Posted: September 04, 2018

No place like home: Stolen ‘Wizard of Oz’ ruby slippers recovered

What You Need To Know: The Wizard Of Oz

By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

For 13 years, one of the most famous pairs of shoes were missing, stolen from a museum that honored actress Judy Garland, but finally the FBI has cracked the case and announced that the ruby slippers Garland wore as she portrayed Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” have been found. 

The red sequin-covered heels from the iconic movie were stolen on Aug. 28, 2005 from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, The New York Times reported.

There was no security camera video of the heist and whomever stole the shoes left no fingerprints and few clues. 

The Plexiglass box that held the shoes was smashed and nothing was left except for a single red sequin.

>> Read more trending news 

The FBI made the announcement Tuesday that the shoes were recovered, but did not say who was responsible for taking them, The Times reported.

The shoes were a focus of not only federal law enforcement, but also local police and private investigators. There was a $1 million reward for finding the location of the shoes. The reward expired after 10 years, ABC News reported.

They were on loan to the museum, owned by a collector in North Hollywood, California. Michael Shaw bought the shoes in 1970 for $2,000 from Kent Warner, a costumer who found them at an MGM movie lot, The Times reported

Shaw also owned Dorothy’s dress, the hat worn by the Wicked Witch of the West and a Munchkin outfit. The museum wasn’t the only time the shoes were lent out for display. Shaw would allow other museums display them for a fee of several thousand dollars, which would be donated to children’s charities.

The shoes were insured for $1 million, Newsweek reported in 2015.

An insurance company paid Shaw $800,000 and is the official owner of the shoes, The Times reported

Garland wore several different pairs during the filming of the 1939 movie.

One pair is in the possession of the Smithsonian American History Museum and are on display there. 

Another pair is jointly owned by Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg and is in the collection at the Academy Museum of Motion PicturesABC News reported.



Keep Them Ruby: Smithsonian starts Kickstarter campaign for ruby slipper conservation

An icon from the golden age of Hollywood is in desperate need of help.

That's why officials at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History have started a Kickstarter campaign to help conserve the famous ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz."

The shoes, which were worn by Judy Garland, were donated to the museum in 1979 by an anonymous donor.

>> Read more trending stories  

The slippers were intended to last only through the end of filming in 1939, but have lasted more than 80 years.

Museum experts say the pair of sparkly shoes, which are covered with red sequins, "need immediate conservation care and a new, state-of-the-art display case."

The movie's costume designer took a pair of normal shoes, dyed them red and then attached a red netting that was covered with sequins. The sequins are losing their color and some threads that hold the sequins in place have broken.

The Smithsonian hopes to raise $300,000 by the end of the campaign. Last year, the museum launched a Kickstarter to conserve Neil Armstrong's spacesuit. It successfully raised more than $719,000.

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Iconic songs added to National Recording Registry

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

Iconic songs added to National Recording Registry

More than two dozen songs that shaped our memories have been added to the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.

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Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow” will now be preserved for history.

The hit song from “The Wizard of Oz” will be joined by the original cast recording of “The Wiz,” N.W.A’s “Straight Outta Compton,” and The Eagles’ “Their Greatest Hits.”

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said, “This year’s exciting list gives us a full range of sound experiences. These sounds of the past enrich our understanding of the nation’s cultural history and our history in general.”

Barbra Streisand’s first hit single “People” was also included in this year’s addition.

Don McLean’s 1971 anthem “American Pie” was also added. 

The new additions bring the total number of recordings on the registry to 475, but the Library of Congress has about 3 million recordings in its collection.

To be considered, a song has to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and at least 10 years old.

Click here to see the complete list of 25 songs added to the the National Registry.

Must-see: High school dance team's 'Wizard of Oz' homecoming routine goes viral

There's no place like homecoming at Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona.

>> Click here to watch

According to the Arizona Republic, the school's Performing Arts Crew dance team, aka PAC, recently took the school gymnasium – and the internet – by storm with a "Wizard of Oz"-themed shimmy down the yellow brick road.

>> Read more trending news 

The eye-popping routine quickly went viral, raking in 1.45 million views since it was posted late last month.

Read more here.

Renee Zellweger to play Judy Garland in new movie

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Renee Zellweger to play Judy Garland in new movie

Actress Renee Zellweger will play the lead role in a movie about the final year of Judy Garland’s life that will begin production in February 2018, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

>> Read more trending news

“Judy” will chronicle the true story of Garland as she arrives in swinging London in 1968 to perform in a series of sellout shows, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It has been nearly 30 years since Garland shot to fame as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” and as she prepares to perform, she battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and fans, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Garland died on June 22, 1969, in London at the age of 47 from an overdose of barbiturates.

Zellweger, who was born two months before Garland’s death, won an Academy Award in 2003 for Best Supporting Actress in the war drama film, “Cold Mountain.”

Jerry Maren, last living munchkin from ‘Wizard of Oz,’ dies at 98

Jerry Maren, the last surviving Munchkin from “The Wizard of Oz,” has died at age 98, TMZ reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Maren’s niece, Stacy Michelle Barrington, confirmed his death to Fox News on Wednesday.

Barrington said Maren died over a month ago, but the family decided to hold of sharing the news in the media.

“I wish I had grown up with him and had spent more time and being around him growing up," Barrington told Fox News. "I’m grateful to have had such important people in my family. Uncle Jerry would want the legacy of the 'Wizard of Oz' to continue.”

Maren is best-known as the Munchkin who welcomed Dorothy Gale (played by Judy Garland) to Munchkinland in the classic 1939 film, as part of the Lollipop Guild in the classic 1939 film.

Maren died at a nursing care facility in San Diego, California, TMZ reported.

The actor was laid to rest at Forest Lawn in Hollywood, the outlet said.

In an interview with the New York Post in 2009, Maren said he had just graduated high school and was appearing in a vaudeville act when he was approached by a casting agent for The Wizard of Oz.

He told the New York Post he had never seen a fellow little person before that point in his life.

“There were 124 of us, young boys, young girls, old guys and old women,” said Maren. “We were all paid $50 a week because we didn’t have agents. They thought we were stupid, but we knew we were getting the shaft. Toto was getting $150 a week.”

Maren said he loved the movie, which he worked on for “about two weeks.”

"Whenever they needed a Munchkin extra in another scene, I was in there,” Maren said. “I loved Judy Garland. She was an angel to work with.”

Maren continued to work as an actor into the early 2000s and made a special guest appearance in a 1997 episode of “Seinfeld,” Us Magazine reports.

Maren’s wife, Elizabeth, died in 2011 at age 69.

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

No place like home: Stolen Ruby Slippers recovered

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

No place like home: Stolen Ruby Slippers recovered

FILE PHOTOS: A pair of the famed Ruby Slippers from "The Wizard of Oz," like the ones pictured above, were stolen in 2005. The FBI announced Tuesday that the stolen shoes have been recovered.

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