Monday, August 19, 2019

A Make-Up Lesson from Fred Stone

Fred Stone was born on this day, August 19th, in 1873. As you probably know, he created the part of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. To celebrate, I'm sharing a photo of him very late in life, applying his Scarecrow make-up to his daughter Dorothy in 1952. He was seventy-eight.

Fred Stone applying Scarecrow make-up to his daughter Dorothy, July 1952.

Dorothy Stone was born in 1905 while Fred Stone was still touring with The Wizard of Oz; and she was indeed named after Dorothy Gale. She made her theatrical debut when Fred carried her onstage during a performance when she was an infant. Her mother was Allene Crater, who played the part of Cynthia Cynch in The Wizard of Oz.

Dorothy Stone had quite a career herself, making her Broadway debut in Jerome Kern's Stepping Stones. We'll talk more about Dorothy's illustrious career in future posts. But today, on Fred's birthday, let's share in this fond moment.

Dorothy had been hired to play the part of the Scarecrow in the Sacramento Music Circus production of The Wizard of Oz in July 1952. This production used the MGM songs and was probably the Muny version. But for this production Fred Stone, the very first Scarecrow, gave her a make-up lesson. He always followed Baum's description and made one eye larger. He also drew the smaller eye off-center. One of his "tricks" was to keep his eyes mostly closed, as he had drawn the Scarecrow's small pupils on his eyelids, and it helped duplicate the Scarecrow's face from the original book illustrations by W. W. Denslow.

In reality the make-up job he is showing her is nowhere near as intricate and successful as his actual make-up in the early 1900s. But it is still a great father and daughter moment! Below you can see her in a publicity photograph with her husband Charles Collins, who played the Tin Woodman, and Joan Elms, who played Dorothy. And she is posing with her eyes about three quarters closed to achieve her father's "circle around the dot" eye make-up technique.

Dorothy Stone, Joan Elms, and Charles Collins.
So Happy Birthday to the very first Scarecrow, Fred Stone!

Copyright © 2019 David Maxine. All rights reserved.


  1. David, did you buy that scrapbook of photos and clippings of this production? It was on eBay a few years ago.