Probably the most well-known of these stories is how Buddy Ebsen, famous for playing Uncle Jed on The Beverly Hillbillies, was actually hired to play the Tin Man but had to withdraw after he suffered an allergic reaction to the silver makeup required for the character. Not so well known, probably, is that that the film was originally considered as a vehicle for comedy legends Laurel and Hardy. Did you also know that producers thought Shirley Temple would make a great Dorothy (she was very popular at the time), or that Mary Pickford, America’s Sweetheart of silent films, was also a frontrunner for the role? How would you have liked W.C. Fields as The Great and Powerful Oz? He was heavily considered for the role (“Poor little chickadee…I hope she makes it home alright”).
There were other interesting choices considered by the studio, but, of course, no other actors could ever have played our beloved Oz characters. Wouldn’t you agree?