At the age of 8, Lewis' parents noticed their son was not growing. Doctors diagnosed him with dwarfism.
Croft was just 3-1/2 feet tall when he left home at age 16 to work for side shows and circuses. He learned to sing and play instruments, and took on the stage name "Idaho Lewis."
When Croft was 20, he tried out for and won a roll as one of the Munchkin soldiers in the Wizard of Oz. After that performance, he went back on the road where he met Delores Del Rio, who was also a performer equally small in stature. The couple, now with two children, moved back to Lewis’ hometown of Shelley, where Lewis worked for R.T. French Co., retiring in 1978. Delores passed away in 1978. Lewis married Eva Arwin in 1984.
In his later years Lewis Croft reconnected with the surviving little people from The Wizard of Oz, attending many events where they were honored. Because of poor health he was unable to attend the unveiling of the Munchkins star on the Hollywood walk of fame in 2007. He passed away in 2008.
There were 124 Munchkins in the movie. Not all of them were little people. Ten girls ranging in age from 7 to 10 also played the parts.
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