Saturday, April 10, 2010

Meinhardt Raabe 1915-2010

I found out last night that we've lost another Munchkin. Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Munchkin Coroner in The Wizard of Oz, passed away in Florida. He was ninety-four, the oldest of the surviving Munchkin actors. Although Oz was the only movie he appeared in, his twelve seconds of screentime, warbling his line ("As Coroner, I must aver, I've thoroughly examined her. And she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead.") were memorable. He also made many appearances as Little Oscar, the chef for Oscar Meyer, in the famous Weinermobile. During World War II, he was an instructor and pilot for the Civil Air Patrol. When the Oz community rediscovered him in the 1980s, he embarked on a new career as, essentially, a professional Munchkin, appearing at conventions and events all over the country. His autobiography, Memories of a Munchkin, came out in 2005, and he won the 2008 L. Frank Baum Memorial Award from the International Wizard of Oz Club. He also attended the 2007 ceremony awarding the Munchkins a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Update: One of my favorite bloggers, writer Mark Evanier, got to talk to Meinhardt about being Little Oscar, and another Munchkin, Jerry Maren, gets into the story, too. It's all right here.

No comments: