Jack Haley

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Jack Haley
Jack haley ragtime3.jpg
Haley in Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)
BornJohn Joseph Haley
(1898-08-10)August 10, 1898
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
DiedJune 6, 1979(1979-06-06) (aged 80)
Los Angeles, California, United States[1]
Cause of death
Heart Attack
OccupationActor, comedian, singer
Years active1924–79
Spouse(s)Florence McFadden (1921-1979; his death)
ChildrenJack Haley, Jr. (1933-2001)
Gloria Haley-Parnassus (?-2010)
 
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Jack Haley
Jack haley ragtime3.jpg
Haley in Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)
BornJohn Joseph Haley
(1898-08-10)August 10, 1898
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
DiedJune 6, 1979(1979-06-06) (aged 80)
Los Angeles, California, United States[1]
Cause of death
Heart Attack
OccupationActor, comedian, singer
Years active1924–79
Spouse(s)Florence McFadden (1921-1979; his death)
ChildrenJack Haley, Jr. (1933-2001)
Gloria Haley-Parnassus (?-2010)

John Joseph "Jack" Haley (August 10, 1898 – June 6, 1979) was an American stage, radio, and film actor best known for his portrayal of Kansas farmworker Hickory and the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz.

Early life[edit]

Haley was born in Boston to Irish Americans John Joseph Haley and his wife Ellen Curley. He was one of six children. The family left Boston soon after Jack's birth, settling first in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and finally in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Career[edit]

Haley (far left) in a trailer for Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

Haley starred in vaudeville as a song-and-dance comedian. One of his closest friends was Fred Allen, who would frequently mention "Mr. Jacob Haley of Newton Highlands, Massachusetts" on the air. In the early 1930s, Haley starred in comedy shorts for Vitaphone in Brooklyn, New York. His wide-eyed, good-natured expression gained him supporting roles in musical feature films, including Poor Little Rich Girl with Shirley Temple, Higher and Higher with Frank Sinatra and the Irving Berlin musical Alexander's Ragtime Band. Both Poor Little Rich Girl and Alexander's Ragtime Band were released by Twentieth Century-Fox.[2][3] Haley was under contract to them and appeared in the Fox films Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Pigskin Parade, marking his first appearance with Judy Garland.[4]

Haley returned to musical comedies in the 1940s. Most of his '40s work was for RKO Radio Pictures. He surrendered the job in 1947 when he refused to appear in a remake of RKO's old story property Seven Keys to Baldpate; Phillip Terry took the role.

"The Tin Man" in The Wizard of Oz[edit]

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer hired Haley for The Wizard of Oz after another song-and-dance comic, Buddy Ebsen, who was originally set to play the Tin Man, suffered a nearly fatal reaction from inhaling the aluminum dust makeup. The makeup was switched to a paste, to avoid causing the same reaction for Haley. The makeup did cause an eye infection, which caused Haley to miss four days of filming, but treatment prevented permanent damage.[5] Haley did not remember the makeup or the costume very kindly. Interviewed about the film years later by Tom Snyder, he said that many have commented that making the film must have been fun. Haley said, "Like hell it was; it was work!" Haley's natural voice was moderately gruff. For the Tin Woodsman, he spoke more softly, which was the tone of voice he used reading stories to his children. Oz was one of only two films Haley made for MGM. The other was Pick a Star, a 1937 Hal Roach production distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Haley also portrayed the Tin Woodsman's Kansas counterpart, Hickory (one of Aunt Em and Uncle Henry's farmhands). He helps Zeke (The Lion's alter ego) lower a bed into its place on a wagon at the farm. Unlike Zeke, Hickory and Hunk (Scarecrow's alter ego) lose their hats with Uncle Henry as they struggle to pry open the cellar when the tornado approaches the farm. Hickory reunites with Dorothy when she awakes from being unconscious. He is seen with Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, Zeke, Hunk and Professor Marvel (The Wizard's alter ego).

