Munchkin: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Munchkins are the natives of the fictional Munchkin Country in the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. They first appeared in the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which they are described as being somewhat short of stature, and wear only blue.

They are best-known from their depiction in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, in which they are played by adult proportional dwarfs, dressed in brightly multicolored outfits, and live in Munchkinland. On November 20, 2007, the Munchkins were given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Seven of the surviving Munchkins actors from the film were present.[1][2] As a result of the popularity of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, the word "munchkin" has entered the English language as a reference to small children, dwarfs, or anything cute of diminutive stature.[3]

Contents

Appearance

The following is an excerpt from chapter two of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which Dorothy first meets three Munchkins and the Good Witch of the North:

"... she noticed her coming down toward her a group of the queerest people she had ever seen. They were not as big as the grown folk she had always been used to; but neither were they very small. In fact, they seemed about as tall as Dorothy, who was a well-grown child for her age, although they were, so far as looks go, many years older.

Baum apparently did not mean that only Munchkins are short in stature (as depicted in the iconic 1939 film), but that this is the norm for all of the adult humans of Oz.Later in the book, the Guardian of the Gates, the first inhabitant of the Emerald City met by Dorothy and apparently representative of its citizens, is "a little man about the same size as the Munchkins."

In W. W. Denslow's illustrations for The Wonderful Wizard (approved by Baum), the only Oz humans depicted as remarkably taller than Dorothy are the Soldier with the Green Whiskers and Glinda.

Origin of the term

Baum never explained where the term came from, but Baum researcher Brian Attebery has hypothesized that there might be a connection to the emblem of the Bavarian city of Munich (spelled München in German). The symbol was originally a 13th century statue of a monk, looking down from the town hall in Munich. Over the years the image was reproduced many times, for instance as a figure on beer steins, and eventually evolved into a child wearing a pointed hood. Baum's family had German origins: Baum could have seen one such reproduction in his childhood.

Hanging munchkin suicide?

An urban legend claims that, in the 1939 film, a Munchkin can be seen committing suicide (hanging by the neck from a prop tree and swinging back and forth) far away (left) in the background, while the Tin Man, Dorothy, and the Scarecrow are singing "We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz!" and skipping down the Yellow brick road into the distance; however it can be seen to be a buzzard moving its head in a swinging way once, then spreading and flapping its wings, not a Munchkin. [4]

Fictional Munchkins

Actors

The following is a list of actors who portrayed the munchkins in the 1939 film. It is generally accepted that 124 people with dwarfism were sought for the film,[citation needed] and about 122 appeared in the film, with an additional dozen or so child actors being hired to make up for the shortage of dwarfs the studio found to appear in the film. [5]These actors – including those with speaking parts – were credited on-screen collectively, as "the Munchkins".

