the following is a true story...

the name in the coat

Frank Morgan has five roles in the movie "The Wizard of Oz". Professor Marvel, the gatekeeper of the Emerald city, the cab driver (of the horse of a different color), the Wizard's guard and of course, the Wizard. (It is also possible that he was made up for the projected image of the Wizard, that's six. not many people know that).

The wizard role was written with 'W.C. Fields' in mind. Studio executive Freed wanted Fields, and offered him $75,000. Fields supposedly wanted $100,000. According to a letter written by Fields' agent, Fields turned down the part to devote his time to writing the script for his new project "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man". ( not many can remember that one).

The story is told that Morgan's Professor Marvel coat was taken from a rack of second-hand clothing that was recently purchased by the studio wardrobe department, and it fit him well. Just by chance he turned out the coat's pocket and found the name 'L. Frank Baum' (the Oz books' author) sewn into the lining. When told of this Baum's widow and the tailor who made the coat confirmed that the coat had, indeed, been his. Needless to say, (Frank) Morgan was astounded and played the part perfectly. Upon completion of filming, the coat was promptly presented to (Frank) Baum's widow with sincere thanks from "The Wizard of Oz."

Viewzone || Strange Stories