OBIT

Munchkin Actor Dies at 94

The name Meinhardt Raabe may not sound familiar to even the most assiduous movie buffs. But in Munchkin Country, he was a pretty big deal. Raabe, who died Friday at the age of 94, played the Munchkin coroner in The Wizard of Oz, who stood by the Wicked Witch of the East’s striped socks and pronounced her dead. With a house lying on top of her, he said, “As coroner I must aver, I thoroughly examined her, and she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead.” Raabe was 22 years old when the movie was shot in 1938 and spent much of the rest of his career touring the country in the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile—he promoted hot dogs as "Little Oscar, the World's Smallest Chef." As of 2007, when they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he was one of seven remaining Munchkins out of the original 124.