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Actress Ruth Duccini, second-to-last surviving 'Wizard of Oz' Munchkin, dies at 95

A sad email from Judy Garland / The Wizard of Oz historian John Fricke:

Steve Cox -- the exemplary MGM Munchkin researcher, "discoverer," and historian -- has just passed along the confirmation that Ruth Duccini died in Las Vegas this morning at 95.

She had been in failing health for the last several months, although she superbly rose to the occasion and was a happy, enthusiastic, and proud participant in the 75th anniversary re-launch of The Wizard of Oz at the Hollywood Chinese Theatre last September 15th. On the ruby red carpet, at the party, and onstage, she once again represented and celebrated all the Munchkins who joined her in Culver City back in 1938.

Ruth appeared as a Munchkin townswoman in the picture. She was the second-last of the surviving "little people" who participated in the movie. Of that group, only Jerry Maren, 94, now remains. (He was the center figure of "The Lollipop Guild" trio who greeted Judy Garland on-screen when "Dorothy Gale" arrived in Oz.

Ruth Robinson was born in Minnesota and traveled to Metro with the Harvey and Grace Williams troupe of midgets, all of whom appeared with her in Oz. During that trip, she met a non-Oz little person, Fred Duccini, who preceded her in death.

Ruth is survived by her son, Fred, and daughter, Margaret; grand- and great-grandchildren; many personal friends; and the literally hundreds of thousands who attended Oz festivals and events between 1989 and 2013.

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