Old Hollywood gave the world some beautiful movies. But behind the scenes, things weren’t always pretty. Films such as The Wizard of Oz and White Christmas literally covered their actors in an extremely dangerous substance in order to get the shot they wanted. The movie industry no longer does this – but back in the old days, actors very much did die from it.
When movies first became a recognized form of art, actors didn’t have the health and safety regulations that they’re granted today. If you were asked to do something dangerous, you were expected to do it. Stunt performers did exist, but most movie studios couldn’t afford to hire one – or simply didn’t want to.