Tag Archive for: ruby slippers

Judy Garland’s Ruby Slippers

Judy Penz Sheluk

Something you may not know about me: I was named after Judy Garland. In fact, my real name is Judy (not Judith). My mom, Anneliese, (who everyone called Ann) was a practical woman who determined that no one would shorten Judy. Of course, she was also the first person to call me Jude (before you get any ideas, I do not take kindly to the abbreviated version of Judy and under no circumstances should you sing “Hey Jude” to me).
Anyway, this month, the Stiletto Gang is celebrating our new logo and so I thought it would be the perfect time to share some fun facts about Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.

  1. In Frank L. Baum’s book, the slippers were silver. They were changed to ruby red for the movie to show up more vividly against the yellow brick road.  
  2. The ruby slippers owe their glitter to burgundy sequins.
  3. Several pairs were made for the movie; the exact number is unknown as studio records have long been destroyed. There were four pairs known to survive, only three pairs remain.
  4. A well worn pair was donated to the Smithsonian in 1979; the bottoms have felt soles to muffle the sound of Judy’s dancing footsteps on the yellow brick road. They are size 5.
  5. In 2005, one pair of ruby slippers, on loan to the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, were stolen. They were recovered on Tues. Sept. 4, 2018 — details have not yet been released, but keep watching the newsfeed!
  6. Actress Debbie Reynolds owned an off-screen test pair, which she purchased for $300. She sold them at auction in 2011 for $690,000 to a private buyer at auction.
  7. Lady Gaga was given a pair of ruby slippers in 2011 for her 25th birthday.
  8. In 2012, Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio purchased one of the four remaining (known) pairs of the ruby slippers from an auction house, and donated them to the future Academy Museum (opening in 2019). The price paid was never disclosed. 

Do you know any more Ruby Slippers trivia? If so, share your knowledge in the comments below and start clicking your heels.
PS: I think Judy Garland would approve of me telling you that my latest mystery, Past & Present, will be released on Sept. 21, 2018. Pre-order the trade paperback at all the usual suspects or pre-order on Kindle for the special introductory price of $2.99 (reg. $5.99) and thank you!