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OTRC: Leonardo DiCaprio helps buy 'Wizard of Oz' ruby slippers for Academy Museum

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has aquired a pair of ruby slippers from 'The Wizard of Oz.' (Profiles in History / Lou Bustamante)

Leonardo DiCaprio led a group of "angel donors" that included Steven Spielberg to buy a pair of the iconic ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz," for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts announced the news in a statement on February 22. Additional donations also came from Terry Semel, co-chair of LACMA and the former chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. and Yahoo!, as well as other donors.

"The ruby slippers occupy an extraordinary place in the hearts of movie audiences the world over," Bob Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Co. and chair of the capital campaign for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, said in a statement. "This is a transformative acquisition for our collection." Disney is the parent company of OnTheRedCarpet.com.

"Leo's passionate leadership has helped us bring home this legendary piece of movie history," Academy CEO Dawn Hudson added. "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."

There are four pairs of ruby slippers from the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" known to exist and the shoes acquired by the Academy are in the best condition. It is believed the slippers are the shoes Judy Garland wore in close-ups when Dorothy clicks her heels three times to return to Kansas.

After production of the film ended in 1939, the ruby slippers were stored on MGM's Culver City lot for the next 30 years. One pair of slippers was sold at the auction and was donated anonymously to the Smithsonian in 1979.

Warner kept the finest pair in his private collection for more than a decade before selling them at auction in 1981. They were sold again in 1988 to another private collector, and have been displayed publicly only a handful of times in the years since, most notably at the National Portrait Gallery and the Library of Congress.

The Academy and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced plans to establish the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures inside the historic May Company building, currently known as LACMA West, in October 2011. The building has been a Los Angeles landmark since its opening in 1939, the same year "The Wizard of Oz" premiered.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts is the organization behind the Oscars, which is set to air on February 26.

Check out Oscar.com and make your picks on who you think will win at this year's Academy Awards. Also check out Entertainment Weekly writer Dave Karger's Oscar Poll Insight below, where he gives tips to win your Oscar pool.

See moments in Oscar history on the interactive timeline available on the official Oscar.com website.

Oscar.com also hosts the official Oscar blog, which will feature red carpet fashion trends and tips from chef and lifestyle experts for hosting the best Oscar party.

The site also has a social media page, Oscar Buzz, which tracks comments from fans using #Oscars and #OscarBuzz.

Billy Crystal is returning to host the 84th annual Academy Awards. The ceremony will air live on Sunday, February 26, 2012 on ABC, OnTheRedCarpet.com's parent company.

OnTheRedCarpet.com will have complete coverage of the Oscar season.

Before the ceremony, "On The Red Carpet" will be streaming LIVE online from our exclusive spot directly over the red carpet. The show will feature cameras all over the red carpet (including the fashion cam), and even behind the scenes, to give you all the best views of Oscar Sunday. Plus, your Facebook comments, Tweets and Google + reactions will be part of our show! Just use the hash tag #OTRC.

The show will be hosted by Lawrence Zarian, a TV personality and style expert who has been a regular on "Live with Regis and Kelly" (now, "Live with Kelly") for many years, and Tina Malave, host of KABC-TV show "Eye on LA."

Mondo Guerra from season 8 of "Project Runway," will also stop by to dish about fashion. We'll also stay posted on what viewers are buzzing about with our "Red Hot. Right Now." social chart revealing the latest trends.

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Also check out the FREE Oscars.com app.

It's now available online in the iTunes App Store. The official app of the Academy Awards gives movie fans the most exclusive, interactive Oscar Night experience ever.

Not only can you make your Oscar picks, you can even compete with friends on Facebook. On Oscar Sunday, users play along during the show and predict category winners ahead of the opening of the envelopes. The app will refresh and calculate your results as categories are won.

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