50 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Wizard of Oz’


6. Actress Margaret Hamilton played the Wicked Witch of the West and was depicted as an old hag. In reality, Hamilton was only 36 years old at the time, while her on-screen nemesis, the younger-looking and prettier Glinda the Good Witch of the North (played by Billie Burke), was 54.

7. Shirley Temple, then 11-years-olds, was a frontrunner for the part of Dorothy, but it’s said that producers didn’t think she had the vocal chops to cut it. There was also a contract quibble.

8. Buddy Ebsen (aka Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies) was the first choice for the Tin Man, but the actor suffered from an extreme allergic reaction to the aluminum dust in his makeup. Jack Haley took over the role, and makeup artists switched to an aluminum paste. It gave him an eye infection, but he avoided Ebsen’s near-death experience.

9. Toto was a female Cairn Terrier named Terry. She was injured during filming (one of the witch’s guards accidentally stepped on her). She was paid a $125 a week, which was more than many of the Munchkin actors received. Toto had a happy career in movies until she died in 1945.

10. It’s rumored that one of the Munchkins committed suicide by hanging, and the body can be seen swinging in the background during one scene in the movie. Many dismiss it, blaming the odd shadow on a bird, since there were several wild animals on loan from the Los Angeles Zoo to create a realistic woodland setting.