Two Actors Have Passed: Farewell to a Munchkin and a Cricket
by Ethan Anderton
April 12, 2010
Sad news hit a few days apart last week as Deadline reports actors Eddie Carroll and Meinhardt Raabe have passed away. Though you may not know them by name, you certainly know them by their most iconic characters. Raabe played the Munchkin coroner in the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz who so succinctly proclaimed The Wicked Witch of the West was "really most sincerely dead." Meanwhile, Carroll voiced quite possibly the most famous insect of all-time: the lovable Jiminy Cricket. Carroll inherited decades of work as the longest recurring Disney character after the original voice actor, Cliff Edwards, passed away in 1973.
Yahoo says Raabe was 94-years-old and one of the last few surviving little people out of the 124 actors who appeared on-screen as the Munchkins in the original movie. On Friday, April 9th, the actor suddenly went into cardiac arrest at his retirement community before passing away at a hospital in Orange Park, Florida. Raabe had written a book titled Memories of a Munchkin: An Illustrated Walk Down the Yellow Brick Road which was published in 2005, recalling his work on The Wizard of Oz and was also honored, along with six other little actors, with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for The Munchkins.
Meanwhile, Washington Times reports that Carroll passed away at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital in Los Angeles on April 6th at age 66 from a brain tumor. Carroll had voiced Jiminy Cricket for almost 40 years in countless films, television shows, sing-a-longs, Disney attractions and more prompting Rick Dempsey, SVP of Disney Character Voices to tell Disney's in-house newsletter the following: "He was so into the character and truly took to heart what Jiminy was all about." In addition, Carroll appeared in more than 200 commercials and was a regular on the early 1970's program "The Don Knotts Show."
Both of these amazing talents will be missed greatly and our thoughts go out to their families and friends.