Oz in the News 12.7.21

Local history: Munchkin from ‘Wizard of Oz’ found true love in Akron Wisconsin native Meinhardt Raabe, a 3-foot-6 actor who played the coroner of Munchkinland in the 1939 Hollywood musical, fell head over heels in love with former vaudeville star Marie Hartline, also a little person, during a business trip to Ohio. He was traveling with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, portraying Little Oscar, the “World’s Smallest Chef,” in 1941 when he met the cigarette girl at the Mayflower Hotel in Akron. “I was at a complete loss for words from the moment I saw that young girl in the hotel lobby,” Raabe recalled in his 2005 memoir “Memories of a Munchkin.” “I must aver that she was the most drop-dead gorgeous girl I had ever seen (luckily, I didn’t have far to drop), and I instantly fell in love with her.”

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