Thursday, August 8, 2013

Big Screen in the Sky

Margaret Pellegrini, one of the last remaining Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz, passed away at her home in Phoenix, Arizona, yesterday.  She was 89.  At age 15 she left her home in Alabama to journey across the country to the magical land of Hollywood where she joined a troupe of 124 little people who were enduring the rigors of dance rehearsals and costume fittings to portray the colorful denizens of Oz.  Pellegrini, being so young and full of personality, was well used by the production team, popping up all over Munchkinland, sometimes in multiple costumes, but always with a big smile.  Her time at the film colony was short, and she soon returned to an ordinary civilian life, but in the 1980's she became a beloved guest at many of Oz festivals
around the country.  Along with her fellow cast mates, she happily reminisced about the making of the picture and about her enduring respect for the talent of Judy Garland.  When the Munchkins received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007, she was on of the thrilled recipients at the ceremony.  Not simply an extra, Pelelgrini became an ambassador to a beloved movie classic, making that magical, faraway place seem close at hand.  She will be missed tremendously by her family, friends and fans.  


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