You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gus Wayne, 77

Midget actor appeared in 'Wizard of Oz'

Gus Wayne, one of the 124 midgets who graced the screen in “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939, died Jan 23 of heart failure at a nursing home in Lakeland, Fla. He was 77.

Wayne had been in ill health since suffering a stroke three years ago. Only 13 midget actors from “Oz” still survive.

Wayne was born Oct. 16, 1920, in the Bronx, New York. At age 18 he went to Hollywood and appeared as a “munchkin soldier” in “Oz” before returning to New York and working at the World’s Fair for the Sunshine Biscuit Co. as a little chef promoting the bakery’s product.

Wayne was later employed by the Philip Morris cigarette company as their famous character “Little Johnny.” Dressed in a red bellhop uniform, Wayne shouted the famous catchphrase, “Caaaaaall for Phillip Morris!” on radio commercials. He also toured the country in public appearances during the 1940s.

During the 1960s, Wayne worked for the Lucky Casino in Las Vegas as “Mr. Lucky.” In 1973 Wayne joined Piper Aircraft, where he worked until his retirement in 1980.

He had been married to performer Olive Brasno (also a midget performer) for 37 years. She died two days later.

There were no survivors.

More Film

  • 'Change in the Air' Review

    Film Review: 'Change in the Air'

    Gus Wayne, one of the 124 midgets who graced the screen in “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939, died Jan 23 of heart failure at a nursing home in Lakeland, Fla. He was 77. Wayne had been in ill health since suffering a stroke three years ago. Only 13 midget actors from “Oz” still survive. […]

  • Norman Lloyd Dead

    SAG-AFTRA to Honor Norman Lloyd, June Lockhart

    Gus Wayne, one of the 124 midgets who graced the screen in “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939, died Jan 23 of heart failure at a nursing home in Lakeland, Fla. He was 77. Wayne had been in ill health since suffering a stroke three years ago. Only 13 midget actors from “Oz” still survive. […]

  • O_163_wem_1360_comp_v003_01,1159 2 – L-R: Gwilym Lee

    ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    Gus Wayne, one of the 124 midgets who graced the screen in “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939, died Jan 23 of heart failure at a nursing home in Lakeland, Fla. He was 77. Wayne had been in ill health since suffering a stroke three years ago. Only 13 midget actors from “Oz” still survive. […]

  • The Flash Ezra Miller

    Flash Standalone Movie Pushes Start Date, Eyes 2021 Release (EXCLUSIVE)

    Gus Wayne, one of the 124 midgets who graced the screen in “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939, died Jan 23 of heart failure at a nursing home in Lakeland, Fla. He was 77. Wayne had been in ill health since suffering a stroke three years ago. Only 13 midget actors from “Oz” still survive. […]

  • Movie Ticket Prices Down Slightly to

    Movie Ticket Prices Drop Slightly to $8.83 for Third Quarter

    Gus Wayne, one of the 124 midgets who graced the screen in “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939, died Jan 23 of heart failure at a nursing home in Lakeland, Fla. He was 77. Wayne had been in ill health since suffering a stroke three years ago. Only 13 midget actors from “Oz” still survive. […]

  • BTS Billboard Music Awards, Show, Las

    BTS Announce Premiere Date for 'Burn the Stage: The Movie'

    Gus Wayne, one of the 124 midgets who graced the screen in “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939, died Jan 23 of heart failure at a nursing home in Lakeland, Fla. He was 77. Wayne had been in ill health since suffering a stroke three years ago. Only 13 midget actors from “Oz” still survive. […]

  • John Cena

    John Cena to Star in 'Playing With Fire' for Paramount Players (EXCLUSIVE)

    Gus Wayne, one of the 124 midgets who graced the screen in “The Wizard of Oz” in 1939, died Jan 23 of heart failure at a nursing home in Lakeland, Fla. He was 77. Wayne had been in ill health since suffering a stroke three years ago. Only 13 midget actors from “Oz” still survive. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content