Deceased

  • Gladys W. Allison
  • John Ballas
  • Franz Balluck (September 8, 1913 – January 24, 1987)[6]
  • Josefine Balluck (September 9, 1908 – 1984)[7]
  • John T. Bambury (July 10, 1891 – November 4, 1960)
  • Charlie Becker (November 24, 1887 – December 28, 1968) - played "The Mayor"
  • Freda Betsky
  • Henry Boers (1896 – 19??)
  • Theodore Boers (1894 – 19??)
  • Christie Buresh (April 21, 1904 – October 1979)
  • Eddie Buresh (March 16, 1909 – January 1982)[8]
  • Lida Buresh (June 16, 1906 – September 1970)[9]
  • Mickey Carroll (July 8, 1919 – May 7, 2009) - played a fiddler, the town crier, and a munchkin soldier [10][11]
  • Colonel Casper
  • Nona Cooper
  • Tommy Cottonaro (March 20, 1914 – February 7, 2001)
  • Elizabeth Coulter
  • Lewis Croft (May 2, 1919 – April 28, 2008) - a munchkin soldier
  • Frank Cucksey (January 5, 1919 – September 9, 1984)[12][13]
  • Billy Curtis (June 27, 1909 – November 9, 1988)
  • Eugene S. David, Jr.
  • Eulie H. David
  • Ethel W. Denis
  • Prince Denis (c.1900 – June 20, 1984)[14]
  • Hazel I. Derthick (January 7, 1906 – February 13, 1989)[15]
  • The Doll Family:
    • Daisy (April 29, 1907 – March 15, 1980)
    • Gracie (March 12, 1899 – November 8, 1970)
    • Harry (April 3, 1902 – May 4, 1985) - one of the three members of "The Lollipop Guild"
    • Tiny (July 23, 1914 – September 6, 2004)
  • Major Doyle (September 5, 1893 – May 22, 1968)
  • Carl M. Erickson (September 12, 1917 – 1958)-played a herald[16]
  • Fern Formica (January 17, 1925 – January 23, 1995) - played a villager and a "sleepyhead"
  • Addie Eva Frank
  • Thaisa L. Gardner (September 11, 1909 – November 19, 1968)[17]
  • Jakob "Jackie" Gerlich (1918 – December 1960)[18]
  • William A. Giblin
  • Jack Glicken
  • Carolyn E. Granger
  • Joseph Herbst (1888 – May 1967) - played a soldier
  • Jakob Hofbauer (January 1, 1899 – September 24, 1954)[19]
  • Clarence C. Howerton (February 9, 1913 – November 18, 1975)- played a herald
  • Helen M. Hoy
  • Marguerite A. Hoy (January 26, 1906 – November 6, 1969)[20]
  • James R. Hulse (March 16, 1915 – December 29, 1964)[21]
  • Robert Kanter
  • Eleanor Keaton
  • Charles E. Kelley
  • Jessie E. Kelley
  • Frank Kikel
  • Bernard "Harry" Klima (c. 1897 – December 9, 1957)[12][22]
  • Mitzi Koestner (June 4, 1894 – August 1975)[23]
  • Emma Koestner
  • Willi Koestner
  • Adam Edwin "Eddie" Kozicki
  • Joseph J. Koziel
  • Dolly F. Kramer (June 24, 1904 – July 9, 1995)[24]
  • Emil Kranzler (December 1, 1910 – April 7, 1993) - played a villager[25]
  • Nita Krebs (October 8, 1905 – January 18, 1991)-one of the "Lullaby League" members
  • "Little Jean" LaBarbera (August 4, 1909 – August 17, 1993)[26]
  • Hilda Lange
  • Johnny Leal (February 26, 1905 – November 9, 1996)
  • Ann Rice Leslie
  • Charles Ludwig
  • Dominick Magro
  • Carlos Manzo (1914 – 1955)[27]
  • Howard Marco
  • Bela Matina
  • Lajos "Leo" Matina
  • Matjus Matina
  • Walter M. B. Miller
  • George Ministeri (August 9, 1913 – January 29, 1986) - played the coach driver
  • Harry Monty (April 15, 1904 – December 28, 1999)
  • Yvonne Moray (née Bistany; January 24, 1917 – 19??) - one of the "Lullaby League" members
  • Nels P. Nelson (November 24, 1918 – 1994)
  • Margaret C.H. Nickloy (August 12, 1902 – April 29, 1961)[28]
  • Franklin O'Baugh
  • William H. O'Docharty (September 12, 1920 – December 20, 1988)
  • Hildred C. Olson
  • Frank Packard
  • Nicholas Page (1904 – 1978)[27]
  • Leona M. Parks
  • Johnny Pizo
  • "Prince Leon" Polinsky
  • Margaret Raia (1928 – August 17, 2003)[29]
  • Matthew Raia
  • Fredreich "Freddie" Retter (1912 – 19??)
  • "Little Billy" Rhodes (February 1, 1895 – July 24, 1967) - played the barrister[30]
  • Gertrude H. Rice
  • Hazel Rice
  • Sandor Roak
  • Jimmie Rosen (1885 – June 1, 1940)[31]
  • Charles F. Royale
  • Helen J. Royale
  • Stella A. Royale
  • Albert Ruddinger
  • Elsie R. Schultz (1893 – 1987)[27]
  • Charles Silvern (September 24, 1902 – April 1, 1979)
  • Garland "Earl" Slatten (February 17, 1917 – April 30, 1995)[32]
  • Ruth E. Smith (February 1, 1895 – September 5, 1985)
  • Elmer Spangler
  • Parnell St. Aubin (1903 – December 4, 1987)-played a soldier
  • Carl Stephan
  • Alta M. Stevens
  • Donna Stewart-Hardaway (April 2, 1933 – November 12, 2008) - child actress (then known as Donna Jean Johnson)
  • George Suchsie
  • Charlotte V. Sullivan
  • Clarence Swensen (December 29, 1917 – February 25, 2009) - played a soldier
  • Betty Tanner (February 5, 1916 – November 8, 1994)
  • Arnold Vierling (May 24, 1919 – June 11, 1949)-played a villager[33]
  • Gus Wayne (October 16, 1920 – January 23, 1998)[34]
  • Victor Wetter (June 11, 1902 – December 8, 1990)[35]
  • Gracie B. Williams
  • Harvey B. Williams
  • Johnny Winters (c.1905 – 1985)
  • Marie Winters (1901 – 1979)[27]
  • Gladys V. Wolff (1911 – 1984)[27]
  • Murray Wood (June 12, 1908 – September 25, 1999)[36]

