Meinhardt Raabe

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Meinhardt Raabe as Little Oscar

Meinhardt Raabe (born September 2, 1915 in Watertown , Wisconsin , † April 9, 2010 in Orange Park , Florida ) was a short American actor.

Youth and appearance in the Wizard of Oz

Meinhardt Raabe was born into a family of German descent in Watertown , Wisconsin , where he lived for most of his life. He was short and only 1.07 m tall in his life. In 1937 he graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison , but initially did not find a job until he was hired as a salesman for the meat company Oscar Mayer . He became known for his role as the Munchkin Coroner in the classic The Wizard of Oz , the film adaptation of Lyman Frank Baum 's children's book. The Munchkins are a short people in Oz in the film, played by 124 short actors. He spoke the following lines with which he confirmed the death of the wicked witch of the east:

As coroner, I must aver
I thoroughly examined her
And she's not only merely dead
She's really, most sincerely dead!

In contrast to many other dwarf actors, he didn't have to be dubbed in the original version. Raabe was not mentioned in the credits for this appearance, but the popularity of the film also gave Raabe a certain level of awareness in the long term. In addition, he was used by Oscar Meyer as an advertising character “Little Oscar”, which he embodied for several decades. In this context he also traveled in the Wienermobile .

Further life

He joined the Civil Air Patrol during World War II . In 1946 he married his wife Margaret Marie Raabe, with whom he stayed for over 50 years until her death. At an advanced age, he moved to the Penney Retirement Community in Penney Farms , Florida . His wife died there in 1997 in a car accident in which Raabe was injured.

As one of the last living Munchkind actors, he was a sought-after interviewee. For example, he appeared on an episode of Entertainment Tonight with eight other Munchkin cast members in October 2005 and made a guest appearance on The Jimmy Kimmel Show that same year . In 2007, he attended the unveiling of a plaque for the Munchkin cast on the Hollywood Walk of Fame . In 2008 he received the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award from the International Wizard of Oz Club. Raabe also published an autobiography, Memories of a Munchkin: An Illustrated Walk Down the Yellow Brick Road ( ISBN 0-8230-9193-7 ).

Meinhardt Raabe died of heart failure on April 9, 2010 at the age of 94. He was the last person alive from the film with dialogue text , although Jerry Maren - who wrote the lyrics as a member of the Lollipop Guild - only died in 2018.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Margaret Marie Raabe (February 25, 1915 - October 22, 1997) according to the Florida Death Index.
  2. APA / DPA: "Wizard of Oz" star died at the age of 94 . In: Retrieved April 11, 2010.
  3. APA / DPA: "Wizard of Oz" star died at the age of 94 . In: Retrieved April 11, 2010.
  4. ^ Obituary New York Times , April 10, 2010; Page A21.