Jerry Maren, the last surviving munchkin of the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz, died last week at the age of 98 after losing his battle with dementia.
Jerry took his last breath at a nursing care facility in San Diego, California, after which his family and friends gathered over the weekend for his funeral at Forest Lawn, Hollywood.
Jerry Maren had a 70-year career in showbiz. He is most widely known for his character as the ‘oldest munchkin’ in the 1939 fantasy phenomenon film, The Wizard of Oz. At the time, Jerry was only eighteen years old and starred alongside Harry Earles and Jakob ‘Jackie’ Gerlich.
In March 2016, false rumors of Jerry’s death surfaced on the Internet. At that time, he was reportedly battling pancreatic cancer but had a few more years to live.
Apart from numerous small parts, he also starred in the 1967 supernatural sitcom, Bewitched, and played an ape in the 1968 cult classic, Planet of the Apes. Jerry also stared on television and bagged the supporting character role in the 1971 TV series, Lidsville, and the 1982 comedy series, No Soap, Radio, alongside Steve Guttenberg.
The 98-year-old star also had cameo roles in an episode of Seinfeld and in the 2010 comedy horror movie, Dahmer Vs. Gacy. The latter became one of his final roles in the acting industry.
Jerry was given the honor of having his handprint and footprint ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in September 2013. He appeared with six other Munchkin actors at the unveiling of a Hollywood Star for the Wizard of Oz Munchkins on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The actor was married to Elizabeth Barrington until 2011, when she tragically passed away, putting an end to a 36-year long marriage.
His last Instagram account post, dated back in May 2017, was a black and white photograph of him and his wife on their wedding day. Jerry had captioned the image, “Happy Aniversary, my lifelong love. RIP.”
The post Wizard of Oz’s oldest living munchkin, Jerry Maren, dies at the age of 98 appeared first on Journal Post.