If there is even an iota of truth to what Judy Garland’s ex-husband has been claiming, this was really, really terrible for a 16-year-old actress. A new memoir written by her deceased ex-husband Sid Luft detailed how the 40-year-old Munchkins groped and molested Garland while on the set of Wizard of Oz.
Luft claimed that the Munchkins thought they could get away with it because they were so small. If this is true, how sickening to the core it must be for Garland. Luft was married to the actress from 1952 but divorced in 1965, four years before her tragic death at 47 because of drug overdose.
Wizard Of Oz Was A Children’s Tale
In Wizard of Oz, Dorothy (Garland) needed the help of the lovable Munchkins to help her follow the yellow brick road to find her way home. Just like in the wonderful world of Oz, not all Munchkins are kind. Some are out to get you.
Luft, a producer and manager, wrote the posthumous memoir of his life with Garland in a book entitled Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland.
In an interview back in 1969, Garland did not have high praises for the Munchkins actors. She said, “They were little drunks. They got smashed every night and the police used to scoop them up in butterfly nets.”
Rumors about the Munchkin actors’ bad behavior have been circulating in Hollywood for many years. Julie Lugo Cera, whose father worked near the Wizard of Oz set in California, said the Munchkin “had a really good time” during filming. There were more than 120 actors needed for the Munchkins roles.
For many of them, filming for the Wizard of Oz was the first time they interacted with other little people. Cera said they celebrated a lot and “were all over the place.” Luft didn’t specify any actor who molested his ex-wife.
Munchkin Actors Denied Rumors
Munchkin actress Margaret Pellegrini earlier denied claims that they enjoyed a bit too much during the filming. In fact, she alleged that they were paid so little, and they were upset that there were stories like these.
She admitted that they do drink and go out, but there was nothing that got out of hand. There was no rowdiness, she claimed, on the set of Wizard of Oz. After all, as the last surviving Munchkin—Jerry Maren—asked, “How could you get drunk on $50 a week?”
— Studio 10 (@Studio10au) February 8, 2017