Living

There are six dwarf actors still living:

  • Ruth Duccini (born 1918 as Ruth L. Robinson) - played a villager
  • Jerry Maren (born 1920 as Gerard Marenghi) - one of the three members of "The Lollipop Guild"
  • Olga C. Nardone(born 1919)- one of the "Lullaby League" members (no longer makes appearances)[37]
  • Margaret Pellegrini (born 1923 as Margaret Williams) - played a "sleepyhead"
  • Meinhardt Raabe (born 1915) - played the coroner; now the only surviving cast member with any significant dialogue in the film
  • Karl Slover (born 1918 as Karl Kosiczky) - played a soldier, a "sleepyhead" and a villager

In addition, most of the child actresses that appeared in the film are still living, including:

  • Betty Ann Cain (born c.1931)[38]
  • Ardith Dondanville (born c.1930)[39]
  • Joan Kenmore[40]
  • Shirley Ann Kennedy[37]
  • Eva Lee Kuney (born 1934)[41]
  • Patsy May (born 1934)[42]
  • Priscilla Montgomery (born c.1929)[43]

Unknown

  • Valerie Shepard (child actress)
  • Viola White (child actress)

References

  1. ^ City-Data.com (with CNN reference)
  2. ^ "Melinda and Nate actors get star on Walk of Fame". Cable News Network / Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.. 2007-11-21. http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Movies/11/21/munchkins.ap/index.html?iref=newssearch. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  3. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/munchkin. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  4. ^ article: "Wizard of Oz" Munchkin Suicide: Hanging Munchkin.
  5. ^ www.kansasoz.com
  6. ^ Info re Franz Balluck
  7. ^ Find a Grave website/Josefine Balluck
  8. ^ Info re Eddie Buresh
  9. ^ Info re Lida Buresh
  10. ^ Mickey Carroll official website
  11. ^ Notice of death of Mickey Carroll
  12. ^ a b http://www.phreeque.com/nate_eagle.html
  13. ^ http://www.weblo.com/celebrity/available/Frank_H_Cucksey/472888/
  14. ^ http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F02E6DC1439F937A15755C0A962948260
  15. ^ http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Derthick&GSfn=hazel&GSbyrel=in&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=6805339&
  16. ^ Find a Grave website/Carl M. Erickson
  17. ^ Info re Thaisa Gardner
  18. ^ IMDb
  19. ^ Info re Jakob Hofbauer
  20. ^ Info re Marguerite Hoy
  21. ^ Info re James R. Hulse
  22. ^ Info re Harry Klima
  23. ^ Info re Mitzi Koestner
  24. ^ Info re Dolly Kramer
  25. ^ Find a Grave website/Emil Kranzler
  26. ^ Info re "Little Jean" LaBarbera
  27. ^ a b c d e Info re Carlos Manzo
  28. ^ Find a Grave website/Margaret C.H. Nickloy
  29. ^ Find a Grave website/Margaret Raia
  30. ^ Find a Grave website/"Little Billy" Rhodes
  31. ^ Info re Jimmie Rosen
  32. ^ Info re Garland Slatten
  33. ^ Find a Grave website/Arnold Vierling
  34. ^ Find a Grave website/Gus Wayne
  35. ^ Victor Wetter info.
  36. ^ Info re Murray Wood
  37. ^ a b Info re Olga C. Nardone
  38. ^ Info re Betty Ann Cain
  39. ^ Info re Ardith Dondanville
  40. ^ Info re Joan Kenmore
  41. ^ UK IMDb
  42. ^ UK IMDb
  43. ^ Info re Priscilla Montgomery

Footnotes and citations


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Noun

Singular
Munchkin

Plural
Munchkins

Munchkin (plural Munchkins)

A Munchkin grooming itself.
  1. A domestic cat breed with short legs.
    • 1998 December 8, "ferretfriend", "Re: Munchkin cats and how I got mine."[1], alt.pets.cats, Usenet:
      Munchkins are in fact one of the Healthiest [sic] of the registered cat breeds.

See also

Wikipedia-logo.png Munchkin (cat) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia:Munchkin (cat) Commons-logo-en.png Category:Munchkin on Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons: Category:Munchkin


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