Margaret Pellegrini, who played one of the most popular Munchkins in “The Wizard Of Oz”, died on Wednesday at her home in Phoenix. She was 89 years old.
As one of just a handful of surviving Munchkins, Pellegrini often took part in parades and events relating to the film, including Oztoberfest at the Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas.
“She has been to Oztoberfest for nine of the 10 years we’ve held it,” Bunny McCloud, a friend and employee at the museum, said. “We would usually do the ‘Wizard of Oz’ play during the festival, and during the munchkin parts, she’d get up on stage and sing and dance. It’s so hard to lose someone you love, and everyone loved Margaret dearly.”
Pellegrini was one of the youngest actors in the film at the age of 16, and often made light of the fact that the dog who played “Toto” made more money per week than she did.
“He got paid more than I did!” she said. “He got $125 a week and I only got $50!”
Pellegrini played both the “Flowerpot Munchkin” and one of the little sleepyhead kids who wake up in the flower beds when Dorothy arrives in Oz. Now, only two Munchkin actors remain: 95-year-old Ruth Robinson Duccini, who played a villager, and 93-year-old Jerry Maren, who played a member of the Lollipop Guild.