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Ding Dong The Entire Cast Is Dead


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With the early celebration of its 75th Anniversary and the death of the last remaining "munchkin" it made me wonder if in actuality every person including cast, crew and creative persons alive in 1939 that worked on The Wizard of Oz is dead? I'd like to know and hear if anyone who did is still living. Maybe the lady who made the sandwiches in the commissary is still kicking at 104!

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Ruth Duccini (born July 23, 1918) who played one of the Munskins is still alive.

 

It looks like most of the cast are gone and even one of the last surviving Flying Monkeys flew off to the great beyond. Any blogs are 1 to 3 years old and even that can take a toll on survivors.

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2013/01/muskegon_resident_danny_windso.html

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Y'know, it drives my wife crazy, but I do that sort of thing when watching old movies. Wonder who's still alive, or pointing out none of them are(depending on the movie, of course). I'll watch some silent from 1921 and there'll be somebody holding a baby, and I'll blurt out, "I'll bet even that BABY is dead by now!". Well, he/she COULD be 93, but good odds are against it.

 

Sepiatone

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Dickie has been interviewed on TCM, with a group of other child actors, but I wish they would get him to introduce Blonde Venus (1932), in which he plays Marlene Dietrich's son. It's one of Dietrich's most underrated (apart from the "Hot Voodoo" number) and most interesting films, and Dickie has a major part in it. Blonde Venus is scheduled to be on TCM soon.

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I play the Dead game also. My yardstick is my mom who was born in1929 and she's still alive and healthy as are some of her friends from college who are actually 1-3 yrs older than her.

 

I also include any animals/pets in any given film. I think if the film is from the 30's and the likelihood that the cast was made up of adults, they're pretty much gone. If any were under 10, they could still be around.

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Swithin said: *Dickie has been interviewed on TCM, with a group of other child actors, but I wish they would get him to introduce Blonde Venus (1932), in which he plays Marlene Dietrich's son. It's one of Dietrich's most underrated (apart from the "Hot Voodoo" number) and most interesting films, and Dickie has a major part in it. Blonde Venus is scheduled to be on TCM soon.*

 

Cool! Such a strange movie, but interesting performances and costuming, though the plot doesn't make a lot of sense, especially the ending. Ive read that von Sternberg had a LOT of trouble getting the storyline past the censors (even in those loose precode days) and that the version that was actually released was a mishmash of the original version and what the censors wanted. The original version had Dietrich keeping both her men and living happily ever after ala Design for Living , I believe. I wonder why that movie got away with the menage a trois approach and not this one? Was it the fact that there was a child involved?

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You bring up an interesting point. Actually, Blonde Venus is interesting in that it's one of the few movies of its time in which a woman can screw around (with Cary Grant) and not be criticized for it, apart from by her husband (Herbert Marshall). Perhaps that's because she's doing to earn money for her husband's medical treatment. But it's an odd, surreal, very Von Sternbergian film, with amazing scenes and shots, from "Hot Voodoo" to the scene where Hattie McDaniel talks about the browsing white man.

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So what's the earliest movie with a still-living cast member?

 

For the record, the oldest living actor / actress is Luise Rainer, who will be 104 in January.

 

The oldest currently active actor is Eli Wallach, who will be 98 on Pearl Harbor Day.

 

And the oldest living "big name" star is Olivia deHavilland, who was born on the first day of the Battle of the Somme: July 1, 1916. Kirk Douglas is close, as he's just 5 months younger than Olivia.

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She may not be the oldest but pretty starlet Mary Carlisle is still with us today, at age 101. She first appeared in films in 1930 and played, among other parts, the giggling blonde honeymooner who arrives at the end of Grand Hotel, as Lionel Barrymore and Joan Crawford pass by her.

 

She would later play frightened heroines in Murder in the Private Car and One Frightened Night, as well as being spooked by George Zucco in Dead Men Walk (her final film). She also appeared in three Bing Crosby musicals.

 

carlislemglam.jpg

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But...isn't that tree in The Wizard of Oz still alive and kicking.

 

Or I should say...yelling at people to not take her apples.

 

Notice I say "she". That book called...geez, uh, oh, "Separated at Birth" has a photo of it and then a photo of older aged Bette Davis as its counterpart which influenced my thoughts.

 

As for Sternberg, I love BV and have always been impressed with how he almost got a 3-D effect in his films with all the frontal veil and object overlays.

 

Plus he looked great in jodphurs [sp?].

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So, in terms of the oldest movie that still has an extant actor, it would probably be Baby Peggy's first film: Her Circus Man (short), made in 1921. Baby Peggy's first full-length film, Fool's Paradise (1921), directed by Cecil B. DeMille, is probably the oldest feature film that still has a living artist. (The short is listed as earlier in IMDB).

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Wow, I wasn't aware of that either (Wallach is around a year older than Olivia).

 

I also assume around a decade. I think what confused us is that Wallach didn't make is Broadway debut until he was 30 in 1945.

 

Olivia made her first movie at 17 and was a major star by the time she was 19 or so in 1935 36.

 

By the time Wallach made it big in Bady Doll (56), Olivia was years past the peak off her career.

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