Lahr’s Cowardly Lion Costume Sold at Over $3M

Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz has been retold in many different ways throughout history. The latest one was a 2013 movie entitled Oz the Great and Powerful, which cast was led by actor James Franco and directed by Sam Raimi. While this movie was focused more on the perspective of the Wizard Oz, the original 1939 musical film the Wizard of Oz, focused more on the adventure of Dorothy Gale with the assistance of the Tin Man Hickory, Scarecrow Hunk and the Cowardly Lion Zeke. These characters were given to life by Judy Garland, Jack Haley, Ray Bolger and Bert Lahr respectively.

The story became so famous that even the movie costumes of the classic 1939 film hold high prices in the market today. And Bert Lahr’s costume for the Cowardly Lion was priced at 3 million dollars when it was sold at a New York auction last November 4, 2014 Monday. While the secondary costume was also sold years ago at 1 million dollars, it was expected that this piece will fetch a higher price than the secondary one.

Together with other movie costumers and Hollywood props, the Cowardly Lion costume was featured in the auction event TCM Presents: There’s No Place like Hollywood, where it also featured other Hollywood items like Gone with the Wind actor Clark Gable’s riding jacket and 1942 film Casablanca actor Dooley Wilson’s character, Sam’s, piano.

And while the top auction items were the Wizard of Oz Cowardly Lion costume and Casablanca’s Piano both sold for more than 3 million dollars each, the Hollywood auction at Bonham’s that day was embraced by the public. The owner of the Cowardly Lion costume, James Comisar, said that the money will be used for the exhibit of his TV memorabilia collection including props and TV costumes from Lost and I Love Lucy.

There are more television and movie costumes which can be sold at TV store online. While this may not be as grand as the auctions, anyone can get their hands on a costume or prop with a price they can manage.

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