Renowned American television host, reporter, and former child actress Betty Ann Bruno, aged 91, passed away on July 30, 2023. Betty, a beloved San Francisco Bay Area figure, served as an esteemed reporter and host for KTVU-Channel 2 for over two decades before her retirement in 1994.
Born in Hawaii in 1931, Bruno moved to Hollywood, California, in her early years, where her unique journey into the world of entertainment began. She achieved early fame as a child actress, most notably playing a munchkin in the timeless 1939 classic film, The Wizard of Oz.
Following her childhood acting career, Bruno pursued a path in journalism, making her mark as a formidable investigative reporter. One of her most noteworthy contributions includes the 1991 Oakland Hills fire coverage, a calamity claiming her own home. Bruno’s dedication to her profession earned her three Emmy Awards during her tenure at KTVU.
Her remarkable journey from Hollywood to the bustling newsroom was recorded in her autobiography, The Munchkin Diary: My Personal Yellow Brick Road. The book was published in 2020 and met with critical acclaim and topped best-seller lists.
During her retirement days, Bruno channeled her Hawaiian roots and continued to give back to her community by teaching hula dancing in Sonoma, California. She also remained a vibrant part of Oz-themed events, including the annual Oz-Stravaganza in Chittenango, New York, where she participated in the parade and shared her passion for hula with festival participants.
Betty Ann Bruno leaves behind an enduring legacy marked by her exceptional contributions to journalism, early Hollywood, and her community. She is survived by her husband, Craig Scheiner, a former KTVU photographer, and her three sons. Bruno’s life and career have left an indelible mark on American television and journalism, making her a figure to remember in the times to come.