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Home / Entertainment / Jerry Maren, who sang and danced as Munchkin in Oz, dies at 98

Jerry Maren, who sang and danced as Munchkin in Oz, dies at 98



Most of the dwarves of Wizard of Oz performed non-Hollywood lives and only occasionally came to the spotlight for studio-organized publicity stunts and fan events. But Mr. Maren spent his life as a performer, including stunt work for children's actors such as Jodie Foster and Ron Howard. He has appeared in more than 60 films and television series, including Bewitched, the satirical soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and The Gong Show, where he was eager to disperse confetti.

"It was not a lot, but it was stable," he wrote in his 2006 memoir, "Short and Sweet: The Life and Times of the Lollipops Munchkin".

Like every character actor, Mr. Maren went to where the work was taking him. He was a spokesman for Oscar Meyer in the 1950s and traveled the country in a wine mobile. (His job was to jump out of a hatch and whistle to the onlookers.) In popular late-1940s children's footwear commercials, he played Buster Brown, wore a Little Lord Fauntleroy uniform, and sang, "This is my dog, Tige 'He lives in a shoe / I'm Buster Brown. Also look for me there.'

In McDonald's commercials, he was Mayor McKheese in the 1970s. "Big Mac built my house," he wrote. (This Los Angeles home was built to scale.)


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