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Phillips would often have to stay up with her until dawn, playing cards until Garland finally announced she was tired and her exhausted companion could stagger off to bed. The doctor who came to treat her confiscated her pill supply and when Garland came round, she went ballistic.

But, until now, it had not been known what a crazed nightmare she became away from the adoring gaze of her public.

Since idolising the stars of cinema’s golden age as a young girl, Stevie Phillips dreamed of a career in showbusiness.

But having to rescue Judy Garland after the actress set fire to herself as she smoked in bed wasn’t what she had in mind.

Staying in Boston’s chi-chi Ritz Carlton Hotel one night, Phillips came to collect Garland for a performance. On that night in Boston, the man in question was Phillips’s own boss, David Begelman, who had been having a rocky affair with Garland for months.

She was asking the star if she had enough fake eyelashes when, without warning, Garland suddenly slit her wrist with a razor, cutting deep into the artery. He had a wife, Lee, but kept lying to Garland that he was going to leave her and marry the star.

The blood spurted out in an arc that hit the gold-and-white bedspread, the flocked wallpaper and the assistant. Phillips felt at the time that Garland needed to be institutionalised but ‘everyone was too busy exploiting her’.

Indeed, Begelman was close at hand when Garland cut herself but simply had her patched up so she could go on stage.

Whether she was having a vicious catfight in a corridor of the Savoy Hotel with the wife of her lover or standing, virtually naked, on her balcony bawling out Somewhere Over The Rainbow at a whooping gang of navvies, Garland’s later years were ugly, deranged and ruined by drug addiction.