Notable Deaths ›

Jerry Maren (1920 – 2018), last surviving “Wizard of Oz” munchkin

Getty Images / AFP / Robyn Beck

Featured as the green member of the Lollipop Guild

Jerry Maren, the last surviving Oz munchkin, died during the last week of May, 2018 at a San Diego nursing care facility, according to multiple news sources. He was 98.

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Born on January 24, 1920 in Boston, Massachusetts, Maren aspired to acting from a young age. In 1938, he joined up with a group of other New York munchkin aspirants and rode a bus to Hollywood, where he achieved lifelong fame as the munchkin who hands Dorothy a welcome Lollipop from the Lollipop Guild.

Maren was featured in the center of the trio of Lollipop Guild munchkins.

After "The Wizard of Oz," many smaller movie roles followed, such as the Our Gang comedy “Tiny Troubles” and the Marx Brothers film “At the Circus,” but Maren focused mainly on television and commercial work, with appearances on “The Gong Show, " "The Odd Couple," "Beverly Hillbillies," and "Seinfeld." He was particularly famous for his advertising work, including roles as Buster Brown in the Buster Brown shoe ads, Little Oscar in the Oscar Meyer commercials, and McDonalds’ Mayor McCheese.

See Jerry Maren in our Wizard of Oz photo gallery.

Maren was honored in September 2013 with in a hand and footprint ceremony outside Hollywood’s famed Chinese Theatre.

According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, after his wife’s death in 2011, Maren stopped performance work. The couple had no children.

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