The Wizard of Oz is a timeless classic that has entertained audiences of all ages. However, beneath the surface of this much-loved film lies a darker story that not many are aware of.
In episode 281 of Morbid: A True Crime Podcast, hosts Alaina and Ash deep dive into the disturbing treatment of actors on set.
The Tin Man
Buddy Ebsen, who was originally cast as the Tin Man, suffered a severe allergic reaction to the aluminium powder used in his makeup, which left him in critical condition. He was eventually replaced by Jack Haley, who took on the role despite suffering from a serious eye infection during filming.
The Wicked Witch of the West
Actress Margaret Hamilton also faced challenges on set, including severe burns that she sustained during a special effects mishap. In a scene where she was supposed to disappear behind a puff of smoke, the trap door did not open in time and she and her broom caught on fire. Hamilton was hospitalised for weeks and underwent painful skin grafts to treat her injuries.
Unfortunately, this only scratches the surface of the horrible conditions the actors were forced to work under.
To hear what happened to Judy Garland (Dorothy), Bert Lahr (The Lion) and the Munchkins, listen to the full episode on the free LiSTNR app.
Looking for more true crime podcasts? Why not listen to Fairy Meadow, the story of 3 year old Cheryl Grimmer who disappeared without a trace in 1970.