Jack Haley


Actor
Jack Haley

About

Also Known As
John Joseph Haley
Birth Place
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Born
August 10, 1899
Died
June 06, 1979
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

An engaging light comedian whose showbiz roots extended to vaudeville, Jack Haley was not the first choice for what is perhaps his best-known role, the Tin Man seeking a heart in the 1939 MGM classic "The Wizard of Oz." Born in Boston, Haley began as a song-and-dance man and appeared on Broadway in the hits "Good News" and "Gay Paree." He made his first foray into movies in the silent "B...

Family & Companions

Florence Haley
Wife
Former Ziegfeld showgirl. Married from 1921 until his death in 1979; died on December 30, 1996 at age 94.

Biography

An engaging light comedian whose showbiz roots extended to vaudeville, Jack Haley was not the first choice for what is perhaps his best-known role, the Tin Man seeking a heart in the 1939 MGM classic "The Wizard of Oz."

Born in Boston, Haley began as a song-and-dance man and appeared on Broadway in the hits "Good News" and "Gay Paree." He made his first foray into movies in the silent "Broadway Madness" (1927) and returned three years later as a Paramount player in "Follow Thru" (1930). It wasn't until he was signed by Fox, though that he came into his own as a genial second lead in such efforts as "Poor Little Rich Girl" (1936) and "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" (1938), both with Shirley Temple, and "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (also 1938). Haley was loaned to MGM to play the coach in "Pigskin Parade" (1936), which also marked the debut of Judy Garland and again to replace an ill Buddy Ebsen (who had an allergic reaction to the makeup) in "Oz." (Ironically, Ray Bolger was originally slated for the role but he balked and managed to convince the studio to allow he and Ebsen to switch roles.) Haley, along with Bolger and Bert Lahr, all shared similar professional backgrounds having played vaudeville and burlesque as well as the legitimate stage and worked well together. Nonetheless, he was a bit overshadowed by the showier antics of his co-stars and by the luminous tremulousness that Judy Garland brought to her role. Still, because "The Wizard of Oz" achieved classic status with repeated TV broadcasts, it remains his best-remembered role.

In the 1940s, Haley continued to lend support to major stars in films like "Moon Over Miami" (1941), with Betty Grable and Don Ameche, and "Higher and Higher" (1943), with Frank Sinatra. But as the decade wound down and he inched toward his 50s, he was virtually wasted in fluff (i.e., "Scared Stiff" 1945). He retired from show business after "Make Mine Laughs" (1949), which reunited him with Ray Bolger, and a brief stint as host of TV's "Ford Star Revue" (NBC, 1950), finding a lucrative second career in real estate. His son, Jack Haley Jr., persuaded him to come out of retirement for a one-shot return to features with a cameo in 1970's "Norwood." Although there were occasional TV roles (e.g., the ABC movie "Rolling Man"), the elderly Haley seemed uninterested in pursuing a career as a character actor, preferring to be remembered for his earlier work.

Life Events

1927

Film debut as a radio announcer in "Broadway Madness"

1930

Appeared in "Follow Thru"

1933

Returned to films in "Sitty Pretty"

1936

Co-starred with Shirley Temple in "The Poor Little Rich Girl"

1936

First teaming with Judy Garland, "Pigskin Parade"

1937

Teamed with Alice Faye in "Wake Up"

1938

Reteamed with Temple in "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm"

1938

Appeared opposite Faye in "Alexander's Ragtime Band"

1939

Loaned to MGM to replace Buddy Ebsen as the Tin Man in "The Wizard of Oz"

1949

Final feature for nearly twenty years "Make Mine Laughs"

1950

Hosted "Ford Star Revue" (NBC)

1970

Made one-shot return to features in "Norwood", directed by Jack Haley Jr

1972

Appeared in the ABC TV-movie "Rolling Man"

Photo Collections

Higher and Higher - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from RKO's Higher and Higher (1943), featuring Frank Sinatra. Sinatra filmed a supporting role for the film, but his fame was so great by the time the movie was released, the studio billed it as "The Sinatra Show."
The Wizard of Oz - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters from MGM's The Wizard of Oz (1939), starring Judy Garland.