Personal life[edit]

Haley (second from left) on May 30, 1979, one week before his death

Haley was raised Roman Catholic.[6] He was a member of the Good Shepherd Parish and the Catholic Motion Picture Guild in Beverly Hills, California.[7] He married Florence McFadden, a native of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania on February 25, 1921, and they were married until his death. Flo Haley opened a successful beauty shop and had many film personalities among her customers.

They had a son, Jack Haley, Jr., a successful film producer; and a daughter, Gloria.[8] Jack Haley, Jr. married Liza Minnelli, daughter of Oz co-star Judy Garland, in 1974. However, the marriage ended in divorce in 1979. Jack Haley, Jr. died in 2001. Haley was also Republican congressman Bob Dornan's uncle.

In 1972, Haley made his daughter, Gloria, the sole owner of his written memoirs. She published them in 1978 as Heart of the Tin Man. Gloria Haley-Parnassus died on May 1, 2010. She was survived by her children Adrienne and Barry.

Death[edit]

Jack Haley died of a heart attack at the age of 80 on June 6, 1979 in Los Angeles, California. A short time previously, he had appeared at the 51st Academy Awards ceremony with Ray Bolger, who had played the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, to present the award for Best Costume Design. Haley was still active until a week before his death. He is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California.[8]

Feature Films[edit]

YearMovie titleRoleDirector/StudioNotes
1927Broadway MadnessRadio AnnouncerBurton L. King
Excellent Pictures
Film debut
1930Follow ThruJack MartinLloyd Corrigan and
Laurence Schwab
Paramount
Performer: Button Up Your Overcoat
Mr. BroadwayJack HaleyJohnnie Walker and
Edgar G. Ulmer
Broadway-Hollywood Productions
1933Sitting PrettyPete PendletonHarry Joe Brown
Paramount
Performer: You’re Such a Comfort to Me; I Wanna Meander with Miranda and Good Morning Glory
1934Here Comes the GroomMike ScanlonEdward Sedgwick
Paramount
1935Spring TonicSykesClyde Bruckman
Fox Film Corporation
Redheads on ParadePeter MathewsNorman Z. McLeod
Fox Film Corporation
The Girl FriendHenry H. HenryEdward Buzzell
Columbia Pictures
Performer: What is This Power and Two Together
CoronadoChuck HornbostelNorman Z. McLeod
Paramount
Performer: All's Well in Coronado by the Sea and Keep Your Fingers Crossed
1936F-ManJohnny DimeEdward F. Cline
Paramount
Poor Little Rich GirlJimmy DolanIrving Cummings
20th Century Fox
Performer: You've got to Eat your Spinach Baby and Military Man
Mister CinderellaJoe Jenkins/
Aloysius P. Merriweather
Edward Sedgwick
MGM
Pigskin ParadeWinston ‘Slug’ WintersDavid Butler
20th Century Fox
Performer: You Do the Darndest Things Baby and The Balboa
1937Pick A StarJoe JenkinsEdward Sedgwick
MGM
Performer: Pick A Star and I've Got It Bad
She Had To EatDanny DeckerMalcolm St. Clair
20th Century Fox
Wake Up and LiveEddie KaneSidney Lanfield
20th Century Fox
Danger – Love at WorkHenry MacMorrowOtto Preminger
20th Century Fox
Performer: Danger Love at Work
Ali Baba Goes to TownHimself - CameoDavid Butler
20th Century Fox
1938Rebecca of Sunnybrook FarmOrville SmithersAllan Dwan
20th Century Fox
Performer: Alone With You
Alexander’s Ragtime BandDavey LaneHenry King
20th Century Fox
Performer: Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning; That International Rag and
In My Harem (DVD extra only)
Hold that Co-edWilber PetersGeorge Marshall
20th Century Fox
Thanks For EverythingHenry SmithWilliam A. Seiter
20th Century Fox
1939The Wizard of OzThe Tin Man/HickoryVictor Fleming
MGM
Writer (uncredited)
Performer: If I Only Had a Heart and The Merry Old Land of Oz
1941Moon Over MiamiJack O’HaraWalter Lang
20th Century Fox
Performer: Is That Good?
Navy Blues‘Powerhouse’ BoltonLloyd Bacon
Warner Bros.
Performer: When are we Going to Land Abroad
1942Beyond the Blue HorizonSquidge SullivanAlfred Santell
Paramount
1944Higher and HigherMike O’BrienTim Whelan
RKO Pictures
Performer: Today I'm a Debutante and The Music Stopped
Take It BigJack NorthFrank McDonald
Paramount
Performer: Take It Big
One Body Too ManyAlbert TuttleFrank McDonald
Paramount
1945Scared StiffLarry ElliotFrank McDonald
Paramount
George White’s ScandalsJack EvansFelix E. Feist
RKO Pictures
Sing Your Way HomeSteve KimballAnthony Mann
RKO Pictures
1946People Are FunnyPinky WilsonSam White
Paramount
Performer: Hey Jose
Vacation in RenoJack CarollLeslie Goodwins
RKO Pictures
Last major film before retirement from motion pictures
1970NorwoodMr. ReeseJack Haley, Jr.
Paramount
Directed by his son producer/director Jack Haley, Jr.
1977New York, New YorkMaster of Ceremonies (uncredited)Martin Scorsese
MGM
This film marked Jack Haley’s final screen appearance.

