“\”Wizard of Oz\” Actress Betty Ann Bruno Dies at 91

By | August 1, 2023



Actress and former KTVU reporter Betty Ann Bruno has passed away at the age of 91. Her son, Steve Bruno, described her as socially aware, caring, and active. Her sudden death came as a shock to her family, as she was believed to be very healthy. Betty Ann was a passionate hula instructor and the creator of the dance organization Hula Mai in Sonoma, California. She was also known for her role as a munchkin in “The Wizard of Oz” when she was just 7 years old. Betty Ann later became an investigative reporter and covered the 1991 fire in Oakland Hills. She is survived by her husband and three sons. Stephanie Giang-Paunon reported

Former KTVU Reporter and “Wizard of Oz” Actress Betty Ann Bruno Passes Away at 91

Betty Ann Bruno, the renowned actress known for her role as a munchkin in “The Wizard of Oz,” and a former KTVU reporter, has tragically passed away at the age of 91. The news of her death was confirmed by her family to Fox News Digital.

Her youngest son, Steve Bruno, spoke highly of his mother, describing her as one of the most socially aware, caring, and active individuals he had ever come across. He expressed his shock at her sudden demise, as she had been in excellent health. Betty Ann fell at the hospital after performing one of her beloved Hawaiian dances. Steve mentioned that his mother was a passionate hula instructor and had even founded the dance organization Hula Mai in Sonoma, California.

Steve shared the heartbreaking details of his mother’s final moments, stating, “She did this beautiful finale dance. She got a headache. My stepdad drove her to the emergency room. She collapsed in the lobby and died.” Despite the shock of her sudden passing, Steve emphasized that his mother had lived an incredible life and had never experienced any heart problems before.

In addition to her role as a munchkin in “The Wizard of Oz” at the age of 7, Betty Ann Bruno also chronicled her experiences in the 2020 book titled “The Munchkin Diary: My Personal Yellow Brick Road.”

Following her acting career, Betty Ann spent over two decades as an investigative reporter, with one of her most notable stories being her coverage of the 1991 fire in Oakland Hills, where she tragically lost her own home. Steve highlighted her accomplishments, stating, “Not only was she an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist, but she was also a human interest reporter. That was her thing. She spent years in community affairs and even ran for city council.”


Betty Ann is survived by her husband Craig, a former KTVU cameraman, and her three sons. Her husband, Craig Scheiner, expressed his love and devotion to his late wife, saying, “She was the love of my life. She’s my honeybunch. And she still is… she will be forever.”

Stephanie Giang-Paunon, an Entertainment Writer for Fox News Digital, contributed to this report.


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