Was Judy Garland Molested By 'The Wizard Of Oz' Munchkins? Her Ex-Husband Says So

"They thought they could get away with anything because they were so small."

Was Judy Garland Molested By 'The Wizard Of Oz' Munchkins? Her Ex-Husband Says So getty

There was one movie as a child that played on repeat in my home and that was The Wizard of Oz. I memorized every line and sang all the songs in my child-like innocence. 

Judy Garland was my idol, so it really breaks my heart to hear that the classic film was anything but pure. However, this was far from the truth, according to a memoir written by Garland’s ex-husband, Sid Luft, who sadly died in 2005.


In the book, Luft claims that the munchkins in the film had sexually assaulted Garland.

Obviously, since the film was released in 1939 and most of the actors are now deceased, these allegations can’t be confirmed, begging the question: Was Judy Garland molested by The Wizard Of Oz munchkins?

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In his memoir, Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland, Luft detailed the on-set behaviors that he said made Garland's life "miserable" as a teenage actress. The munchkin actors, who were adults at the time, supposedly put their hands underneath Garland’s dress.

“They thought they could get away with anything because they were so small,” Luft said in his book. “They would make Judy’s life miserable on set by putting their hands under her dress. The men were 40 or more years old.”

However, there have always been dark rumors circulating about The Wizard of Oz, like a now debunked hoax of a munchkin who committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree on set. Unfortunately, the rumors don’t stop there, with tales of orgies, lewdness, and even prostitution. 

The munchkin actors had reportedly stayed at the Culver Hotel in L.A. while filming the iconic movie and spent the money they earned on "pimps, hookers, and gamblers." The film's producer, Mervyn LeRoy, had claimed, “They had orgies in the hotel and we had to have police on about every floor.”


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Jack Dawn, the movie's makeup artist, also weighed in, saying, “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.” Dawn was referring to one of the munchkins who appeared in the film.

Cowardly Lion actor Bert Lahr also backed up these claims, revealing that, "Many Munchkins made their living by panhandling, pimping and whoring." 

In fact, even Garland herself had claimed that the munchkin actors were "drunks," and reportedly said, "They got smashed every night and the police used to scoop them up in butterfly nets.”

The actors who played the munchkins, before their deaths, always denied any wrongdoing and insisted that with their pay rate, they couldn’t afford to get drunk and rowdy. 


Garland passed away at the young age of 47 after overdosing on barbiturates. She had a lengthy history of drug use and alcohol abuse and, according to Luft, multiple suicide attempts. 

It’s also important to note that Garland cited cruelty as grounds for divorce from Sid Luft, insisting that he hit her multiple times, was often drunk, and attempted to take their kids from her by use of force. 

We’ll never know the truth, but it’s still incredibly sad to think that a child actor could have been molested while working.


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Liza Walters is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture, and relationship topics.