The iconic shoes were sold at auction by collector Debbie Reynolds last year (11) and now Academy officials have revealed DiCaprio led a group of ‘angel donors’ whose gifts to the Academy Foundation enabled the purchase.
Bob Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Co. and chairman of the capital campaign for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, says, “The ruby slippers occupy an extraordinary place in the hearts of movie audiences the world over. This is a transformative acquisition for our collection.”
Academy CEO Dawn Hudson adds, “Leo’s passionate leadership has helped us bring home this legendary piece of movie history. 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.”
The slippers are one of four pairs from the film known to exist – but the Reynolds item is believed to be in the most pristine condition. It is widely believed that these are the slippers Garland wore in close-ups and insert shots, most famously when Dorothy clicks her heels three times to return to Kansas.