Margaret Pellegrini, Wizard of Oz ‘Munchkin,’ Dies on August 7

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
August 7, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Margaret Pellegrini, who played the Flower Pot Munchkin in the original 1939 film “Wizard of Oz,” passed away in Arizona on Wednesday at the age of 89.

Pellegrini, standing four feet tall, was one of the youngest actors on the set of “Wizard of Oz,” being just 15 at the time.

She told the Topeka-Capitol Journal that one of her most cherished memories of the time were of Judy Garland, who was the same age at the time.

“She was so excited working with so many little people, and we were excited working with her,” Pellegrini said. “There was 124 of us, but there was only one of her.”

Only a handful of cast members are still alive from the film, including now only two of the Munchkins.

Pellegrini also played one of the sleepy head kids in “Wizard of Oz.” She was born on September 23, 1923 in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

The Munchkins got a Hollywood Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in their honor in 2007.

Pellegrini was well-known for taking part in Chittenango’s Oz-Stravaganza festival the past 20 years, reports Syracuse.com. Chittenango is in upstate New York.

She was named the grand marshal of this year’s parade but suffered a stroke and was unable to attend the event.

Three members of a local Girl Scout troop wore replica costumes of each part she played in “Wizard of Oz” and carried the banner and a picture of her in the parade as a tribute to her, reported the Madison County Courier.

Colleen Zimmer, one of the organizers of the Oz-Stravaganza festival, said that the death of Pellegrini “is like an end of an era.” 

“Munchkins have been coming to Chittenango for over 20 years,” she said. “Recently it got down to just [Pellegrini] coming. She was more than somebody who came to Chittenango every year. She was my friend. My kids grew up with her. Everybody loved her. I’m going to miss her, dearly.”

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.