Star Lies at the End of Yellow Brick Road for Munchkins

Hollywood heavyweights lobbied to get a star for the 'Oz' actors.

ByABC News via logo
November 20, 2007, 8:31 AM

Nov. 20, 2007 — -- The lovable little people who first captured Americans' hearts in the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today.

Some of the original Munchkins, who are now in their 80s and 90s, will be on hand this afternoon when the star is veiled. Only nine of the original cast of 124 actors who played Munchkins survive today.

The yellow brick road finally led them to the recognition they sought as part of one of the most famous musicals ever made.

"We finally deserved one. After 70 years, the best picture ever made, the whole world saw this movie, and now we got our star," said Mickey Carroll, who played a Munchkin in the movie.

The classic film about a teenage Kansas girl named Dorothy Gale who is swept away to the dangerous and dreamy land of Oz as a result of a dangerous twister earned several awards, including an Academy Award for its music.

The cast was treated to a special screening of "The Wizard of Oz" at Grauman's Chinese Theater, where the original premiere was held decades ago.

But getting the honor didn't come easily.

Their petition for a star was denied until Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Ted Turner spoke up on their behalf.

"The Wizard of Oz is not only for kids," said Margaret Pellegrini, who played a sleepy head in the film. "It's for everybody."

"It has such a meaning to it because everyone can have a heart. Everyone can have a brain if they use it," she added.

Today the bright lights of Hollywood are a memory for the tight-knit group. But they are excited to return and receive an honor they've wanted for so long.