You’d think Leonardio DiCaprio would be a wee bit irked that the Academy didn’t shower nominations his latest film, “J. Edgar.” (He’s historically been snubbed by the Oscar committee.) But the “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” star has no sour grapes. On Wednesday, DiCaprio opened up his wallet to help the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences acquire the ruby shoes from “The Wizard of Oz.”
According to a press release put out by the Academy, he led a group of “angel donors,” including Steven Spielberg, whose gifts to the Academy Foundation enabled them to purchase the iconic slippers. The amount of their donation was not disclosed.
The slippers will eventually be displayed at the forthcoming Academy Museum in Los Angeles.
“The ruby slippers occupy an extraordinary place in the hearts of movie audiences the world over,” said Bob Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Co. (which owns ABC News) and chair of the capital campaign for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. “This is a transformative acquisition for our collection.”
“Leo’s passionate leadership has helped us bring home this legendary piece of movie history,” added Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “It’s a wonderful gift to the Academy museum project, and a perfect representation of the work we do year-round to preserve and share our film heritage.”
While four pairs of ruby slippers were used in “The Wizard of Oz,” the pair that DiCaprio helped the Academy acquire is thought to be the one that Judy Garland wore when Dorothy clicks her heels three times to return to Kansas.