Jerry Maren, last surviving 'Oz' Munchkin, dies at 98

Jerry Maren, last surviving 'Oz' Munchkin, dies at 98
Original Munchkin Jerry Maren attends the "Wizard of Oz" 70th Anniversary Emerald Gala at Tavern on the Green in New York, Thursday, September 24, 2009. (Source: AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

(RNN) - Jerry Maren, the last surviving Munchkin from the iconic 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz, died last month at 98.

News of Maren's death wasn't reported until Wednesday. A nephew told The New York Times he died of congestive heart failure on May 24 in San Diego.

Maren was a member of the Lollipop Guild, and handed Dorothy Gale, played by Judy Garland, a lollipop shortly after she landed in Oz.

Born in Boston in 1920, Maren was a teenager when he was discovered.

"So what we got was $50 a week. And believe it or not, Toto, I believe he made $200 something. But he deserved every penny. He was clever, Toto," Maren said in a 2011 interview.

Maren and the then-surviving six Munchkins received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.

He was also known for frequently delighting fans by singing the Lollipop Guild song.

"I've probably sung that song 5,000 times at festivals over the years, but I never get tired of it because the fans love it so much," he said in a 2009 interview.

Maren played Buster Brown on TV and on the radio in the '50s and '60s. Throughout his career, he also made guest appearances on The Odd Couple, The Beverly Hillbillies and Seinfeld.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.