Aljean Harmetz is the author of The Making of the Wizard of Oz (1977), an in-depth, behind-the-curtain look at how the 1939 MGM movie was made and at the people who made it. Among the dozens of people she interviewed were Ray Bolger, Margaret Hamilton, special effects wizard Buddy Gillespie, and 83-year-old Carl Spitz, the trainer of Toto. In 1990, The Making of the Wizard of Oz was honored as one of the 100 best books ever written on the movies. She adapted the book into a television documentary that was shown several times on public television.
As the Hollywood correspondent for the New York Times from 1978 to 1990, Aljean also wrote several articles about the world of Oz and about the International Wizard of Oz Club. A long-time member of the Club, she has lectured at the Winkie, South Winkie, and Ozmopolitan conventions.
Aljean grew up just outside the walls of the MGM studios, where her mother worked in the wardrobe department. She is also a novelist, the author of several other books about films, and the writer of several hundred magazine articles. Aljean has received Yale University’s Poynter Fellowship, an award for distinguished journalism.