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Frank Morgan

The Wizard of Oz, Professor Marvel, The Guard at the Gates, Cabbie, Soldier

Frank Morgan [1890–1949] (Professor Marvel / The Guard at the Gates / Cabbie / Soldier / The Wizard of Oz) starred in more than 30 additional motion pictures in the years following 1939, including his Academy Award-nominated role for Best Supporting Actor in "Tortilla Flat" in 1942; the actor had already been nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for 1934's "The Affairs of Cellini."

Born as Francis Phillip Wuppermann in New York City, the youngest of eleven children (six boys and five girls) to the wealthy family which distributed Angostura bitters, he attended Cornell University where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He then followed his older brother Ralph Morgan into show business, first on the Broadway stage and then into movies.

Like Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch of the West, his characters only appear on-screen for a few minutes in total, but they are show-stoppers. He was so popular that MGM gave him a lifetime contract. Other movies of note include The Shop Around the Corner, The Human Comedy, The Mortal Storm, The White Cliffs of Dover and his last movie, Key to the City, which was released after his death, in Beverly Hills, California.

He also recorded a number of children's records, including the popular Gossamer Wump, released in 1949 by Capitol Records.

Like most character actors of the studio era Frank Morgan had numerous roles in many motion pictures. One of his last roles was as a key supporting player in The Stratton Story, a true story about a ballplayer (played by James Stewart) who makes a comeback after losing a leg in a hunting accident.

Morgan died after suffering a heart attack in 1949 (while filming Annie Get Your Gun). Morgan was the one major player from The Wizard of Oz who did not live to see the film become both a television fixture and an American institution. He was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.