Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

September 20, 2004

Elly Annie Schneider, 90, who was known for many years in the circus world and on the big screen as Tiny Earles, and later as Tiny Doll, and who played one of the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz, died Sept. 13 in Sarasota, Fla.

Ms. Schneider was born in Stolpen, Germany, and came to the United States in 1925 to join two sisters and a brother, all of short stature. She was 39 inches tall and never weighed more than 46 pounds. She became an American citizen at age 21.

At first the siblings used the name Earles, the last name of the man who brought them to America. They changed it to Doll after he died. Before retiring in the mid-1950s, the Doll family - Harry, Grace, Daisy and Tiny - performed with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. They appeared in several films, including the cult classic Freaks in 1932.

Margaret Kelly, 94, an Irishwoman better known as Miss Bluebell who founded the Bluebell Girls, the long-stemmed, high-kicking, scantily clad troupe considered the most glamorous chorus line in Paris, died in her sleep Sept. 11 at her home in Paris.

Founded in 1932, the Bluebell Girls are one of the last remaining companies to dance the traditional cancan. They are still the featured act at the Lido on the Champs-Elysees, performing in glittering clouds of sequins, ostrich feathers and voluminous headgear.

Virginia Hamilton Adair, 91, a California poet who published her first collection, Ants on the Melon, in 1996, died Thursday in Claremont, Calif.

Published by Random House, Ants on the Melon received wide attention, partly because of Mrs. Adair's personal story (she was a retired English professor who had written poetry all her life but had published little) and partly for the universal themes of her work.

The collection sold more than 28,000 copies, which her editor, Daniel Menaker, called an "alpine" figure for a volume of poetry.

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