Movie Myths: ‘Wizard of Oz’ Munchkin Death
In ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ it’s been specualted that one of the small munchkin actors hung himself when his love of a lady munckin actress went unrequited — according to myth, you can see the munchkin hanging from a tree in the background during the end of the Tin Man sequence, just after the Wicked Witch tries to set fire to Scarecrow and before the group heads off to the Emerald City to find the Wizard.
True or False? False! It was easy to believe the rumor, which started sometime around the 50th anniversary — Judy Garland often spoke of munchkin actors and their debauchery on set in interviews, which made the story of a suicidal munchkin kind of believable. But there were no deaths on set, just a large emu in the background (one of many bird extras for the scene) whose odd shape caught the attention of several eagle-eyed viewers.