Leonardo DiCaprio and Pals Donate Wizard of Ozâ€™s Ruby Slippers
There's no place like home--and thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio, some legendary footwear has found a new one!
The J. Edgar star, 37, joined forces with other industry donors (including Steven Spielberg) to help the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures add the ultimate piece of movie memorabilia to its collection: the iconic ruby slippers from 1939's Wizard of Oz. According to a report by Deadline, only four pairs used during the film's production are around today -- the slippers acquired by the actor's foundation are thought to be in the best condition of any of the pairs still in existence.
The red heels purchased by DiCaprio and his pals have been dubbed the "Witch's Shoes"; movie buffs believe they're the pair shown on the feet of the Wicked Witch of the East after her unfortunate encounter with Dorothy's house, as well as the ones used during close-ups of Judy Garland's feet.
Prior to their recent donation, the glittery slippers lived at MGM's Culver City studios until 1970, when costume designer Kent Warner discovered them while prepping for a studio auction. Warner held onto them for eleven years before selling them to a private collector. (The shoes would be sold again in 1988 to a second private collection, where they remained until now.)
Academy leaders are thrilled about the newest addition to their museum. "Leo's passionate leadership has helped us bring home this legendary piece of movie history," Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. Added Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger (who also helms the museum's capital campaign), "The ruby slippers occupy an extraordinary place in the hearts of movie audiences the world over...This is a transformative acquisition for our collection."