The Last Living 'Wizard of Oz' Munchkin Has Passed Away

posted by Michelle Buckles -

Jerry Maren has passed away and he was 98 years old.

The last surviving cast member of the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz” has died - Jerry Maren, who famously “represent[ed] the Lollipop Guild” as one of the singing Munchkins who greets Judy Garland in her entrance to fabulous Technicolor. (He’s the one in green.) He was 98. His official credentials and obituary show an interesting duality - his professional career included merrily spreading confetti on “The Gong Show”, popping out of a hatch in the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile to hand whistles to kids, and playing Mayor McCheese in McDonald’s commercials. While doing this and many other roles of the sort and having a good sense of humor about his stature, he and Billy Barty (one of the first famous little people, whose long career includes stints as the title character on Sid and Marty Krofft’s “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters” and as the original voice of EPCOT Center’s Figment the Dragon) founded the Little People of America, a well-known advocacy group (the group was originally called the Midgets of America until its membership came to the conclusion that the term did not accurately describe all people with dwarfism and had its roots in circus freak shows - the LPA now considers it a derogatory slur and actively campaigns to create awareness of its harm when directed towards those with dwarfism). A long and interesting career puts a sad capstone on the legacy of one of the best musicals and most memorable films of all time - long after all of us are gone as well Jerry and all of these memorable actors will continue to bring joy to as of yet unborn children and parents, which perhaps is the greatest legacy one could ask for. #JerryMaren #RIPJerryMaren #Munchkins #LollipopGuild #TheWizardofOz #MGM

A post shared by Ryan W. Mead (@ryanwmead) on

RIP Jerry Maren! #munchkin #wizardofoz #oz #jerrymaren #98 #littleperson #1939 #singermidgets #died #restinpeace #lollipopguild #themunchkins #actor #2018 #performer #moviestar #movie #movies #film #sad #offtoseethewizard #mgm #munchkinland #technicolor #werepresentthelollipopguild #gonebutnotforgotten

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