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

The Munchkins from "The Wizard of Oz" pose for a photo with television personality Maria Menounos after they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007. The Munchkins from left: Clarence Swensen, Jerry Maren, Mickey Carroll, Karl Slover, Ruth Duccini, Margaret Pelligrini and Meinhardt Raabe, the coroner. | AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes reports that Jerry Maren, the last surviving munchkin from the iconic film “The Wizard of Oz” died last week at the age of 98.

According to the report, Maren died at a San Diego nursing home where he had lived for the past years battling dementia.

In the film musical, Maren was featured as one of the three Munchkins in “the Lollipop Guild” (he’s the center Munchkin).

According to the four-foot-three Maren was 19 when he was cast in the MGM classic, and was paid $50 a week for the role (Toto reportedly got $125). Other film credits include “A Night at the Circus,” “Battle for Planet of the Apes,” as well as the TV series “The Gong Show,” “Get Smart” and “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.” He was also was featured in several classic TV commercial campaigns, as McDonald’s Mayor McCheese and the Hamburgler and as “Little Oscar” for Oscar Mayer.