The Munchkins

The Munchkins
Stephen Cox


The Munchkins
Film: North side of the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Fictional Character
Created 1939

Everyone knows about the Munchkins, portrayed by 124 pituitary midgets in the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" starring Judy Garland.

These days, the word "Munchkin" — now included in some dictionaries — is synonymous with small. Credited in the film as the Singer Midgets, the diminutive cast was composed of little people from all over the United States, with the core group being part of the famous troupe of performing midgets managed by Leo Singer.

But not all of the Munchkins were little people. Ten young girls of normal height, ranging from 7 to 9 years old, danced and sang alongside the little people on MGM's massive Soundstage 27.

Seven decades ago, the pretty little girls with angelic faces were plucked from the local Bud Murray dance studio to fill in the female Munchkin population because MGM's casting department lacked little women to portray the citizens of Munchkin Land.

The unveiling of the star on the Walk of Fame was somewhat controversial because some of the women who played Munchkins in the movie were invited to the ceremony but denied admission because they were not "vertically challenged."

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