For Sale: Judy Garland’s Former Malibu Beach House

Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.
Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. / Noel Kleinman/

Several years after achieving Hollywood starlet status with 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland moved into a lavish Malibu beach house with her second husband, Vincente Minnelli, and their daughter, Liza Minnelli.

That estate, built in 1947, is now on the market for just shy of $3.9 million. According to, it measures 1311 square feet and includes three bedrooms and three bathrooms—a relatively meager amount of space for such a steep price, but buyers are really paying more for the location than anything else. Step through the living room’s 10-foot accordion doors and you’ll find yourself on a spacious deck that directly overlooks the ocean.

Tranquil as it is, Garland’s tenure there was turbulent. She was weathering anxiety, depression, and an addiction to prescription drugs, which caused problems in her career and marriage. There wasn’t much separation between those two parts of her life; at the time, Minnelli was directing Garland in The Pirate, a 1948 movie musical co-starring Gene Kelly. Garland reportedly failed to show up for more than half of the days she was supposed to film. Though that movie was a commercial disappointment, Garland quickly followed it up with a significantly more successful venture: 1948’s Easter Parade, opposite Fred Astaire (Kelly was set to star but had to bow out because of a broken ankle).

The next several years were a series of personal and professional ups and downs that included the end of her relationship with Minnelli. The couple divorced in 1951, and Garland married Sidney Luft the following year. In the early 1950s, she also vacated the Malibu house. Her life there hasn’t been preserved in any material way; the house was thoroughly renovated in 2013, and its all-white walls and furniture make it look like many other high-society hideaways. That said, none of Malibu’s other beach houses can boast the original Dorothy Gale as a previous occupant.