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Margaret Pellegrini, One of the Last Surviving Munchkins, Dies at 89

Margaret Pellegrini, who played the flowerpot Munchkin in “The “Wizard of Oz,” died Wednesday in Glendale, Ariz. after suffering a stroke. She was 89.

She was one of only three surviving Munchkins, including Lollipop Kid Jerry Maren, 93, and Ruth Duccini, 95.

She was a regular at “Oz”-themed events such as the annual Frank Baum parade in Chittegnango, N.Y. She also appeared at 2007’s Walk of Fame ceremony when the Munchkins received a star, arriving at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in a white carriage pulled by a purple-dyed horse.

She was only 16 when she played one of the Munchkins who greet Dorothy when she lands in Oz, and she also played one of the sleepyhead kids in another scene. She worked as a Santa’s helper at a Chicago department store for many years, as well as running a hot dog stand and working as a secretary.

Born Margaret Williams in Tuscumbia, Ala., she joined Henry Kramer’s Midgets act when she was discovered at a state fair and moved to Hollywood by herself at age 15. She later married prizefighter Willie Pellegrini, with whom she had a son and a daughter.

She is survived by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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