Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Jerry Maren, R.I.P.


I’ll keep this remembrance of Jerry Maren, who died today at age 98 and was the last living Munchkin, short.


One of the interesting by-products of living in Los Angeles, and Burbank in particular (where Warner Brothers and Disney and other production companies and studios are based), is that you have odd run-ins with famous people — people you’ve seen for much of your life on various screens or printed paper, but don’t expect to see when you’re, say, walking your dog. One time I parked my car and got out, being careful not to ding the car next to me. The gentleman getting out of that car was William Shatner. Another time, I was in line at the Ford Amphitheater donating canned goods, and the fellow in front of me was Keanu Reeves. I once wound up having lunch with Richard Benjamin, who came across as a very nice man, and chatting with Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson) while waiting to order food.

But it certainly was surreal some years ago to be next in line at the barbershop behind Jerry Maren. Yes, I frequented the same old-time barbershop here in Burbank as that Munchkin I’d seen in that movie a countless number of times over the decades. I remember his wife fussed over him, as did the barber, and I just sat there feeling that this was somehow surreal. Of course, he had appeared in “Superman” and many, many other things — but this was like a visitation from Oz, a few blocks from my house.

And, naturally, at the end of theĀ haircut, the barber offered Mr. Maren a lollipop.

One Response to “Jerry Maren, R.I.P.”

  1. Dan Says:

    Damn. That would have made a great book-title: THE LAST MUNCHKIN.

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