During my early years in Hollywood I was honored to work for all the major studios as well as Paramount, but my favorite of all was the famous House of Mouse.
I was absolutely thrilled when Walt Disney himself chose me to play Prince Charming in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and on day one I turned up on set with a spring in my step and a parsnip in my codpiece, ready for action.
I can’t remember who was playing Snow White, and to this day I wouldn’t recognize her with her clothes on if you know what I mean, but the dwarves were all great chaps. What they lacked in height they more than made up for in enthusiasm. That said, get a few drinks in them and there were all sorts of problems!
It all kicked off one day in WC Fields’ dressing room. He was doing an hilarious drag turn as the wicked witch, but was furious to find that Margaret Hamilton had pinched his hat and was wearing it on The Wizard of Oz! The dwarves weren’t going to put up with that, and I’m somewhat ashamed to say that I stole a car and drove them over to Warner Bros in order to get it back.
To cut a long story short, there was an almighty punch up with the Munchkins, Fields pulled Judy Garland’s pigtails, and I let the monkeys loose in Jack Warner’s office. They completely trashed the place! The good news was that we got the hat back, the bad news was that Warner Bros had no sense of humour at all and decided to press charges. Three of the dwarves got six months each for affray, and I was lucky to receive a suspended sentence.
Luckily by that time Uncle Walt had bought a new pencil and decided to release Snow White as an animated feature instead. But that’s another story…
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