April 10, 2010

USA: Raabe, 'Wizard of Oz' Munchkin Actor, Dies at 94

. ORANGE PARK, Florida / ABCNews / Entertainment / April 10, 2010 Meinhardt Raabe, actor who played Munchkin coroner in 'The Wizard of Oz,' dies at 94 in Fla. By Polly Anderson, Associated Press Writer Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Munchkin coroner in "The Wizard of Oz" and proclaimed in the movie that the Wicked Witch of the East was "really most sincerely dead," has died. He was 94. His caregiver, Cindy Bosnyak, said Raabe — pronounced RAH'-bee — died Friday morning at a hospital in Orange Park, Fla. He was one of the few surviving Munchkins from the 1939 film. Original Munchkin Meinhardt Raabe attends the "Wizard of Oz" 70th Anniversary Emerald Gala at Tavern on the Green in New York, in this Sept. 24, 2009 file photo. Raabe, who played the Munchkin coroner in "The Wizard of Oz," died. Friday morning April 9, 2010 according to his caregiver, Cindy Bosnyak, at a hospital in Orange Park, Fla. He was 94 and was one of the few surviving Munchkins from the 1939 film. AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File Bosnyak said he complained of a sore throat at his retirement community before collapsing and going into cardiac arrest. He was taken to Orange Park Medical Center, where he later died, she said. Raabe got the role at age 22 "He had a headful of hair at 94 and he ... remembered everything everyday," she said. "To me he was a walking history book, very alert." Raabe was one of the 124 Munchkins in the film classic and one of only nine who had speaking parts. He was 22 years old and a show business veteran, earning money for college as a "midget" performer, as they were called then, when the movie was shot in 1938. Raabe portrayed the diminutive Munchkin official who solemnly pronounces the witch dead after Dorothy's farmhouse lands on her: "As coroner I must aver, I thoroughly examined her, And she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead." [rc] Click to continue reading Copyright © 2010 ABC News Internet Ventures.