Last 'Wizard of Oz' Munchkin NOT Dead ... Just Lying Low

3/1/2016 8:28 AM PST

Last 'Wizard of Oz' Munchkin: Jerry Maren NOT Dead ... Just Laying Low


Jerry Maren -- the last surviving 'Wizard of Oz' munchkin -- is keeping his title ... because he's alive and well.

There were multiple reports Monday 96-year-old Maren passed away after a bout with pancreatic cancer. But TMZ spoke with Steve Cox -- one of Maren's close friends -- who said he spoke with Jerry yesterday after the death reports ... and verified his pal's doing just fine.

Steve says Maren doesn't even have pancreatic cancer, and is well cared for by relatives in Southern California. He doesn't do appearances any more, but he's about as healthy as can be at 96.

Jerry is currently the last surviving actor still repping the Lollipop Guild.