Friday, May 08, 2009

Mickey Carroll RIP

Mickey Carroll died yesterday.

You may not know him, but you've almost certainly seen him -- he played the violinist Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz, and performed three other Munchkin roles as well.

Mickey lived a few blocks away from us until recently, when his health took a turn for the worse and he moved in with a caretaker. We met him once, at a local event (he gave much of his time and money to St. Louis area charities). Fabulous guy.

I was surprised to learn that there's not already a Mickey Carroll star on the St. Louis "walk of fame." Saddened, too -- he'd have gotten a kick out of it, I think, if it had been done when he was alive to see it. He wasn't just from the area, he was a vaudeville player here before his brief moment of film fame, and lived out his life here as an active member of the community. Hopefully he'll get his star now, done up right in a special sidewalk segment made of gold-colored bricks.

Since Warner is pursuing its usual course of self-destructive "copyright enforcement," I can't find a suitable film clip with audio to feature in tribute. Here's an interview, though, with several Munchkins, including Mickey Carroll.

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