Wizard of Oz's Last Surviving Munchkin Jerry Maren Dies at 98
The last living Munchkin from The Wizard of Oz has died.
Jerry Maren, who memorably welcomed Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) to Munchkinland in the classic 1939 film as part of the Lollipop Guild, died last week at a San Diego nursing care facility, TMZ reported. The actor was laid to rest over the weekend at Forest Lawn in Hollywood, said the outlet.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Maren was the final surviving Munchkin actor from the 124 little people who starred in The Wizard of Oz. The bio on his Instagram page also states, “Last living munchkin from the Wizard of Oz.”
Maren was close to his nieces and nephews after his wife Elizabeth, who was also a little person, died in 2011 at age 69, TMZ reports.
The actor appeared in TV bits on popular shows over the years including The Twilight Zone, Seinfeld and Bewitched, according to IMDB. His most recent role was back in 2010, when he appeared in the movie Dahmer vs. Gacy.
However, he is best remembered for being in the middle of the Lollipop Guild trio donning green and presenting Garland with a giant candy.
“I’ve done so many things in show business, but people say, ‘You were in The Wizard of Oz?’ It takes people’s breath away,” Maren recalled during an interview with Patch in 2011. “But then I realized, ‘Geez, it must have been a hell of a picture, because everyone remembers it everywhere I go.'”