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Wizard Of Oz Actor Karl Slover Dies

November 16, 2011

Actor Karl Slover, who was best known for playing a Munchkin in the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz, has died aged 93.

The star, who passed away on Tuesday with heart problems, was one of the last surviving cast members.

Slover, who was one of the smallest male Munchkins in the movie, played the lead trumpeter, a townsman and soldier in the Oscar-winning film.

John Fricke, author of 100 Years of Oz, said he had a “genuine immortality”.

The writer said Slover and his Munchkin colleagues enjoyed fame for many years after the film was released.

In the 1980s the movie found a new generation of fans, and the group of surviving Munchkin actors began making appearances.

“Of the 124 little people, he’s one of the handful who got to enjoy this latter-day fame, to have people know who he was and be able to pick him out of the crowd in the movie,” said Mr Fricke.

The actor was originally cast to play a lesser role in the movie, but was made lead trumpeter when another actor got stage fright during filming.

In 2007 seven of the surviving Munchkin stars were honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.

They arrived at the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage, dressed in green and blue costumes, and singing to the crowds waiting outside the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

In April last year Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Munchkin coroner, passed away.

Flowers were left on the Munchkin star to commemorate his death.

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