Farewell to One of the Last Original Wizard of Oz Actors

I was saddened to hear that actor Karl Slover passed away.  Although he may not be a household name, any movie buff would recognize him -- he was one of the Munchkins in the classic film The Wizard of Oz.  His death at the age of 93 marks the loss of yet another direct connection to that legendary production.  I had the pleasure of meeting him and chatting briefly with him at the 70th anniversary celebration of that fan-favorite cinematic masterpiece.  He had difficulty hearing, but was as kind-hearted as I imagined he would be.  He and his fellow surviving castmembers seemed like family reconnecting again at a reunion -- and that's what it was, a bunch of old friends getting together again like family.  Slover had embraced his legacy from that production he had worked on seven decades ago, visiting towns all across the country, delighting people that still hold The Wizard of Oz so warmly in their hearts.

He was only a 20-something-year-old kid when he played the Munchkin Herald with one of the trumpets and one of the Sleepyhead Munchkins.  He was a little person with a giant heart.

His fellow actor Jerry Maren, one of the members of the Lollipop Guild, summed up why The Wizard of Oz still holds up so well and why so many fans continue to adore everyone connected to it: “It appeals to all, especially children … It’s more than we ever thought it was going to be. It’s part of Americana … one of the finest moments in motion picture history.”

Karl Slover's claim to fame may have been primarily that single movie so long ago, but he lived an amazing life and is an inspiration to all.  He will be missed.