The man who once represented the Lollipop Guild and welcomed Dorothy to Munchkinland has officially made his mark.
In 1939, Jerry Maren appeared as the middle Munchkin who handed Dorothy a giant lollipop in "The Wizard of Oz." Today, Maren was honored at the TCL Chinese Theater, where "Oz" once appeared, to receive one of Hollywood's highest honors. After a ceremony, the 93-year-old put his hands and feet in wet cement ... and then delighted the crowd by belting out his own solo rendition of "The Lollipop Guild."
Watch Jerry Maren Sing 'The Lollipop Guild':
Jerry Maren and Ruth Duccini, 95, are currently the only two surviving Munchkin actors from the film. For "Oz" fans, Maren stands out as one of the most memorable Munchkins, his tough-guy persona amidst heading the Lollipop Guild has even inspired parodies over the years ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" fans might remember Charlie's brief 'angry Munchkin' routine in a Season 1 episode). So how did Maren get to be the one who handed Dorothy the lollipop, anyway?
"Well, I looked pretty good and I could sing and I could dance so they says well we're safe with him, you know," Maren told Yahoo Movies, apparently still a charmer 74 years later.
The ceremony at the Chinese Theater served as a sort of pre-show to this weekend's re-release of "The Wizard of Oz," which has been restored in IMAX 3D. Director Victor Fleming's 1939 film is now considered an all-time classic, though Maren didn't have any idea just how big it was going to be when he was making it.
"I had absolutely no idea and I'm so happy that it was," he said.
The Lollipop Guild ended up being a one-time gig and Maren didn't stay in touch with his two co-stars, Jakob 'Jackie' Gerlich and Harry Doll, after the production wrapped.
"We pretty much separated because they all had previous engagements," he said. "Somebody had to go to Milwaukee, somebody had to go to Boston, New York, etc."
[Photos: 'Wizard of Oz' 3D Premiere]
Born Gerard Marenghi in Boston in January 24, 1920, Maren's other screen appearances include his villainous turn as Light-Fingered Lester in an Our Gang feature, a role in the Marx Brothers' "At the Circus" (1939) and "Little Cigars" (1973), which co-starred his fellow Munchkin actor, Billy Curtis. Maren also appeared as an ape in "Battle For the Planet of the Apes" (1973), portrayed Mayor McCheese and Hamburglar in commercials for McDonald's and was a featured performer on "The Gong Show" during the late '70s.
So what's it like for this Hollywood veteran to be honored at the Chinese Theater after all these years?
"It confirms my opinion of the public," said Maren. "They love me or else they wouldn't be here to see this."
"The Wizard of Oz: An IMAX 3D Experience" opens for a one-week limited run on September 20.
Giana Mucci contributed to this report.