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Old 02 December 2008, 01:39 AM
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Icon104 Trouble in 'Oz': the Munchkins' dirty secret

If you thought you knew everything there was to know about the iconic film classic "The Wizard of Oz," then here's a twister for you.

Everyone knows about the Munchkins, portrayed by 124 pituitary midgets in the 1939 motion picture starring Judy Garland. These days, the word "Munchkin" -- now included in some dictionaries -- is synonymous with small. Credited in the film as the Singer Midgets, the diminutive cast was comprised of little people from all over the United States, with the core group being part of the famous troupe of performing midgets managed by Leo Singer.

But not all of the Munchkins were little people. It may be a footnote in Hollywood history, but let the news be spread that about 10 young girls of normal height, ranging from 7 to 9 years old, danced and sang alongside the little people 70 years ago on MGM's massive Soundstage 27.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,3348237.story
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  #2  
Old 02 December 2008, 04:01 PM
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I don't know why I am surprised that the little girl Munchkins were ignored for the little people Munchkins. I don't know when I first noticed that the Munchkins were not all 'vertically challenged' . I do remember seeing little girls among the Munchkins, and I thought, little boys too. The latter must have been a false memory, if the OP is accurate.

I guess the little people made a better story after all, but really, would it have been less about them if 3-4 now older women got included in the Walk of Fame ceremony?

Ali "lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!" Infree
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Old 02 December 2008, 04:04 PM
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This is obvious in several scenes in the movie. There are some that wake up in the flower bed (...wake up you sleepyhead, rub your eyes, get out of bed...) and some creeping out from hiding in the "Come out, come out, wherever you are" song. It's been no secret to me.
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Old 02 December 2008, 04:06 PM
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These days, the word "Munchkin" -- now included in some dictionaries -- is synonymous with ...
Did anyone else read this sentence expecting it to end 'pet peeve'?
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Old 02 December 2008, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Ali Infree View Post
I do remember seeing little girls among the Munchkins, and I thought, little boys too. The latter must have been a false memory, if the OP is accurate.

Ali "lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!" Infree
There are definitely little girls, but at least one (maybe two) of the members of the Lollipop Guild look quite a bit like little boys. I remember reading about the actors somewhere though and finding out that all three were little people, however they were probably younger in age than some of the other little people, which would have made them look more like they were just kids.
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Old 02 December 2008, 05:10 PM
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Did anyone else read this sentence expecting it to end 'pet peeve'?
Actually I did...
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Old 02 December 2008, 05:17 PM
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Don't have a cite (it might have been in Aljean Harmetz's Wizard of Oz book), but somewhere I've read that a few boys were called in and played the roles of Munchkin soldiers, too--supposedly including a sampling of the "Our Gang" cast.
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Old 03 December 2008, 09:58 AM
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I'm almost positive that one of the Lollipop Guild was an "Our Gang" kid.

ETA: Aha! He was, but it turns out he's also a little person!
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Old 03 December 2008, 01:13 PM
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I'm almost positive that one of the Lollipop Guild was an "Our Gang" kid.

ETA: Aha! He was, but it turns out he's also a little person!
Nice find musicgeek! The Lollipop Guild member on the left is the one who I always thought was a little boy rather than a little person. I wonder who he is?
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Old 03 December 2008, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post

Is that Harry Earles on the right in that picture?
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Old 03 December 2008, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by musicgeek View Post
I'm almost positive that one of the Lollipop Guild was an "Our Gang" kid.

ETA: Aha! He was, but it turns out he's also a little person!
Ah, Jerry Maren had yet another claim to fame for those of us who have reached a certain age...in the commercials for a certain shoe, Maren played "Buster Brown."

"I'm Buster Brown! I live in a shoe! That's my dog Tige! He lives in there too!"

Tige, by the way, had the face of a fiend from hell and I never wanted the shoes for fear he would corrupt my metatarsals.

Last edited by Brad from Georgia; 03 December 2008 at 01:36 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03 December 2008, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by candy from strangers View Post
Is that Harry Earles on the right in that picture?
I was wondering that myself. He does have The Wizard of Oz listed in his credits on IMDB, but it doesn't say specifically which munchkin he played.

ETA: Although his Wikipedia entry does mention that he was a member of the Lollipop Guild, so it may have been him.
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Old 03 December 2008, 01:40 PM
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Yep, I think "fiend from hell" is a much better description of that face than "dog". Creepy.

ETA:
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Originally Posted by Syllavus View Post
I was wondering that myself. He does have The Wizard of Oz listed in his credits on IMDB, but it doesn't say specifically which munchkin he played.
Neat, I hadn't known he was in that. I like him, and I love his sister Daisy.
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Old 03 December 2008, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Brad from Georgia View Post
"I'm Buster Brown! I live in a shoe! That's my dog Tige! He lives in there too!"
How does one pronounce Tige? I'm old enough to remember the picture but not old enough to know the jingle.
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Old 03 December 2008, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bthyb View Post
How does one pronounce Tige? I'm old enough to remember the picture but not old enough to know the jingle.
It's pronounced like the first syllable of "Tiger." Just Tiger without the grr.
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  #16  
Old 03 December 2008, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by candy from strangers View Post
Yep, I think "fiend from hell" is a much better description of that face than "dog". Creepy.

ETA:

Neat, I hadn't known he was in that. I like him, and I love his sister Daisy.
I've only seen them in Freaks, and I was always a bit more fascinated by Johnny Eck.

Have you ever seen this webpage? It's got lots of great photos of the whole Doll family. Pretty amazing that sister Tiny lived to be 90 years old and died as recently as 2004. I wonder if any of them ever wrote an autobiography? They must have had great stories to tell.
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Old 03 December 2008, 02:20 PM
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I've only seen them in Freaks, and I was always a bit more fascinated by Johnny Eck.
I thought he was pretty cute . I'd only seen them in Freaks as well, but Daisy is just so sweet and pretty in it that I can't help but love her. She and Harry had cute accents too.

Quote:
Have you ever seen this webpage? It's got lots of great photos of the whole Doll family. Pretty amazing that sister Tiny lived to be 90 years old and died as recently as 2004. I wonder if any of them ever wrote an autobiography? They must have had great stories to tell.
That's an awesome website! Thanks for the link
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  #18  
Old 03 December 2008, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by candy from strangers View Post
I thought he was pretty cute . I'd only seen them in Freaks as well, but Daisy is just so sweet and pretty in it that I can't help but love her. She and Harry had cute accents too.

That's an awesome website! Thanks for the link
Johnny Eck was a handsome guy, also interesting was that he had an identical twin brother who was born with normal legs, so the two of them used to use that to their advantage to allow magicians to pull off interesting "man sawed-in-half" tricks. He has kind of a sad life story though as a burglary caused him to become a bit of a hermit in his last years. The Johnny Eck Museum is a pretty awesome website, lots of facts and photos.

He's another one who should have written a book about his life.
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