Jakob "Jackie" Gerlich

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Jakob "Jackie" Gerlich
Born Jakob E. Gerlich
(1917-09-21)September 21, 1917
Vienna, Austria, Austro-Hungarian Empire
Died December 27, 1960(1960-12-27) (aged 43)
Sarasota, Florida, United States
Notable work The Wizard of Oz;
East Side of Heaven
Awards Hollywood Walk of Fame Star

Jakob "Jackie" E. Gerlich (September 21, 1917 – December 27, 1960) was an American dwarf actor and circus entertainer most notable for his appearance in the 1939 American film The Wizard of Oz.

Gerlich was born in Vienna, Austria.[1] He emigrated to America when he arrived in New York City on the S.S. President Roosevelt ocean liner on March 13, 1936.[2]

Wizard of Oz[edit]

His first acting experience was in The Wizard of Oz, where he played the red member of the Lollipop Guild.[3] Jerry Maren and Harry Doll were the other two members of the Lollipop Guild in the film.[4]

Leopold von Singer, was the manager of an entertainment troupe called The Singer Midgets and signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to provide 124 proportionately-sized little people to play Munchkins in Oz.[5] Gerlich was recruited because of his dwarfism and was paid $125 a week for his work.[6] Though Gerlich is uncredited in the film, his name appears in Oz trivia articles and books.[4][7]

In 2007, all 124 Munchkin actors in Oz were honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[8] For Gerlich this was a posthumous honor. Seven surviving Munchkin actors attended the ceremony, including Mickey Carroll, Ruth Duccini, Jerry Maren, Margaret Pellegrini, Meinhardt Raabe, Karl Slover and Clarence Swensen.[9]

Maren said that due to previous engagements, the three members of the Lollipop guild did not stay in contact after Oz. In 2013 he stated "We pretty much separated because they all had previous engagements. Somebody had to go to Milwaukee, somebody had to go to Boston, New York, etc."[10]

After Oz[edit]

Gerlich's other acting experience was also an uncredited role when he played Bobby in the 1939 film East Side of Heaven.[3]

Besides his small movie roles, Gerlich was a circus performer in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.[11]

Gerlich was interviewed by Mike Wallace on May 1, 1959.[12]

On December 27, 1960, Gerlich died at the age of 43 in Sarasota, Florida.[2]


  1. ^ "Jackie Gerlich". IMDB. Retrieved 7 Aug 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Jackie Jack Gerlich". Find A Grave. Retrieved 7 Aug 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "The Wizard of Oz". TV Guide. Retrieved 7 Aug 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Scarfone, Jay (2004). The Wizardry of Oz: The Artistry and Magic of the 1939 M-G-M Classic. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 240. ISBN 1557836248. 
  5. ^ Harmetz, ljean. The Making of the Wizard of Oz. Hyperion, 1998.
  6. ^ "Mickey Carroll, A Munchkin From The 1939 Classic Film ‘The Wizard Of Oz,’ Dies At 89". Access Hollywood. Retrieved 08/07/2013.
  7. ^ Cox, Stephen (2002). The Munchkins of Oz. Cumberland House Publishing. pp. 11, 37, 39, 41, 77. ISBN 1581822693. 
  8. ^ "Munchkins of 'Oz' get a star on Walk of Fame". USA Today. 2007-11-21. Retrieved 8 Aug 2013. 
  9. ^ Serjeant, Jill (2007-11-21). ""Oz" Munchkins get Hollywood star". Reuters. Retrieved 8 Aug 2013. 
  10. ^ bryanenk (18 September 2013). "'Wizard of Oz' Munchkin Star, 93, Still Singing 'Lollipop Guild'". Yahoo. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Route Book, 1948". Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Wallace, Mike. "Mike Wallace Papers". Syracuse University Library. Retrieved 7 Aug 2013.