WIZARD OF OZ Munchkin Karl Slover, 93

Karl Slover, on the last of the surviving Munchkins from the 1939 classic The Wizard Of Oz, died yesterday of cardiopulmonary arrest at a suburban Atlanta hospital. He was 93.

Slover was one of the last surviving members of the group of 124 little people cast in MGM’s adaption of the L Frank Baum book. He was the lead trumpeter in the Munchkinland band and is the first one to step forward when the Mayor makes his entrance. Originally, Slover was supposed to be the second trumpeter but swapped positions when the other actor came over with a case of stage fright during filming. Like many of the Munchikin actors, Slover played several roles. In addition to his role as trumpeter, he can be seen as a soldier, one of the Sleepy Heads, and was among those who sang “Follow the Yellow Brick Road.”

Born Karl Kosiczky in what is now the Czech Republic, Slover made appearances with other of the Munchkin actors starting in 1989 and was one of the seven Munchkin actors who appeared at the 2007 unveiling of an honorary star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for the Munchkins. Slover was still making public appearances as late as last weekend.

Prior to his work in Oz, Slover acted in the all-midget western The Terror Of Tiny Town, the screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby and the Laurel and Hardy comedy Block-Heads (all 1938). Following his film career, Slover joined the “Original World Famous Singers Midget Show” and then in 1942 went to the Royal American Carnival in Tampa, FL.

With Slover’s death, the only surviving Munchkin actors from Oz are Jerry Maren, Margaret Williams Pellegrini and Ruth Robinson Duccini.

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About Rich Drees 6999 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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