Jerry Maren, the last living munchkin from the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz has passed away at the age of 98, according to reports.
In the film, Maren was a member of the iconic “Lollipop Guild” that Dorothy encounters before setting foot on the Yellow Brick Road.
As per TMZ, the actor passed away at a nursing home in San Diego. He had been suffering from dementia.
— Channing Thomson (@CHANNINGPOSTERS) June 6, 2018
Born Gerard Marenghi on January 24, 1920 in Boston, Massachusetts, Maren had five sisters and four brothers, all of whom were of average height. He landed his most famous role in The Wizard of Oz when he was just 18-years-old.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 6, 2018
Standing at 3 feet 6 inches tall, Maren was a part of the famous “Lollipop Guild” and would go on to be the last surviving member of the munchkins from the film. After the film’s success, he also appeared in other films such as At the Circus and Battle for the Planet of the Apes.
Sad to hear that, as of today, Jerry Maren, the last of “The Munchkins” from THE WIZARD OF OZ, isn’t merely dead, but really most sincerely dead. Nice guy. pic.twitter.com/TZQZkkNCKz
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) June 6, 2018
In 1975, Maren married Elizabeth Barrington. The couple were together until 2011, when Barrington died at the age of 67.
The 98-year-old was actually awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007, along with six other munchkins from the movie. In 2016 false reports of his death were circulated, with headlines suggesting he had succumbed to pancreatic cancer.
It transpired, however, that he was alive and well, with no trace of cancer in his body.
— Peter Howell (@peterhowellfilm) June 6, 2018
Reports claim that Maren died on May 24, 2018 from cardiopulmonary failure linked to his dementia. His funeral was held at Forest Lawn in California.
To see Maren in action in The Wizard of Oz watch the video below:
Rest in peace Jerry Maren! If you enjoyed his role in The Wizard of Oz be sure to SHARE this article with all your Facebook friends and family.