By using this service and related content, you agree to the use of cookies for analytics, personalised content and ads.
You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Judy Garland 'was groped by Munchkins on set of The Wizard of Oz' claims ex-husband in unfinished book

Mirror logo Mirror 08/02/2017 Christopher Bucktin

The former husband of Hollywood icon Judy Garland has claimed that she was felt up by actors playing the Munchkins on the set of The Wizard of Oz. 

The actress, who was just 16 when she played the role of Dorothy in the classic 1939 movie, was claimed to have her life made “miserable” by the dwarf actors.

Garland’s ex Sid Luft make the shocking claim in his unfinished book before dying 12 years ago.

Detailing his former wife’s torment, he wrote: “They thought they could get away with anything because they were so small.

“They would make Judy’s life miserable on set by putting their hands under her dress. The men were forty or more years old.”

In the film, the Munchkins are seen following Dorothy up the Yellow Brick Road.

Before her death Garland said: “They were drunks. They got smashed every night and the police used to scoop them up in butterfly nets.” 

The dwarf actor’s antics on screen were matched if not surpassed by those off it.

In the studio they earned between £200 and £500 a week, spending their money on an “unholy assembly of pimps, hookers and gamblers” as they stayed at Los Angeles’s Culver Hotel where they stayed during filming.

The film’s make-up artist Jack Dawn recalled later how one German dwarf who called himself The Count even had to been rescued from a toilet bowl.

  © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc   He said: “You had to watch them all the time. Once when he was due on set, he went missing. Then we heard a whining from the men’s room.

“He had got plastered during lunch, fallen in the toilet and could not get out.”

Bert Lahr, who played the Cowardly Lion, said: “Many Munchkins made their living by panhandling.

“Midgets brandished knives and often had passions for larger personnel.”

The movie catapulted Garland onto global fame and cemented her role as a Hollywood icon despite being still a teenager.

However, she failed to live up to her star billing self-destructing and finally succumbing to her life-long addiction to prescription drugs.

She died from an accidental barbiturate overdose in London in 1969 at the age of 47.

Her chaotic life has now been laid by the publication of a memoir Sid, the star’s third husband, began writing after their divorce in 1965.

The book Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland, reveals her bouts of depression, her long-time pill use, an abortion she got during the early years of their relationship and several suicide attempts.

In one incident in the early ’50s, Luft claimed that Garland’s depression was so debilitating that she slashed her throat in the bathroom of their Beverly Hills home.

Luft, who rushed home to find her, writes: “What demons inhabited her soul just when life seemed so rich and productive? It was a gigantic puzzlement that she would poison herself with pills, and that the toxic reaction to whatever she swallowed would create an impulse for self-mutilation.”

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The Mirror

AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon