GERALD MARENGHI: R.I.P.

Ken Berwitz


The name might not be familiar, but you watched him give a lollipop to Judy Garland in a classic 1939 movie.

Gerald Marenghi, using the stage name Jerry Maren, the last surviving dwarf Munchkin from The Wizard Of Oz, has died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles, at the age of 96.

Mr. Marenghi played one of the members of The Lollipop Guild…the middle of three Munchkins who approached Dorothy Gale (played by Ms. Garland) and the one who handed her a lollipop.

Marenghi probably had the most prolific post-“Wizard” career of any munchkin.  He was in many movies and TV shows for decades afterwards.  He was the little guy who tossed confetti at contestants on The Gong Show.  In McDonald commercials he played both Mayor McCheese and The Hamburglar.

Gerald Marenghi was obviously a one-of-a-kind performer, who did not let his diminutive size get in the way of his entertainment-industry dreams.  

May he rest in peace.

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