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Meinhardt Raabe
Born September 2, 1915 (1915-09-02) (age 94)
Jefferson County, Wisconsin,
United States

Meinhardt Raabe (born September 2, 1915) is an American actor. He is the oldest surviving Munchkin-actors from The Wizard of Oz, and is now the only surviving cast member with any significant dialogue in the film. He was born in Jefferson County, Wisconsin.

Raabe graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1937. He was the Coroner in The Wizard of Oz in 1939, with his only lines being:

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

These lines, like most of those delivered by the Munchkins, were dubbed over with the sped-up voices of other performers. In addition to his role in the film, Raabe worked for many decades as a spokesman for Oscar Mayer. Raabe was known as 'Little Oscar, World's Smallest Chef'. He traveled in the first Wienermobile (produced in 1936).

Post Oz

Raabe joined the Civil Air Patrol during World War II. After the war he earned an MBA, and married a cigarette girl who was his height, Margaret Marie Raabe (1915-1997).[1] They were married for fifty years until her death in a car accident in 1997. As of 2007 he lives alone at the Penney Retirement Community in Penney Farms, Florida.[2] [3]

He published an autobiography titled Memories of a Munchkin: An Illustrated Walk Down the Yellow Brick Road. (ISBN 0-8230-9193-7). He appeared in an October 2005 episode of Entertainment Tonight with eight more surviving Munchkins, and made a guest appearance on The Jimmy Kimmel Show on April 11, 2005.

Despite his age, Raabe still makes occasional appearances at Wizard of Oz conventions and celebrations across the country.

On November 21, 2007, Raabe appeared with six other surviving Munchkin actors including Jerry Maren at the unveiling of a Hollywood Star for the Wizard of Oz Munchkins on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[4] On September 19, 2009 he appeared on National Public Radio program Weekend Edition Saturday.[1]

References

  1. ^ Margaret Marie Raabe (1915-1997) was born on February 25, 1915 and died on 22 October 1997 according to the Florida Death Index
  2. ^ Barry, Dan (February 18, 2007). "He Confirmed It, Yes He Did: The Wicked Witch Was Dead". New York Times. http://select.nytimes.com/2007/02/18/us/18land.html. Retrieved 2007-02-14.  
  3. ^ Barry, Dan (February 18, 2007). "No Ordinary Coroner, No Ordinary Life". Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003577568_coroner18.html. Retrieved 2007-02-19.  
  4. ^ Munchkin Star on the Walk of Fame

External links

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