We’re running out of munchkins

The New York Daily News reports that one of the last surviving actors to play a munchkin in “The Wizard Of Oz” has died.

The 4-foot-5 Slover died of cardiopulmonary arrest Tuesday afternoon in a central Georgia hospital, said Laurens County Deputy Coroner Nathan Stanley. According to friends, as recently as last weekend, Slover appeared at events in the suburban Chicago area.

Slover was best known for playing the lead trumpeter in the Munchkins’ band but also had roles as a townsman and soldier in the film, said John Fricke, author of “100 Years of Oz” and five other books on the movie and its star, Judy Garland. Slover was one of the tiniest male Munchkins in the movie.

There’s a recent picture of him at the link. He had a remarkable hairline.

When I lived in Los Angeles, I would often hang out at the Culver City Hotel which had a restaurant where the munchkins frequently dined during the making of “The Wizard Of Oz.” John Wayne kept a suite there in his later years.

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