Sid Luft’s posthumous memoir lifts the lid on his life with the legendary actress.
A memoir written by Judy Garland’s ex-husband Sid Luft claims the actress was repeatedly harassed by some of the actors who played the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz.
Luft died in 2005, but his memoir, Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland, will be published next month and it contains some shocking revelations about life on the set of the classic musical.
Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, 1939
“They would make Judy’s life miserable on set by putting their hands under her dress … The men were 40 or more years old,” wrote Luft in an extract published by People.
“They thought they could get away with anything because they were so small,” he added. Garland was only 16 when she was cast as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 musical. Luft was the actress’ third husband, who she was married to from 1952-1965.
Rumours about the behaviour of The Munchkins on set have been circulating in Hollywood for decades, with some stories even claiming the actors had orgies in their hotel room at night.
In a 1967 interview with Jack Paar, Garland herself said, "They were very tiny, they were drunks. They put them all in a hotel in Culver City, and they got smashed every night, and they had to pick them up in butterfly nets.
"One of them, who was a gentleman of about 40, asked me out to dinner," she added. "I couldn't say I didn't want to go out because you're a midget, so I just said 'No, my mother wouldn't like it', but he said to bring her too."
Speaking to The Independent in 2009, Munchkin actress Margaret Pellegrini denied their time on set was that wild, saying: “There were a lot of them who liked to go out and have a few drinks, but nothing got out of hand. Everyone was having a good time and enjoying themselves. There was no rowdiness or anything like that, and those stories are very upsetting.”