Yellow Brick Road, Wizard of Oz, Emerald City

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Jerry Maren, The Last Surviving "Wizard Of Oz" Munchkin, Dies At 98

June 7, 2018

Jerry Maren was just 19 years old when he was one of the dozens of little people selected for a role in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

Maren, born Gerard Marenghi, passed away yesterday inside a San Diego nursing care facility, becoming the last known survivor of the film's Munchkin cast, as well as the last member of the cast as a whole with a speaking or singing role.  He can be seen handing Dorothy a giant, swirly lollipop upon her arrival to Munchkinland.

Maren retired from acting in 2010, though he regularly appeared at Oz conventions and events.  He was even honored with a hand print and signature ceremony outside of the TCL Chinese Theatre (Grauman's Chinese Theatre) in 2013.  At the time, he said, "It means everything to me.  It shows you it could happen to any one of us."

Doctors confirmed that Maren died of cardiopulmonary failure, amongst other failing organs, at 98 years old.

Via Vanity Fair