(Wisconsin) It has been 80 years since the release of the cinema classic The Wizard of Oz, and the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s ThankYou72 podcast is using the opportunity to honor a UW grad with ties to the iconic film. Meinhardt Raabe, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1937 played the role of the coroner munchkin who officially proclaimed the Wicked Witch of the East dead. Raabe was one of more than 120 little people hired to play munchkins in the film, but it isn’t the only thing he is remembered for. He served in the Civil Air Patrol during World War 2, flying search and rescue missions in upper Michigan. On top all this Raabe spent 30 years playing the role of “Little Oscar” the world’s smallest chef, as a spokesperson for the Oscar Mayer company traveling the country in the first Wienermobile.
Before passing away in 2010, as the last surviving cast member of the Wizard of Oz with any dialog in the film, Raabe had donated millions of dollars earned from his autobiography and career to the Bethesda Lutheran Communities in Watertown.
To listen to the ThankYou72 podcast visit ThankYou72.org or find it on iTunes or other top podcast platforms.