film

Jerry Maren: Last living 'Wizard of Oz' munchkin dies at 98

The last living Munchkin from the iconic film "The Wizard of Oz" has died.


Brittany King


Jerry Maren, the last living munchkin from the award-winning film the Wizard of Oz, has died. He was 98.

 

Born Gerard Marenghi, the actor was best known for welcoming Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) to Munchkinland back in 1939. The late actor's niece, Stacy Michelle Barrington, confirmed the news, telling Fox News, he died more than a month ago but the family decided to hold off on sharing the news with the media.

We were all paid $50 a week because we didnt have agents. They thought we were stupid, but we knew we were getting the shaft. Toto was getting $150 a week.

Jerry Maren
The NY Post

"I wish I had grown up with him and had spent more time and being around him growing up," she told the outlet. "Im grateful to have had such important people in my family. Uncle Jerry would want the legacy of the 'Wizard of Oz' to continue."

 

Maren previously recalled how he was cast for the iconic film, tellingThe New York Post, "I was just out of high school in Massachusetts and appearing in vaudeville Times Square with an act called Three and a Half Steps. I was approached by a casting agent who said, 'We need little people who can sing and dance.' "

 

"We were all paid $50 a week because we didnt have agents," he added. "They thought we were stupid, but we knew we were getting the shaft. Toto was getting $150 a week."

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