Bert Lahr Signed & Inscribed 8×10 Photo, “The Wizard of Oz” Era c1939

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We sold this item at auction for $492
 in October 2021.

This vintage photo was consigned to our auction by Broadway’s Shubert family – an 8″x10″ portrait of actor Bert Lahr, signed and inscribed to Lawrence Shubert Lawrence, Jr.

Lahr appears here, wearing that wonderful smile that peeks through the lion’s costume, photographed during the period of his greatest fame as the Cowardly Lion in MGM’s “The Wizard of Oz”.

Photographed by G. Maillard Kesslere (1894-1979), famed theatrical photographer and one of the finest of the bust format photographers of the late 1920s and 1930s. Kesslere was awarded recognition by the British Royal Academy of Photography, and appended B.P. to his signature in later life.

Playing The Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz”

Transitioning from Broadway and vaudeville, Lahr’s theatrical experience enriched his most memorable character. Renowned for his stage prowess, he brought great charm to his dual roles as the Cowardly Lion and “Zeke” in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939).

Judy Garland and Bert Lahr shared a sweet camaraderie on the set of “The Wizard of Oz”. Garland, then just 16 years old, and Lahr formed a close bond off-screen. Lahr’s comedic genius and warmth resonated with young Judy, fostering a supportive atmosphere during what was a very challenging production.

Their real-life chemistry translated to the film, contributing to the enduring magic of “The Wizard of Oz.

Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion Costume Sells at Auction

In 2014, the original Cowardly Lion costume worn by Lahr on screen sold for $3,077,000 at auction. The forgotten old costume was discovered by a junk dealer who was cleaning out an abandoned MGM building.

Bert Lahr Beyond The Lion

Limited in film roles, he made a memorable debut in 1931’s “Flying High,” reprising his aviator role. His legacy extends to the iconic catchphrase “Heavens to Murgatroyd,” later quipped by the Hanna-Barbera character Snagglepuss.

Get a Free Appraisal of Signed “Wizard of Oz” Photos

If you’re interested in selling original “The Wizard of Oz” related photos or autographs at auction with us, check out our Hollywood memorabilia consignment page for more information.

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