Ruth Robinson Duccini
Ruth Duccini (July 23, 1918 – January 16, 2014) was an American actress and the penultimate surviving Munchkin from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Duccini was the last surviving female performer from the film. Her role in the film as a Munchkin villager was not credited. Her most recent appearances were when she and the other surviving Munchkins were presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 21, 2007, and attending the premiere of the film’s 75th anniversary at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. She also was seen in Under the Rainbow (1981) and Memories of Oz (2001).
While Duccini could not recall in 2013 what she earned filming Oz, the Munchkin village actors were paid $125 a week during filming ($2094 adjusted for inflation).
She said of her World War II work: “The one thing that I’m most proud of, during the Second World War, I worked on airplanes in a defense plant. I was a Rosie the Riveter. I’m really proud of that.”
When Margaret Thatcher died, those who had disliked the former British Prime Minister for so many years tried to propel “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead” on the radio charts to celebrate her death. Duccini and Jerry Maren both opposed the campaign, labeling it “terrible”, insisting the song was not to be used in such a way. Duccini stated that those involved “should feel ashamed”.
Duccini died of natural causes in Las Vegas, aged 95, on January 16, 2014. At the time of Duccini’s death, only one munchkin actor remained alive from Oz: Jerry Maren.
- July, 23, 1918
- United States
- January, 16, 2014
- United States