April 10, 2010

"Growing up, he later said, he assumed there was no one else in the world like him."

Meinhardt Raabe, born in 1915 in Watertown, Wisconsin, played the Munchkin coroner and is now, 94 years later, not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead.

13 comments:

Mark said...

You mean 84.

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry that was a typo in the date.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

This brings us back to my rule: If a person is over 90 when he dies, it is completely appropriate to make jokes about his death.

MrBuddwing said...

This brings us back to my rule: If a person is over 90 when he dies, it is completely appropriate to make jokes about his death.

I'm sure Justice Stevens will appreciate that.

Revenant said...

Interesting that he served as an aviator, too.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

How sad to think that you are the only one. Alone. Different. A freak.

Then how exhilarating to discover that you aren't alone. There are many like you. You aren't a freak. And you have talent!

Inspiring really to see what a productive and constructive life he led.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, it's not really a joke. It's a tribute. That was the line of a lifetime.

Ralph L said...

he came to believe his lines in the finished film (and those of all the other Munchkins) were dubbed

Could they alter sound recordings much in 1939? The Munchkins always sound freakishly unnatural to me, which was no doubt intentional, but it's off-putting, not interesting (esp. the Lullaby League).

MrBuddwing said...

Could they alter sound recordings much in 1939? The Munchkins always sound freakishly unnatural to me, which was no doubt intentional, but it's off-putting, not interesting (esp. the Lullaby League).

You're right, they were pretty limited in what they could do with optical sound recording in 1939. They made the Munchkins sound like Munchkins by slowing down, or undercranking, the cameras and soundtrack recorder, so they would sound higher-pitched at 24 frames per second. They overcranked the camera and recorder when they filmed the chanting guards at the castle of the Wicked Witch of the West for the opposite effect.

David said...

Thank you Mr. Raabe.

I watched the new, super-duper BluRay print of OZ with my grandkids easter weekend. It was sensational. Parts of it scared the living crap out of them too.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

The trials humans endure.

Wikipedia says that Mr. Raabe was married for 50 years. His wife predeceased him, dying in an auto accident. He was driving.

And she’s not only merely dead,
She’s really most sincerely dead.


Lines he repeated almost every day of his life for someone's amusement.

May he most sincerely rest in peace.

glam1931 said...

A little clarification...sound recording was more sophisticated than you think in 1939...that same year Fantasia's soundtrack was recorded in full stereo!
On The Wizard of Oz, NONE of the singing was recorded live. It was all recorded by normal-size singers and actors months ahead of filming, sped up to raise the pitch, and lip-synced by the cast (including the Munchkins) during filming. Little, if any, of the Munchkins' actual voices are heard in the finished film.
Trivia...on some verses of "We're Off to See the Wizard" Buddy Ebsen's voice is on the track rather than Jack Haley's; it had been recorded long before Haley replaced Ebsen (after his aluminum makeup nearly killed him) and it was decided nobody would notice the difference with four people singing together. - Archie Waugh