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article image'Wizard of Oz' Munchkin Karl Slover dies at 93

By Thom W. Conroy     Nov 16, 2011 in Entertainment
Diminutive actor Karl Slover, who will always be remembered for his role in the film classic "The Wizard of Oz,," passed away this week.
Slover, who gained fame for his role as a Munchkin in "The Wizard of Oz" passed away on Tuesday. According to a CBS News report., Slover died as the apparent result of cardiopulmonary arrest at a Laurens County, Georgia, hospital and various published reports indicate that Slover was active up until the last days of his life.
Born in Prakovce, Slovakia, on Sept. 21,1918, Slover was diagnosed with pituitary dwarfism as a child at a time when little was known medically concerning the condition. As a result, Slover's father attempted a number of ill-conceived and painful actions to make his son grow to normal size, none of which had any impact. At age nine, Slover was sold by his father to a traveling circus, which launched the young boy into an entertainment career that would last for more than 80 years.
As a young man Karl Slover was best known as a comedic actor and singer, performing with circuses and on the Vaudeville circuit. His big break in show business came when he was cast in the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz" along with such noted stars as Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley and Margaret Hamilton. Slover actually had three different roles in the film as a townsman, soldier and trumpeter and earned $50 per week in salary for his efforts.
Although his role as a Munchkin was the most successful of his career, Karl Slover regained some popularity in the eighties by appearing at a number of festivals and events commemorating "The Wizard of Oz".
A lifelong bachelor, Slover never married and had no children, but no doubt will be always remembered fondly by those enamored by his outstanding performances.
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