Videos

Movie Clip

Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm (1938) - Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers The big closing number, Shirley Temple with her frequent partner Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, an adaptation of the German standard by Leon Jessel, with a new lyric by Ballard MacDonald, cheered on by Paul Harvey, Jack Haley, Phyllis Brooks, Helen Westley, Slim Summerville, Gloria Stuart and Randolph Scott, in Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm, 1938.
Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm (1938) - I Thought We Were Wowing Them! At a radio audition, Shirley Temple as Rebecca and William Demarest as uncle Harry, looking to impress assistant Orville (Jack Haley), sponsor Bartlett (Paul Harvey) and ad-man Kent (Randolph Scott) with a tune by Harry Revel and Mack Gordon, in Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm, 1938.
Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm (1938) - Come And Get Your Happiness The plot crafted to accommodate a remote radio broadcast from the upstate New York farm, Jack Haley introduces and Shirley Temple (title character) sings, an original by Samuel Pokrass and Jack Yellen, in 20th Century-Fox’s B>Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm, 1938.
Moon Over Miami (1941) - Is That Good? Dismissing the principals (Betty Grable, Robert Cummings, Carole Landis, Don Ameche), supporting players Jack Haley and Charlotte Greenwood perform Is That Good?, by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger in Moon Over Miami, 1941.
Alexander's Ragtime Band - Blue Skies In an all-Irving Berlin musical, the composer's two favorite singers (Ethel Merman as "Jerry", Alice Faye as "Stella," having just met) take turns with "Blue Skies," in Alexander's Ragtime Band, 1938.
Pigskin Parade (1936) - What's Wrong With Texas? New York high school coach Jack Haley and wife Patsy Kelly arrive for his new gig at fictional Texas State, greeted by Johnny Downs as Carson, Betty Grable his girl, with Dixie Dunbar, Arline Judge and Fred Kohler Jr. as running back Biff, in Pigskin Parade, 1936, from Twentieth Century-Fox.
Wizard Of Oz, The (1939) - I'd Turn Back If I Were You! As chilling as any sequence, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Lion (Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr), sent to the retrieve the Wicked Witch’s broomstick, run into trouble as she (Margaret Hamilton) looses the flying monkeys, in MGM’s The Wizard Of Oz, 1939.
Wizard of Oz, The (1939) - Bang On My Chest Dorothy (Judy Garland) and the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) discover the Tin Man (Jack Haley) during an apple fight with the talking trees, in MGM's The Wizard Of Oz, 1939.
Pigskin Parade (1936) - We Want The Balboa The football team dance, Dixie Dunbar with Stu Erwin, all the Yacht Club Boys, Betty Grable and Johnny Downs, Patsy Kelly and Jack Haley, and finally Judy Garland, loaned from MGM to Fox, for her first song in her first feature, by Lew Pollack and Sidney D. Mitchell, in Pigskin Parade, 1936.
Pigskin Parade (1936) - Texas Tornado Sending the Texas State team off for the game with Yale, with Jack Haley — later the Tin Man in The Wizard Of Oz — as the preening coach, and Judy Garland as the hillbilly quarterback’s little sister, with her second song in the feature, in Pigskin Parade, 1936.
Higher And Higher (1943) - Disgustingly Rich Jack Haley leads the staff in a song from the Rodgers and Hart Broadway show, about the plan to launch maid Michele Morgan as a debutante, with Mary Wickes, young Mel Tormè, Marcy McGuire, Paul Hartman, Grace Hartman, Ivy Scott, Leon Errol, early in Higher And Higher, 1943.
Poor Little Rich Girl (1936) - Dolan, Dolan And Dolan Happily scamming as the daughter of Jerry (Alice Faye) and Jimmy (Jack Haley) at an audition, Barbara (Shirley Temple) leads in But Definitely by Harry Revel and Mack Gordon, in Poor Little Rich Girl, 1936.

Trailer

Family

Jack Haley Jr
Son
Producer, director. Born on October 25, 1933; formerly married to Liza Minnelli; directed father in "Norwood" (1970).
Gloria Haley
Daughter

Companions

Florence Haley
Wife
Former Ziegfeld showgirl. Married from 1921 until his death in 1979; died on December 30, 1996 at age 94.

Bibliography