I always wanted to meet three people who were alive when I was younger: Elizabeth Taylor (Hollywood Rewind, From her childhood stardom to her television roles, Elizabeth Taylor was a charismatic presence, May 30), Margaret O’Brien and a Munchkin (from 1939’s The Wizard of Oz).
The nearest I got to Taylor was when she played the Pantages in The Little Foxes but, alas, I couldn’t afford the ticket. Years later, I read in the newspaper that Margaret would appear at a magic/sorcery shop in Burbank but she was a no-show. The small crowd of fans expressed their dismay so the coordinator said he’d get Jerry Maren to fill in, and I stupididly thought he meant Jerry Maguire so I figured I’d stick around for Tom Cruise. In comes this little fellow, child-size, and I thought “Who’s this?” Then, low and behold, I find out he was a Munchkin! He was very approachable—he and his little wife.
Well Taylor is dead, Margaret is elusive and Maren just went over the rainbow.
Editor’s note: Actor Jerry Maren died on May 24 at age 98.