Jack Haley Jr.


Director, Executive

About

Also Known As
John Joseph Haley Jr.
Birth Place
Los Angeles, California, USA
Born
October 25, 1933
Died
April 21, 2001
Cause of Death
Respiratory Failure

Biography

A producer, director and writer, most frequently of documentaries and compilation films, Jack Haley Jr is most renowned for his work on "That's Entertainment!," the 1974 film which celebrated MGM's musical legacy as the studio's backlot was being torn down to build condos. He is also recalled for his work alongside David L Wolper, with whom he was partnered from 1959 into the 1960s. Hale...

Family & Companions

Liza Minnelli
Wife
Married on September 15, 1974; separated in 1978; divorced in 1979.

Biography

A producer, director and writer, most frequently of documentaries and compilation films, Jack Haley Jr is most renowned for his work on "That's Entertainment!," the 1974 film which celebrated MGM's musical legacy as the studio's backlot was being torn down to build condos. He is also recalled for his work alongside David L Wolper, with whom he was partnered from 1959 into the 1960s. Haley was the son of Jack Haley, best known as The Tin Man in 1939's "The Wizard of Oz" and from 1974-79 was married to Liza Minnelli, whose mother, Judy Garland, was Dorothy in the same film.

Haley, who grew up as a Hollywood prince--his boyhood chums included the sons of Bing Crosby and Edward G Robinson, attended Loyola University in the Westchester section of Los Angeles, then broke into the film business. By 1959, at age 25, he was one of the founding partners in David Wolper Productions. While with Wolper, Haley produced numerous documentary specials and series for networks and syndication. He was producer of "The Race for Space" (1959) and the same year produced and directed "Man in Space." His first association with film history came with "Hollywood: The Golden Years" (1960-61), and "Hollywood: The Fabulous Era" (1962), both of which he produced. Later came "Hollywood and the Stars" (1965) and "The Legend of Marilyn Monroe" (1966).

Haley then began to branch out. He co-wrote and produced "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House" (1966), a humor special with Jack Paar that triggered a sequel in 1967. That same year, Haley was executive producer and director of Nancy Sinatra's "Movin' With Nancy" TV special, for which he won a directing Emmy. In 1968 and 1969, he produced "The Ice Capades" for TV, and produced, co-directed, and co-wrote a 1969 TV special for Frank Sinatra Jr. In 1974, with "That's Entertainment!" pending, he produced the Academy Awards telecast, and followed that with two specials for Mac Davis. Haley produced both "LIFE Goes to the Movies" (1976) and "LIFE Goes to War" (1977). He had his own series on ABC from 1982-86, "Ripley's Believe It or Not!," hosted by Jack Palance, and also produced the Academy Award telecast again in 1984.

Haley first directed for the big screen in 1970 with "Norwood," a Glen Campbell "road" picture. The next year, Haley tackled the frothy "The Love Machine," based upon Jacqueline Susann's novel about the TV industry. Haley was then handed the "That's Entertainment!" assignment--a compilation film honoring the MGM musicals. It was a risky venture for UA, which then controlled MGM as no one was sure whether or not anyone wanted to see old movie clips. Haley enlisted Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Mickey Rooney, Liza Minnelli, James Stewart and Peter Lawford to do intros and narration and he directed, produced and wrote the effort. The result was a smash, and resulted in two sequels. In 1985, Haley tried to recapture the same spirit with "That's Dancing!," another compilation film not limited to one studio's output. The effort was not as well received, but, by then, there was a cottage industry in Hollywood clip productions. Haley also produced "50 Years of MGM" as a TV special in 1975 before serving as president of the TV arm of 20th Century Fox from 1975-76, when he returned to independent production. Haley was felled by a bout with cancer of the ear, but he recovered fully in the early 90s. He later suffered from liver disease (reportedly refusing an organ transplant) and died from respiratory failure in April 2001.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

That'S Dancing! (1985)
Director
That's Entertainment! (1974)
Director
The Love Machine (1971)
Director
Norwood (1970)
Director

Writer (Feature Film)

That'S Dancing! (1985)
Screenplay
That's Entertainment! (1974)
Screenplay

Producer (Feature Film)

That'S Dancing! (1985)
Producer
The Night They Saved Christmas (1984)
Executive Producer
Better Late Than Never (1983)
Producer
That's Entertainment! (1974)
Producer

Director (Special)

100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994)
Director
Funny Women of Television: A Museum of Television & Radio Tribute (1991)
Segment Director
Mary Tyler Moore: The 20th Anniversary Show (1991)
Director
The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz: 50 Years Of Magic (1990)
Director
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982)
Director
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's World of Comedy (1976)
Director

Cast (Special)

Debbie Reynolds (1995)
The Thalians (1991)

Writer (Special)

100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994)
Writer
The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz: 50 Years Of Magic (1990)
Writer
The 75th Anniversary of Beverly Hills (1989)
Writer
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982)
Writer
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Hollywood (1967)
Writer

Producer (Special)

