Margaret Pellegrini, one of the three remaining 'Munchkins' from the 'Wizard Of Oz' died yesterday at the age of 89.
Margaret Pellegrini, one of the last remaining Munchkins from The Wizard Of Oz, died yesterday (August 7th). She was 89 years old. According to reports the actress died at around 7am after suffering a stroke. She passed away in Phoenix, Arizona close to her home.
New Yorkers dressed as characters from The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy and the Lion accompanied by a Wicked Witch spaniel and a scarecrow dog, at the 21st Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade
Pellegrini featured in The Wizard of Oz in numerous Munchkin parts, she can clearly be seen as a villager standing next to Judy Garland as they sing 'Follow the Yellow Brick Road'.
Pellegrini first entered show business at the age of 15, following a chance encounter with a group of travelling dwarfs two years before. Pellegrini stood at 3 feet, 4 inches and her height attractive a group of performers at a state fair in Memphis. Interviewed by The Topeka- Capital Journal in 2009, Pellegrini described her encounter with the performers: "while I was there [at the state show], some little people came down from the show, they had a midget show and they wanted me to join up with the show. I said, 'I don't want to leave home.'"
Originally from Alabama, Pellegrini was contacted by an agent (her contact details supplied by the circus performers she met at the state far) and this time she didn't hesitate. With this agent she was cast in The Wizard of Oz, which has since become one of the most loved films of the 20th century.
"There's no place like home... There's no place like home": Judy Garland's famous red shoes which she wore as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
On her role in the musical, Pellegrini said it "opened a lot of doors for me". She said in the 2009 interview: ""I have got to see a lot of the country and I have got to meet a lot of wonderful people. I have friends all over the country."
Pellegrini had fond memories of her time filming The Wizard of Oz in 1939, especially of the film's star Judy Garland.Pellegrini described Garland as "a very lovely person" who was "a normal", "typical teenager." According to Pellegrini there were 124 'Munchkins' on set and Garland was "excited" to be working with "so many little people".
After appearing in The Wizard of Oz, Pellegrini only made one other feature film appearance in the 1971 film Johnny Got His Gun (although her role was uncredited). She is best known for appearing on various documentaries which focus on The Wizard of Oz and the role of dwarfs in the film.
Of the 124 Munchkins who appeared in The Wizard of Oz, there are only two remaining original Munchkins left: Jerry Maren who is 93-years-old and Ruth Duccini who is two years older.
Contactmusic sends their condolences to Margaret Pellegrini's family and friends.
Judy Garland's costume from The Wizard of Oz, displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in 2012.