Jerry Maren as the Leader of The Lollypop Guild in The Wizard of Oz, released in August, 1939.
 
Jerry Maren on Wikipedia
Jerry Maren on the Internet Movie Database
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jerry Maren
Forecourt Ceremony held on Wednesday, September 18, 2013
 
Born: Gerard Marenghi, January 24, 1920, in Roxbury, Massachusetts
Age at the time of the ceremony: 93
Died: May 24, 2018, in La Jolla, California, age 98
 
Jerry Maren was a little person who became an actor at an early age, snagging an M-G-M contract, where his first film was in the role of the Leader of the Lollypop Guild in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. By 2013, Maren had lived to be the oldest living cast member with a speaking role at the age of 93. He was also the oldest person to do his imprints in the Forecourt until Carl Reiner came along at the age of 95 in 2017

Jerry Maren was the youngest of twelve children, most of whom became tall people as adults. Jerry's father was a shoe factory worker, who encouraged him to take dancing lessons.

Touring New England with one of his instructors in an act they called Three Steps and a Hop, brought Maren to the attention of M-G-M talent scouts, who were looking for little people for a big movie they were doing. Maren took $100 per week to appear as the leader of the Lollypop Guild in The Wizard of Oz (which played the Chinese in August 1939) with Judy Garland. Maren was three foot six inches tall.

Upon arriving in Hollywood, Maren worked as an extra in a quickie western called The Terror of Tiny Town (released in December 1938) with Billy Curtis, so this became Maren's first credit. Much of Maren's film credits are for bit parts, for which he received no on-screen credit. Film scholars have sought him out in films and have assigned names to his roles which fit the era of production, like "Midget" or "Gremlin."

Maren continued at M-G-M playing Little Professor Atom in At the Circus (which played the Chinese in October 1939) with The Marx Brothers, and he played an "uncredited Midget" in Maisie Was a Lady (played the Chinese in January 1941) with Ann Sothern. He also played a "Small Boy" in the mystery Fingers at the Window (which played the Chinese in June 1942) with Lew Ayres.

Working for an indie producer for the first time, Maren played a "Gremlin" in Johnny Doesn't Live Here Anymore (released in July 1944) with Simone Simon, then appeared in as an uncredited "Midget" in Paramount's musical Duffy's Tavern (released in September 1945) with Bing Crosby.

Coninuing at Paramount, Maren played a Jester for director Cecil B. DeMille in Samson and Delilah (released in December 1949) with Hedy Lamarr, then took a part as a "Mole-Man" in Superman and the Mole-Men (released in November 1951) with George Reeves.

In the 50s, Maren picked up some work playing characters in television advertising; he played "Little Oscar" for Oscar Meyer, and he played Buster Brown for the shoe company. With his friend Billy Barty, Maren helped found the Little People of America, a support group for Little People in 1957.

He played a spaceman on an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies aired over CBS in December 1966, and a "Gremlin" on Bewitched aired over ABC in October 1967. Maren has many television credits.

At Fox, Maren played a child ape for director Franklin J. Schaffner in Planet of the Apes (released in April 1968) with Charlton Heston, and he was an extra in Hello, Dolly! (which played the Chinese in December 1969) with Barbra Streisand.

Maren played "Lower Gemini" in an episode of Get Smart aired over CBS in May 1970, and he played Bigfoot (released in October 1970) with John Carradine, as a "young creature" (probably a young Bigfoot).

He played Boris / Rah-Rah for 17 episodes of Sid and Marty Krofft's Lidsville aired over ABC from September 1971 to January 1972, and played Cadillac, part of the gang in Little Cigars (released in June 1973) with Angel Tompkins.

Maren had a bit part in The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (released in June 1978) with Tony Curtis (!), and was a Bell Man in Where the Buffalo Roam (which played the Chinese in April 1980) with Bill Murray,

He played a guest at the Hotel Rainbow in Under the Rainbow (released in July 1981) with Chevy Chase, and played one of the Demons in Something Wicked This Way Comes (released in April 1983) with Jason Robards.

Maren played a "Little Creature" in House (released in February 1986) with Kay Lenz; he guest starred as "Mickey's Dad" on an episode of Seinfeld aired over NBC in April 1997. Maren's final proper film credit was the part of a "Mime" in Dahmer vs. Gacy (released in April 2010) with Ford Austin.

To celebrate the opening of the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®, Maren was invited to make his imprints a few days after The Wizard of Oz (which played the Chinese in an IMAX® 3D reissue in September 2013) with Judy Garland, opened. This was one of his many, many personal appearences concerning his part in the Oz legacy.

Maren passed away in a nursing home in La Jolla, California of heart failure on May 24, 2018 at the age of 98.
 
 
Caption TK
TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®, Hollywood, California. Jerry Maren Forecourt ceremony, Wednesday, September 18, 2013. Jerry Maren becomes the oldest person to be imprinted in the Forecourt until Carl Reiner came along in 2017 at the age of 95.
 
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