SAN DIEGO – The last surviving munchkin from “Wizard of Oz” has passed away.
According to TMZ, Jerry Maren died over a week ago at a San Diego nursing care facility. His funeral was held over the weekend in Hollywood. The cause of death is unknown at this time.
He had never met another little person before filming “Oz.”
“No, not until I got to MGM and there were 124 of us — young boys, young girls, old guys and old women,” Maren recalled being cast for the movie in a 2009 interview with The New York Post. “We were all paid $50 a week because we didn’t have agents. They thought we were stupid, but we knew we were getting the shaft. Toto was getting $150 a week.”
Maren had plenty of screen time in the classic movie, which he worked on for “about two weeks.”
“Whenever they needed a munchkin extra in another scene, I was in there. I loved Judy Garland. She was an angel to work with.”
Maren was 98.
TMZ reported there were multiple reports he died in March 2016, but a friend of Maren’s confirmed the reports were false.