Flashback: When John Lennon tried to shame Judy Garland about a suicide attempt
Twenty-four-year-old Lennon, leading the so-called Youthquake, and 42-year-old Garland, representing the outdated Hollywood studio system, were among the entertainers at the Palladium to perform for the annual “Night of the 100 Stars” charity benefit. Queen Elizabeth II was in the audience, and Laurence Olivier was another star on the bill.Also on the bill that momentous night was Disney child star Hayley Mills, as she recounts in an interview last week on film critic Leonard Maltin’s Maltin on Movies podcast. Mills said she met the Beatles for the first time that night backstage. She was 16. For their performance, the Beatles performed two songs and acted in a ballet sketch that had them being suspended high above the stage.Mills said she would get to know all of the Fab Four a few years later when she went on a single date with George Harrison and when Paul McCartney scored the soundtrack for her first “grown-up” movie, the 1966 working class comedy drama “The Family Way.”When asked who her favorite Beatles was, Mills, who also starred in “Pollyanna” and the original “Parent Trap,” said, “It’s so hard to choose.”English actress Hayley Mills takes part in the ‘Night of 100 Stars’ at the London Palladium, 23rd July 1964. (Photo by Les Lee/Express/Getty Images)Hayley Mills takes part in the ‘Night of 100 Stars’ at the London Palladium, 23rd July 1964. (Photo by Les Lee/Express/Getty Images) “They’re all so wonderful and brilliant and unique,” she said. “I adored all of them, but I was a little bit in awe of John. He was so smart and you never knew what he was going to say next.”Meanwhile, Starr was “great fun, really fun,’’ she said before getting around to Harrison. She admits she still has a soft spot for him, “an extremely soft spot. I went out with George, but only once, only once.”That night at the Palladium, Mills said she also she got a taste of the way you could never predict what the famously wry, sometimes cruel Lennon would say next.For example, that night Lennon said to the crowd: “Those in the cheap seats clap, those in the expensive seats rattle your jewelry.”But then Garland became the target of one of his quips, and his comment was definitely on the cruel side, as Mills explained.