‘Oz’ Munchkin, of Rush City, dead at 95

Ruth Robinson Duccini as dressed as a Munchkin for her role in the Wizard of Oz.  Photo supplied

Ruth Robinson Duccini as dressed as a Munchkin for her role in the Wizard of Oz.
Photo supplied

Ruth Robinson Duccini, 95, born in Rush City, one of the last surviving Munchkins from the 1939 MGM film “The Wizard of Oz,” died Jan. 16 of natural causes at the Solari Hospice Center in Las Vegas, Nev., according to news reports.

The 4-foot-tall Duccini was one of 127 Munchkins who had roles in the film.

In 2007, at the age of 89, Duccini came to visit her hometown.

In an interview with the Post Review during her visit, Duccini talked about her memories of Rush City, the filming of the movie, and the time she spent in World War II as a Rosie the Riveter for Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, Calif.

Duccini’s mother was the chief telephone operator in Rush City, doing her work out of their home. Duccini worked the switchboard while in high school, earning $11 a week.

Duccini said she never personally met Billie Burke, who played Glinda, the Good Witch, closely associated with the Munchkins at the beginning of the movie.

And she barely met the 16-year-old star of the show, Judy Garland.

“One day we all paraded through her trailer and she gave us a picture,” she said.

She described the filming of the movie as not being particularly strenuous and added that it was “a lot of fun.”

Duccini also appeared in the spoof “Under the Rainbow” starring Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher.

The last surviving Munchkin is Jerry Maren, 93, who portrayed a Lollipop Guild Munchkin.

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