Last surviving ‘Wizard of Oz,’ munchkin Jerry Maren dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jerry Maren, the last surviving munchkin from the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” has died at age 98.

The actor’s niece, Stacy Michelle Barrington, said Wednesday that Maren died May 24 at a San Diego nursing home.

Maren, who stood just 4-feet-3, was one of more than 100 little people recruited to play munchkins in the movie.

He stood out among the others, however, as the “Lollipop Kid” who sang, danced and then famously handed Judy Garland’s Dorothy an oversized lollipop.

Maren would go on to appear in scores of other films, as well as TV shows and commercials, in a career that spanned more than 70 years.

But he said “The Wizard of Oz” always held a special place in his heart.

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