each other. He really did cherish her talent and helped her achieve a lot of great things in that partnership.”
When the duo met in 1950, Garland’s life was heading in a downward spiral after years of drugs, alcohol and bad relationships, the outlet reported. MGM had suspended the former child star and “Judy’s attempt at suicide was considered a bid for attention” by the studio, Luft wrote in his posthumously published memoir, “Judy and I.”
But Garland’s personal woes haunted the star. People magazine reported that in one incident in the early ‘50s, Luft alleged Garland’s depression was so debilitating that she slashed her throat in the bathroom of their Beverly Hills home. Doctors rushed to the scene and saved Garland’s life.
“Judy had cut her throat with a razor blade,” he wrote. “What demons inhabited her soul just when life seemed so rich and productive? It was a gigantic puzzlement that she would poison herself with pills and that the toxic reaction to whatever she swallowed would create an impulse for self-mutilation.”
Luft also described another suicide attempt in a D.C. hotel several years later, reported the outlet.
“When Judy came out in her short white lace negligee, her arms were in front of her and she said, ‘Look, darling, what I’ve done!’ wrote Luft. “Her wrists had been slashed and she was bleeding profusely.”
According to the magazine, it was Luft who quickly made tourniquets for her arms and took her to a doctor.
Luft also wrote in his memoir that Garland’s biggest struggle was her dependency on pills, which she relied on to look “camera-ready.”
“Whenever she began to drop considerable weight, it was dangerous, signaling an unhealthy use of pills,” he wrote.
Luft also wrote Garland attempted to quit cold-turkey. He claimed that one day, he was compelled to search her bedroom where she spent evenings alone to search for evidence of drug use.
“Pills were hidden in packages of cigarettes,” he claimed. “The clothes hamper was filled with beer bottles and a vodka bottle all empty.”
The New York Times reported the couple endured several separations. And at their divorce hearing in 1965, Garland alleged Luft was abusive.
“He struck me many times,” Garland told Judge Edward R. Brand. “He did a lot of drinking.”
Luft has been accused of marrying Garland for his own benefit. The New York Times noted that in 1993, he attempted to auction the 1939 Oscar that Garland won as Best Juvenile Actress for her role as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences sued, claiming it had the right to buy the Oscar for $10. They won.
Still, Luft insisted that he had great love for Garland and only wanted to protect her.
“Whatever bad things happened, you don’t fall out of love with somebody like her,” Luft reflected in 2001. “All I know is that if anyone tried to save a woman who was breaking apart, I did. I know that I did the best I could do, and it still wasn’t enough.”
Kijak said that “their connection was real.”
“Whatever their traumas were behind the scenes, this intense collaboration produced some of her great second-act victories,” he said.