Ebsen was first chosen as the one to portray the Scarecrow in the 1939 film, but the actor later swapped characters with Ray Bolger to play the Tin Man in this iconic movie. Buddy Ebsen successfully went through all the rehearsals, recorded the Tin Man's part in the songs and began working, but not long after he started experiencing terrible shortness of breath. The actor was hospitalized. As it turned out, the aluminum dust used in Ebsen's costume and makeup was the reason for these health problems. Ebsen was forced to leave the production. His lung problems caused by the face paint were the bane of the actor's life until his death in 2003. Ebsen often complained about them.

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