- The title role was written with W.C. Fields in mind. Producer Mervyn LeRoy wanted Ed Wynn, who turned down the role. Studio executive Freed wanted Fields, and offered him $75,000. Fields supposedly wanted $100,000. According to a letter from Fields' agent (and supposedly written by Fields) Fields turned down to role to devote his time to writing the script for "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man".
- Gale Sondergaard was originally cast as the Wicked Witch of the West.
- Ray Bolger was originally cast as the Tin Woodsman. However, he insisted that he would rather play the Scarecrow - his childhood idol, Fred Stone had originated that role on stage in 1902.
- Buddy Ebsen had been cast as the Scarecrow, and now switched roles with Bolger. But the aluminum powder makeup for the Tin Woodsman was toxic and Ebsen apparently had an allergic reaction to it as well. He left the picture, but his voice can still be heard in "Off to see the Wizard".
- Jack Haley took over the Tin Woodsman's role, and the makeup was changed to a paste so that he did not inhale the aluminum as much. He presumed that Ebsen had been fired, and did not learn the truth until later.
Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.Click here to contribute