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The Cowardly Lion from THE WIZARD OF OZThe Cowardly Lion - Probably the most famous lion in popular culture outside of the MGM Film mascot. The Cowardly Lion was created by Lyman Frank Baum and featured in his book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (1900). As the story goes, the lion was a coward, and afraid of his own shadow. He traveled to the Emerald Kingdom with the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Dorothy Gale of Kansas to see if the Wizard of Oz could give him courage. He battled the Wicked Witch and won the right to drink courage from the Wizard's green bottle.

In the film adaptation The Wizard of Oz (1939), which has been rerun on television over the years, actor Bert Lahr portrayed the cowardly lion and sang his now famous rendition of "If I Were the King of The For-r-r-r-est!" In the screen version, the lion was awarded with a badge of courage that the Wizard pinned to his fur.

The Cowardly Lion returned to television in the Saturday morning cartoon THE WIZARD OF OZ/ABC/1990-91, an animated adaptation of the classic story.

Dorothy Meets the Cowardly Lion - Oz illustration by W. W. Denslow

Cover of 1923 book THE COWARDLY LION

The Cowardly Lion from the 1991 WIZARD OF OZ cartoon Series

Dorothy Meets the Cowardly Lion - Oz illustration by W. W. Denslow

Cover of 1923 book "The Cowardly Lion" by Ruth Plumly Thompson

The Cowardly Lion with his friends - from the 1990 animated TV series

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