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However, he insisted that he would rather play the Scarecrow--his childhood idol Fred Stone had originated that role on stage in
However, he insisted that he would rather play the Scarecrow--his childhood idol Fred Stone had originated that role on stage in Buddy Ebsen had been cast as the Scarecrow, and now switched roles with Bolger.
Unbeknownst to him, however, the make-up for the Tin Man contained aluminum dust, which ended up coating Ebsen's lungs. He also had an allergic reaction to it. One day he was physically unable to breathe and had to be rushed to hospital.
The part was immediately recast and MGM gave no public reason why Ebsen was being replaced. The actor considered this the biggest humiliation he ever endured and a abwrdeen affront. When Jack Haley took over the part of the Tin Man, he wasn't told why Ebsen had dropped out and in the meantime, the Tin Man make-up was changed from aluminum dust to aluminum paste as one of its key components.
However, his vocals remain whenever the song "We're off to see the Wizard" is played. Although Ebsen didn't appear in the film, surviving still photos show him taking part in the Wicked Witch's castle sequence, and his voice is the one heard in the song "We're Off to See the Wizard.