The Wizard of Oz: 40 Years on Television (1996)
Producer
100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994)
Executive Producer
Donahue: The 25th Anniversary (1992)
Executive Producer
Mary Tyler Moore: The 20th Anniversary Show (1991)
Executive Producer
Funny Women of Television: A Museum of Television & Radio Tribute (1991)
Executive Producer
The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz: 50 Years Of Magic (1990)
Producer
The 75th Anniversary of Beverly Hills (1989)
Executive Producer
Cary Grant: A Celebration (1988)
Executive Producer
Minnelli on Minnelli: Liza Remembers Vincente (1987)
Executive Producer
Happy Birthday, Hollywood! (1987)
Executive Producer
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982)
Producer
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's World of Comedy (1976)
Producer
The Mac Davis Christmas Special (1975)
Producer
Milton Berle's Mad Mad Mad World of Comedy (1975)
Producer
The Mac Davis Special (1975)
Producer
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Hollywood (1967)
Producer

Special Thanks (Special)

100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994)
Writer
The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz: 50 Years Of Magic (1990)
Writer
The 75th Anniversary of Beverly Hills (1989)
Writer
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982)
Writer
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Hollywood (1967)
Writer

Misc. Crew (Special)

The 68th Annual Academy Awards (1996)
Other
The Lost Fleet of Guadalcanal (1993)
Stock Footage
The Very Best of The Ed Sullivan Show -- II (1991)
Acknowledgment

Cast (Short)

Just One More Time (1974)
Himself
That's Entertainment! (Gala Premiere) (1974)
Himself

Life Events

1959

Produced documentary "The Race for Space"

1960

Produced "Hollywood: The Golden Years"

1962

Produced "Biography"

1966

Produced and co-wrote "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The White House" special

1967

Won Emmy Award as director of "Movin' With Nancy" [Sinatra] TV special

1969

Directed the Academy Awards telecast

1970

Made feature film directorial debut, "Norwood"

1974

Produced and directed "That's Entertainment!"

1976

Produced "America Salutes Richard Rodgers" and "Life Goes to the Movies"

1977

Produced "That's Hollywood" series

1990

Wrote, directed and produced the special "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic" (CBS)

1991

Served as executive producer of "Mary Tyler Moore: The 20th Anniversary Show" (CBS)

1992

Executive produced "Donahue: The 25th Anniversary" (NBC)

1994

Was executive producer of the NBC special "100 Years of the Hollywood Western"

1996

Produced the tribute special "The Wizard of Oz: 40 Years on Television"

Videos

Movie Clip

That's Dancing! (1985) - That's Where Style Comes In Gene Kelly’s narration from the beginning through Busby Berkeley, now introducing and turning over the MC duties to Sammy Davis Jr., who takes us along to Fred Astaire, in Roberta, 1935, in the MGM documentary That’s Dancing!, 1985.
That's Dancing! (1985) - The Public Doesn't Suspect Mikhail Baryshnikov, just introduced by Sammy Davis Jr. in an original performance for the MGM documentarty, brings in the ballet tradition, with reference to Loie Fuller and Isadora Duncan, in That’s Dancing!, 1985, from directed by Jack Haley Jr., from executive producer Gene Kelly.
That's Dancing! (1985) - Primitive Man Discovered Dance Opening with executive producer Gene Kelly’s narration, an ambitious assembly of ideas about dance, directed and written by Jack Haley Jr., from the documentary That’s Dancing!, 1985, featuring Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minnelli, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Ray Bolger.
That's Entertainment! (1974) - Pretty Hard To Top Peter Lawford wraps up his bit of hosting with a throw to James Stewart, who resumes with comments about the arrival of talking pictures, throwing to a clip of Robert Montgomery toiling in Free And Easy, 1930, in the MGM 50th anniversary documentary That’s Entertainment!, 1974.
That's Entertainment! (1974) - The Greatest Partner Mickey Rooney’s narration ends with a toss to Gene Kelly on MGM’s New York set, who recklessly names his favorite partner, throwing to their number in Take Me Out To The Ball Game, 1949, in the studio’s 50th anniversary musical compilation, That’s Entertainment!, 1974.
That's Entertainment! (1974) - Open, Singin' In The Rain Frank Sinatra opens the narration with some of the history of the song by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, especially as it relates to movies and to MGM, in the studio’s hit 50th anniversary documentary feature, That’s Entertainment!, 1974.
That's Entertainment! (1974) - You'll Never See The Likes Near the end of Frank Sinatra’s opening narrated segment, something of a climax with Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell’s brilliant single-take tap number to “Begin The Beguine,” from Broadway Melody Of 1940, in MGM’s 50th anniversary clip-fest, That’s Entertainment!, 1974.

Trailer

Family

Jack Haley
Father
Actor. The Tin Man in "The Wizard of Oz".
Florence Haley
Mother
Former Ziegfeld showgirl. Died on December 30, 1996 at age 94.
Gloria Haley Parnasses
Sister
Survived him.

Companions

Liza Minnelli
Wife
Married on September 15, 1974; separated in 1978; divorced in 1979.

Bibliography