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Jack Haley – MovieActors.com

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Haley in THE WIZARD OF OZ.

About Jack Haley (1898 – 1979)

Jack Haley was born John Joseph Haley on August 10, 1898, in Boston, Massachusetts, into a Roman Catholic, Canadian immigrant family. His father, John Joseph Haley Sr. was a sailor, and his mother was Ellen Curley Haley. Jack had an older brother, Bill.

Tragedy struck twice in the Haley family. His father died in a ship wreck off of Nova Scotia, when Jack was 6 months old, and his brother, Bill, died at the age of twenty from the complications of tuberculosis, in 1915.

In 1921, Jack married his wife for life, Florence McFadden. They had two children, Jack Jr. and Gloria. Flo ran a hair cutting shop, and had many people involved with the film industry as her customers.

Like many actors of his era, Jack Haley got his start in show business on the vaudevillian stage, as a song and dance comedian. In the early 1930s', Jack was hired to star in comedy shorts for discs for the Vitaphone system.

Jack Haley, under a two year Paramount Pictures contract, was in his first musical, SITTING PRETTY; in 1933, co-starring with Jack Oakie and Ginger Rogers. This was followed with the 1934 comedy, HERE COMES THE GROOM.

Under a Twentieth Century Fox contract, Jack was in comedy films and musical comedies, including: SPRING TONIC;(1935), REDHEADS ON PARADE;(1935), THE GIRLFRIEND;(1935), CORONADO;(1935), POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL;(1936), PIGSKIN PARADE;(1936), PICK A STAR;(1937), ALEXANDER'S RAGTIME BAND;(1938), and REBECCA OF SUNNYBROOK FARM.

Between 1937 and 1939, Jack Haley hosted a popular radio show, THE JACK HALELY SHOW; (1937-1938). In the 1938-1939 season, his show had a new sponsor, Wonder Bread, and was called THE WONDER SHOW.

Jack Haley left Twentieth Century Fox, because he refused to be in a film that was assigned to him, and he moved onto another studio's film offer.

Best remembered for his portrayal of the Tin Man in THE WIZARD OF OZ; (1939). Jack Haley was hired by METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER after Buddy Ebsen had to drop out. Ebsen had an adverse reaction to the character's metallic makeup.

Jack is the former father-in-law of Liza Minnelli, who had married his son, Jack Haley Jr. Lisa Minnelli was the daughter of THE WIZARD OF OZ;(1939) co-star Judy Garland.

Haley reprised his original Broadway role in the film version of FOLLOW THRU and appeared in both the stage and film versions of HIGHER AND HIGHER. A light comedian, passable singer, and graceful hoofer, Jack enjoyed a long career in vaudeville, on stage, in the movies, and on radio.

Aside from his turn in WIZARD OF OZ, Jack Haley got his best screen opportunity in WAKE UP AND LIVE;(1937).

Jack basically left film work in 1946, and focused on selected television show episode work. "A smart performer knows when to get off. It wasn't a wrench leaving movies. I don't believe there's no business like show business."

The one exception to this retirement from filmwork was the 1970 film, NORWOOD, that was produced and directed by Jack Haley, Jr.. Jack Haley Senior cameoed in this film as the character, Mr. Reese.

In 1960, Jack Haley was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio. It is located at 6435 Hollywood Boulevard.

Haley's last public appearance, just a few weeks before his death, was at the 1979 Academy Awards, co-presenting an award with his old friend and former OZ co-star, Ray Bolger. When asked by Ray Bolger in front of the audience, why he got to read the winner, Jack replied, "Well, when your son produces the show, YOU can announce the winner!"

Haley passed away on June 6, 1979, in Los Angeles, California, from a heart attack.

Jack Haley's notable movie credits include...

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (1977)
NORWOOD (1970)
PEOPLE ARE FUNNY (1946)
TAKE IT BIG (1944)
MOON OVER MIAMI (1941)
THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
ALEXANDER'S RAGTIME BAND (1938)
WAKE UP AND LIVE (1937)
POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL (1936)
BROADWAY MADNESS (1927)


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Haley in ALEXANDER'S RAGTIME BAND (1938).

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Jack Haley (Left) in THE WIZARD OF OZ.