The Wizard of Oz was and still is a wonder to behold. Great story, effects, costumes, sets, and actors. Everyone adores the singular sensation, Judy Garland, in her lead role as Dorothy. But how many filmgoers remember that a number of the actors in The Wizard of Oz played more than one role?
Yes, they did. Many of these roles were spilt between Kansas and Oz. Ray Bolger played the role of Hunk, the farmhand, in Kansas, and that of the brainless scarecrow in Oz. Jack Haley was Hickory, another farmhand, in Kansas and the heartless, but nice, Tin Man in Oz. Bert Lahr took on the roles of Zeke, the third Kansas farmhand, and the Cowardly Lion in Oz. Margaret Hamilton played Miss Almira Gulch, the ill-natured townswoman in Kansas and the scary-as-heck Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz.
Those are all the dual role players in The Wizard of Oz. But there was one actor who played not two, but five roles in the film. And for all his hard work and his high standing as an actor, he received second billing on the film right under the great Judy Garland. His name, Frank Morgan. His roles in The Wizard of Oz, plentiful.
Let’s begin with his only role in Kansas as Professor Marvel, the traveling fortuneteller. Then, in Oz, Frank Morgan played the gatekeeper of the Emerald City, the driver of the carriage drawn by “The Horse of a Different Color”, the armed guard leading to the Wizard’s hall, and, of course, the great and powerful Wizard of Oz.
Frank Morgan appeared in nearly 100 films, but he was best known for his portrayal of the title character in the film The Wizard of Oz—an unforgettable character in an unforgettable movie.