Thursday, September 22, 2005

Crime of the century
Somehow this bit of news managed to get submerged when Hurricane Katrina blasted the Gulf coast.
A rare pair of the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the classic movie "Wizard of Oz" were stolen during the weekend [of August 27-28] in what appears to be a targeted burglary at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn.

Insured for $1 million, the shoes are one of four pairs known to exist that were used in the 1939 movie, said their owner, Michael Shaw, a North Hollywood movie memorabilia collector.

"It's the worst nightmare for me," he said. "The theft is not only a crime against me but against children. Those shoes have been used to raise money for AIDS, for helping get kids off the street, reading programs, and for children with Downs syndrome and autism."

Of the other three pairs, two are in private collections and one is in the Smithsonian. Mr. Shaw loans his pair out for charity fundraising events, fan gatherings, and general public display. His public-mindedness made him a good target for a thief. There's not much I can add except to say that it really sucks and I hope the slippers find their way home soon.

Meanwhile, in happier movie news, the Empire State Building has established a permanent display of Fay Wray memorabilia in their lobby. Like many actors who became identified with one role in the public mind, Wray had something of a love hate relationship with her King Kong fame. And like many of those actors, she later made peace with the role and came to enjoy the instant recognition. She titled her autobiography On the Other Hand and said "Every time I'm in New York I say a little prayer when passing the Empire State Building. A good friend of mine died up there."

No comments: