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Judy Garland will forever be remembered as the actress who skipped and danced down the yellow brick road as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. But at the time production bosses weren't so convinced she could pull it off.
The role in the 1939 film, which has been named the most influential movie of all time, was originally written for an eight-year-old girl and Judy, at 16, had large breasts, a pudgy figure and snaggled front teeth that came down in points, write authors Jay Scarfone and William Stillman, in The Road to Oz: The Evolution, Creation, and Legacy of a Motion Picture Masterpiece.
Judy - Singing - Chops - Singer - Music
But Judy had the singing chops and was already known as a 'buxom singer' in swing music, plus she was the darling of MGM's co-founder and producer Louis B. Mayer.
The prestigious film studio was willing to address Judy's perceived flaws, watching what she ate, crafting a tiny corset, hiring a fitness trainer and even giving her experimental diet pills.
Fuss - Judy - Appearance - Issue - People
Despite the fuss over Judy's appearance, the real issue during filming was with the little people cast as Munchkins, who were 'mean, drunk, smelly and engaged in prostitution', the authors claim.
The Wizard of Oz was a silver screen masterpiece in 1939, with a $3 million budget, which at the time was MGM's largest ever.
Movie - Time - Study - University - Turin
It was recently named the most influential movie of all time in a study by the University of Turin.
Movie bosses were eyeing Shirley Temple to play Dorothy but Judy's voice was better and her film popularity was steadily ascending.
Garland - Adjustments - Producer - Mervyn - LeRoy
Garland needed 'physical adjustments' but producer Mervyn LeRoy 'saw great possibilities in this starry-eyed young girl and took her under his wing.'
To get Judy silver-screen ready for the girlish part, 'Princess Pudge was ordered to get the heck on a reducing diet.'
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