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Mickey Deans with Judy Garland on their wedding day in 1969
September 24, 1934
Garfield, New Jersey
|Died||July 11, 2003
(March 15 - June 22, 1969; her death)
Born Michael DeVinko in Garfield, New Jersey on September 24, 1934, he was the youngest of three children of Mary and Michael DeVinko. He grew up in a musical family, playing the piano and accordion. "My parents encouraged him to be a musician, " recalls his sister, Caroline Tassely. "He was very talented and played popular music in clubs in the fifties and sixties."
He played the piano at "Jilly's", a top Manhattan nightclub that Frank Sinatra used to frequent. Deans later worked as the manager of the popular discotheque "Arthur," where notables such as Aristotle and Jacqueline Onassis could be found. In 1966, according to Deans' book "Weep No More, My Lady," he met world-renowned actress and singer Judy Garland at her hotel in New York. A mutual friend of theirs asked Deans to deliver a package of stimulant tablets to Judy. Deans recalled that she seemed cordial but disoriented. Judy's children Joe and Lorna were present, and Deans felt it appropriate, under the circumstances, to introduce himself as a doctor. After three years of intermittent dating, Deans proposed and they were married on March 15, 1969, in London. Deans tried his best to promote Judy's career toward the end of her life, but, as previous husbands had found, it was impossible to control Garland's excessive use of prescription drugs. Deans discovered Garland dead on the morning of June 22, 1969. Although many obituaries at the time stated that Judy was found on the floor of their bathroom, Deans stated that he found her seated on the toilet. The coroner's autopsy later determined she died from an accidental, incautious overdose of barbiturates.
Following Garland's death, Deans co-authored Weep No More, My Lady, a biography of Garland written with Ann Pinchot. The book includes autobiographical elements of Deans' pre-Garland life and their time together. The book was published in 1972 by Hawthorn Books with paperback editions issued by Pyramid Books.
Life after Garland
Deans was known to keep company with rough individuals and as a result was subject to inquiry for the infamous Cotton Club murder of his boss, movie producer Roy Radin. He later moved to Cleveland, Ohio and became a producer of police fundraising events. In 1985, he bought the Franklin Castle, a historic four-story stone mansion on Franklin Boulevard in Cleveland's Ohio City, for $93,000 and had it restored.
Deans donated a feather boa that had belonged to Garland to a charity auction. He then placed the highest bid in order to maintain ownership of it.
After selling Franklin Castle in 1999, Deans lived in Northfield, Ohio and was known as colorful local figure until his death.
Deans died of congestive heart failure in Cleveland, Ohio on July 11, 2003 at the age of 68. Rather than being interred with Garland at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, his body was cremated and his ashes sent to an individual in Florida. Deans' son died just a few months later.
- Weep No More, My Lady ISBN 0-515-02989-0 Pyramid Books Edition, & ISBN 0-8161-6039-2 G. K. Hall (1972), aka Judy's Story (1974)
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- IMDb biography and filmography
- Biography Channel
- Mickey Deans Obituary
- NY Times Judy Garland obituary
- Mickey Deans at Find a Grave