Margaret Pellegrini, 'Wizard of Oz' Munchkin, dies at 89

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY,  |  Aug. 8, 2013 at 5:46 PM
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Margaret Pellegrini, one of the few surviving actors from the original "Wizard of Oz" died Wednesday at the age of 89.

Pellegrini, who played the flowerpot Munchkin, succumbed to a stroke at her home in Phoenix, said Ted Bulthaup, spokesman for the Munchkins actors on the convention circuit.

Just two Munchkin actors survive, Lollypop Kid Jerry Maren, 93, and Ruth Duccini, 95.

Pellegrini was just 16 when she was tapped to play a role in the classic film. She had a few lines -- words familiar to so many, even 74 years after the film first debuted:

"Wake up, you sleepyhead. Rub your eyes, get out of bed! Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead!"

Pellegrini said she was proud of the way the movie took away some of the stigma surrounding little people.

"It showed that we were not only little, but we could do what big people did," she said.

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