Oz in the News 3.7.12

Betty Ann Bruno says hello to hula again  Born to a Chinese Hawaiian mother and a Dutch Irish father, Bruno spent her formative years feeling like a stranger in her own skin. When she learned to dance as a child in the 1930s, it was because Hollywood filmmakers wanted little hula girls. Her mother denied her Chinese heritage and didn’t teach the Hawaiian ways. There were great memories, including her time on the set of the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.” The producers didn’t have enough small adult actors to play Munchkins, so they recruited a few children to stand in the back. “It was filmed in November, and it was magic,” Bruno says. “This was the Depression, and … there was no Fairyland, there was no Disneyland. There was no color in people’s lives. But the Munchkin set, it was miraculous.”

Anne Hathaway Inaugurates Audible.com ‘A-List’ Audio Book Series Hathaway had never read the Wizard of Oz before but when someone suggested it she fell in love in the story and its many different voices. She said she was surprised at how much new she discovered in the book, even though she’s a fan of the classic movie. For her performance, Hathaway imagined reading to her young cousins.

Shoe repair shop makes a footprint in Hollywood For a recent episode of the TV series “Modern Family,” Raul Ojeda crafted a pair of shoes covered in red sequins for actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson. His character, Mitchell, shows off the shoes for a “Wizard of Oz”-themed birthday party he throws for his partner, Cam. A decade ago, Raul Ojeda was working as a shoe shiner. Now the 29-year-old is leaving his own footprint in Hollywood, supplying custom-made shoes to the stars, from Steve Carell to Sally Field.

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