March 13, 2013

There’s No Place Like Oz

By Matt Stevens

Living in Los Angeles definitely has its perks — the weather, the culture, and the occasional celebrity sighting. One of my more memorable, Wizard of Oz-related encounters occurred a few years ago at a neighborhood supermarket…

I spotted an elderly, diminutive man — a little person — shopping for groceries, and something he wore caught my eye. I snuck closer, down the dairy aisle, until I could see his jacket featured an Emerald City design and read “Original Oz Munchkin.”

Barbie First Swimsuit

My mind raced faster than a witch on a broomstick: Which Munchkin did this guy play? What was Judy Garland like? Did he talk to Margaret Hamilton? So many questions I wanted to ask … but didn’t.

Why my sudden attack of the shys? I had chatted with celebrities before, sometimes for work reasons, so I couldn’t fathom my reaction. Then it hit me. I wasn’t just star-struck or awestruck; I was Oz-struck! This actor was a real-life part of something, well, great and powerful — a pop-culture phenomenon that has bewitched us for nearly 75 years.

Granted, the 124 actors who played The Munchkins weren’t well compensated for their roles. They only earned $50 a week, while that diva Toto made $125 a week! They did, however, get to work alongside Judy Garland, Billie Burke, and Margaret Hamilton, whose likenesses and indelible performances are now perfectly captured in The Wizard of Oz collection of dolls.

The Munchkins also received a long-deserved honor in November 2007 with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The unveiling ceremony took place in front of the world-famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater, where The Wizard of Oz premiered on August 15th (my birthday!) back in 1939 (not my birth year).

Still jazzed about seeing an honest-to-Oz Munchkin, I paid homage by visiting their star on Hollywood Blvd. After all, the Walk of Fame is another Los Angeles perk — and the city’s own version of the Yellow Brick Road!

Have a favorite Oz moment or memory?
Please share below!

 


Matt Stevens is a twice-published author and sold screenwriter who specializes in movies and pop culture. A former producer for E! Entertainment Television, he now writes about film for their website, E! Online, and contributes to numerous new-media outlets. Since his first games-writing gig for Barbie.com, Matt has been tickled pink to work on BarbieGirls.com and MyScene.com before joining the BC blogger team.

Comments: @data.getNbrComments-bc_194598@0

Comments

News Categories

Gotta Have The Latest Doll Dish?

Fan Favorites

Want it!

Item added to 5 wishlists

Have it!

Item added to 3 collections
@data.getDollicious-dollicious@
Fan me on Facebook for my latest photos, party plans and more!
about 9 days ago

Barbie i Superprinsessan | Barbie

Barbie Prenses’in Süper Gücü | Barbie

芭比之魔法公主 | Barbie

Promo

Events

No events at the moment. Check back soon.