Sig Frohlich, who has died aged 97, was a bit-part actor for much of his long career in Hollywood, playing messengers, waiters, callboys, clerks and soldiers, rarely earning even a flicker of recognition from viewers over 50 years.
But he achieved some lasting celebrity as one of the winged monkeys in The Wizard of Oz (1939). This was despite the fact that he was completely disguised in a monkey costume and uttered no words on screen.
In 1935 he was a mutineer in Mutiny on the Bounty, starring Clark Gable, and a gentleman in A Tale of Two Cities. He had his first screen credit in the crime drama Riffraff (1936), with Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy. The following year he was cast in Speed (with James Stewart) and Born to Dance (with Eleanor Powell); he was also a soldier of the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless in the Flash Gordon series.
If some wondered whether he minded the modesty of his career, Frohlich, whose surname means happy in German, had no doubt. He was MGM's most senior star, and he was delighted to sign autographs for visitors to his nursing home. He died on September 30.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Another wonderful obituary...
From the Telegraph: