Minnesota-born Munchkin from 'The Wizard of Oz' dies


The last original female Munchkin from the iconic 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" has died.

Ruth Robinson Duccini, who was born in Rush City, Minnesota, died Thursday at a hospice care center in Las Vegas of natural causes, The Associated Press says.

She was 95.

With Duccini's death, Jerry Maren, 93, of Los Angeles, becomes the last surviving Munchkin from the film, Stephen Cox, author of the book "The Munchkins of Oz," tells the L.A. Times.

According to the AP, 124 performers played the Munchkins in the MGM classic, which starred Grand Rapids, Minnesota, native Judy Garland as Dorothy.

Duccini, who was 4 feet tall, reportedly traveled with a troupe of little people to California to be cast in the film.

Her only other film role was in the 1981 spoof "Under the Rainbow" starring Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher. In her later years she attended "Oz"-themed events, including the Judy Garland Festival in Grand Rapids.

The Hollywood Reporter says Duccini attended the premiere of "The Wizard of Oz" in IMAX 3D in September. She was also among the six Munchkin performers who received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Duccini was married to her husband, Fred, from 1943 until his death in 1994. They had two children together.

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