Betty Danko (19 September 1903 – 3 February 1979) was Margaret Hamilton's stand-in for the role of the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz. Danko earned $11 per day as a stand-in, which rose to $35 per day for stunt work.
Danko suffered an on-set accident on 11 February 1939: she was severely injured during the filming of the "Surrender Dorothy" sequence. After her own earlier accident, Hamilton had refused to play in any scene involving fire. Danko sat on a smoking pipe configured to look like the Witch's broomstick. On the third take of the scene, the pipe exploded. Danko spent eleven days in the hospital. Her legs were permanently scarred.
Danko made $790 for her work on the Oz film, plus the $35 she earned for riding the broomstick. She continued to do stunt work in other films.
- Kenneth Von Gunden, Flights of Fancy: The Great Fantasy Films, Jefferson, NC, McFarland, 1989; p. 222.
- Aljean Harmetz, The Making of the Wizard of Oz, Delta edition, 1989; pp. 277-9.