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Margaret (Wicked Witch of the West) Hamilton Was Almost Scarred For Life Filming Wizard of Oz

Margaret (Wicked Witch of the West) Hamilton Was Almost Scarred For Life Filming Wizard of Oz

In the interview below, esteemed actress Margaret Hamilton, who portrayed The Wicked Witch of the West in Wizard of Oz, tells about one of her first scenes for that film when pyrotechnics went off in a wrong way burning her hands and face and almost scarring her for life.

“It happened almost immediately. I would expect them to burn me up at the end of the picture but not at the beginning but however that's what happened and it was just one of those accidents and it happened when I disappeared in Munchkinland,” Hamilton states.

“Having frightened the life out of most of the little munchkins and put Dorothy in her place, and a good fairy, for that matter. Then, anyway, she was not getting what she wanted at that moment was going to come back and she disappeared by dropping through, standing over a little elevator that went down suddenly and I dropped six feet. And, during that process, before anything moved, meaning me, there's an enormous amount of smoke that came up and then smoke and then, being clothed so to speak in smoke, I dropped down. That's was not seen and then three men somewhere pulled of wires and moved the little piece of pavement over it and then the fire came up and burned the smoke away and I was gone. Which is a very good effect. Well, they just turned the fire around too soon and I ended up with my hat and broom catching fire.

“I was very lucky because I had to quite a burn on my hand and somewhat on my face but I lived through it thanks to Jack Don a good deal. Because he had programmed his young makeup artists, each of us had our own, and they knew exactly what was in everyone's makeup so if any accident happened they would know what must come off and what can be let alone and so forth. My young man knew that it had all had to come off. It was green paint and there's copper in it and copper eats right into your skin and so they had to get it all off otherwise I would have had a pot of face full of potholes. I was very lucky.”

Watch this fascinating look at Margaret Hamilton’s long and varied career:

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