Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Did Munchkin Actors Grope Judy Garland On Set of ‘Wizard Of Oz’?

Skipping down the Yellow Brick Road on the set of “The Wizard of Oz” was more like a sexual ordeal than a carefree jaunt for Judy Garland, her Jewish ex-husband reveals in a new book.

Sid Luft writes in his forthcoming posthumous memoir that dwarf actors repeatedly fondled Garland, who was just 17 when she starred in the iconic 1939 Hollywood blockbuster, the Guardian reports.

“They would make Judy’s life miserable on set by putting their hands under her dress,” wrote Luft in Judy and I: My Life With Judy Garland.

The male actors were often given leeway because of their childlike size, claimed Luft, who died in 2005.

“The men were 40 or more years old,” Luft wrote. “They thought they could get away with anything because they were so small.”

Garland herself spoke derisively of the actors playing the Munkchins before her death.

“They were little drunks,” she said in 1967. “They got smashed every night and the police used to scoop them up in butterfly nets.”

Bert Lahr, who played the Cowardly Lion, said the Munchkins were prone to using violence and used their status to sleep with women.

“(They) brandished knives and often had passions for larger personnel,” Lahr said.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.