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The Three Del Rios

The Three Del Rios Midgets

The Del Rio Midgets
real photograph postcard, 5.5 x 3.5 inches, 1938
photographer: Orcajo Photo Art, Dayton, Ohio

The Three Del Rios were siblings Trinidad, Delores and Paul Rodriguez from Madrid, Spain. Their career began in Mexico in the 1930's, where they adopted their stage name. Among the most popular little people to ever appear before sideshow audiences, the Del Rios here were performing in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as part of George A. Hamid's Million Dollar Pier.

According to Marc Hartzman (although I have been unable to confirm their participation), in 1938 the Del Rios journeyed to California to become Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz. Paul was the smallest of the lot, attaining an alleged height of a mere nineteen inches, and weighing in at a scant twelve pounds. Life published a supposedly actual-sized photograph of Paul in its 20 June 1938 issue, wherein Life recognizes him as the Smallest Man in the World something that Hollywood miraculously failed to notice and exploit.

The Del Rios were unable to capitalize on the popularity of the The Wizard of Oz, and each went their own way at the end of the 1939 season.

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All Images and Text James G. Mundie 2005 - 2010