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‘Munchkins’ Used Their Height Advantage To Get Hands Up Judy Garland’s Dress On ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Set

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Thomas Phippen Associate Editor
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The little people who played the munchkins in the 1939 classic movie “Wizard of Oz” used their diminutive stature to grope around teenage Judy Garland’s legs, according to a new memoir by Garland’s ex-husband.

The munchkin actors “would make Judy’s life miserable on set by putting their hands under her dress” Sidney Luft, Garland’s third husband, writes in a new memoir slated for a March release — 12 years after his death.

Garland, who was 16 when she portrayed Dorothy in the movie, also said disparaging things about her small co-stars. “They were little drunks,” Garland said in 1967. “They got smashed every night and the police used to scoop them up in butterfly nets.”

When the “The Wizard of Oz” filming wrapped up, the munchkins celebrated with “orgies in the hotel and we had to have police on about every floor,” Mervyn LeRoy, one of the film’s producers, said. “To make a picture like The Wizard of Oz, everybody had to be a little drunk with imagination.”

Luft’s memoir “Judy and I: My Life With Judy Garland” also details Garland’s abortion, which was allegedly arranged by MGM to preserve her “virginal image.”

Based on unpublished drafts he wrote before his death in 2005, Luft’s book chronicles his relationship with the Hollywood star. Luft was Garland’s tour manager, and was married to Garland from 1952 to 1963.

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