Death of a Munchkin: Mickey Carroll, 89
A flower memorial will be placed today on The Wizard of Oz's Munchkins' group star on Hollywood
Boulevard, for Mickey Carroll, who played the town crier in the Judy Garland film classic. Carroll, 89, was one of the last surviving little people who brought to life the Munchkin Land scenes, in which he also appeared as violin and fiddle players. He passed away Thursday in a St. Louis hospital.
According to a CBS story, Carroll was born Michael Finocchiaro to Italian immigrant parents. The death of his father led him to the Orpheum Theater vaudeville circuit, then he graduated to appearing as Mickey in the Our Gang film series and as a bellhop's voice in radio's Phillip Morris cigarette ads. A later friendship with Judy Garland led to his role in her film. In an interview Carroll claimed not to have been aware of the meaning of much of the film's song lyrics:
"When we were making the movie, we were singing 'Ding-Dong the Witch is
Dead!' and 'Follow the Yellow Brick Road,'" Carroll once recalled. "We didn't know what we were
saying, it was like gibberish, but I knew it was going to be a hit
because of Judy Garland."
Not long after The Wizard of Oz's release, Carroll returned
to St. Louis to work in the family's cemetery business. Today's flower
tribute will take place at 1 p.m., at 6915 Hollywood Boulevard, in
front of the Hollywood and Highland Center.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.