Meinhardt Raabe

Actor Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Munchkin coroner in the movie classic "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 years old. His caregiver, Cindy Bosnyak told media outlets, said Raabe died Friday morning at a hospital in Orange Park, Fla. He was one of the only few surviving Munchkins from the fantasy 1939 film. 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. "He had a head full 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 got to speak in the film. He was 22 years old and a show business veteran, earning money for college as a "midget" performer, as they were called then, when they filmed the picture in 1938. Raabe portrayed the Munchkin official who 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." His costume included a huge hat with a rolled brim, and dyed yak hair was used for his handlebar mustache and long beard. Another sad loss to history....
Photo By: RD/Kirkland/Retna