Short Films[edit]

YearMovie titleRoleNotes
1928HaleyismsJack HaleyAlso stars his wife Flo McFadden; Vitaphone production reel #2269
1930The 20th AmendmentWallace Moore
SuccessElmerPerformer: " Just a Gigolo"; Vitaphone production reel #1257-1258
1932The Imperfect LoverVitaphone production reel #1324-1325
Absent Minded AbnerAbnerVitaphone production reel #1372-1373
Sherlock’s HomeVitaphone production reel #1441-1442
Then Came the Yawn
1933The Build UpVitaphone production reel #1444-1445
WrongorillaElmerVitaphone production reel #1486-1484
Hollywood on Parade No. A-9Himself
An Idle RoomerVitaphone production reel #1531-1532
Nothing but the ToothSmilie JonesPerformer: "Smiles"; Vitaphone production reel #1542-1543
Salt Water DaffyElmer Wagonbottom
1939Screen Snapshots Series 18, No. 9HimselfDocumentary/News Reel
1946Screen Snapshots: The Skolsky PartyHimselfDocumentary/News Reel
Screen Snapshots: Famous Fathers and SonsHimselfDocumentary/News Reel

Broadway[edit]

TitleRoleRunTheaterNotes
Round the TownJack HaleyMay 21, 1924 - May 31, 1924Century Promenade Theatre15 performances
Gay PareeJack HaleyAugust 18, 1925 - January 30, 1926Shubert Theatre181 performances
Gay PareeJack HaleyNovember 9, 1926 - April 9, 1927Winter Garden Theatre192 performances
Follow ThruJack MartinJanuary 9, 1929 - December 21, 1929Chanin’s 46th Theatre401 performances
Sang: Button Up Your Overcoat with Zelma O’Neal
In 1930, he starred in Technicolor’s film version
Free For AllSteve Potter Jr.September 8, 1931 - September 19, 1931Manhattan Theatre15 performances
Take a ChanceDuke StanleyNovember 26, 1932 - July 1, 1933Apollo Theatre243 performances
Higher and HigherZachary AshApril 4, 1940 - June 15, 1940Shubert Theatre84 performances
Higher and HigherZachary AshAugust 5, 1940 - August 24, 1940Shubert Theatre24 performances
In 1943, he starred with Frank Sinatra in film version
Show TimeJack HaleySeptember 16, 1942 - April 3, 1943Broadhurst Theatre342 performances
Inside U.S.A.Jack HaleyApril 30, 1948 - February 19, 1949New Century Theatre and
Majestic Theatre
399 performances

References[edit]

External links[edit]