Margaret Pellegrini, original Munchkin was 89 (video)

Margaret Pellegrini, one of the last three surviving Munchkins from the 1939 film classic, "The Wizard of Oz," died today after suffering a stroke at her home in Phoenix. Pellegrini played a flower pot Munchkin and a sleepyhead villager. The current owners of Grauman's Chinese, TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, announced that the lights facing Hollywood Boulevard would be dimmed at 9 p.m. for one minute. The Wizard of Oz premiered at Grauman's Chinese on Aug. 15, 1939. Star Judy Garland's hands are in the forecourt cement.

The Munchkins have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6915 Hollywood Boulevard. Though the Culver Hotel in Culver City might be the more appropriate spot.

The Munchkins first appeared in L. Frank Baum's popular 1900 children's novel, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," as the blue-wearing inhabitants of Munchkin Country. In the film four decades later, they were the more colorful residents of Munchkinland. References say that 124 different actors were employed as Munchkins in the film. The two known survivors are Jerry Maren, 93, and Ruth Duccini, 95.

Pellegrini is featured in the following clip.

A 3-D IMAX version of "The Wizard of Oz" is expected to premiere at the TCL Chinese on Sept. 15 and run exclusively there for a week.

Photo: Li-Hua Lan / The Post-Standard

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