Hollywood Remains to Be Seen

Jack Haley
1898 - 1979

Holy Cross Cemetery

Jack Haley is best known for his performance as the Tin Woodsman, searching for a heart in "The Wizard of Oz" (1939).

Haley was a comedian, singer and dancer in vaudeville who made his screen debut in "Broadway Madness" (1927). Through the 1930s, Haley appeared in a series of light comedies and musicals, typically playing the slow-witted, soft-voiced, amiable friend of the lead, including "Follow Thru" (1930), "Sitting Pretty" (1933), "Here Comes the Groom" (1934), "The Girl Friend" (1935), "Poor Little Rich Girl" (1936), "Mister Cinderella" (1936), "Wake Up and Live" (1937), "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (1938) and "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" (1938).

Haley wasn't the first choice to play the Tin Woodsman in "Oz," however. Buddy Edsen, best known as Jed Clampett in "The Beverly Hillbillies" television series of the 1960s, was originally cast in the role, but had to withdraw after he developed a serious allergic reaction to the chemicals used in the Woodsman's silver makeup.

After "Oz," Haley returned to his second-banana roles in "Moon Over Miami" (1941), "Higher and Higher" (1944), "Take it Big" (1944) and "Scared Stiff" (1945). After a long absence from the screen, Haley returned for a small role in "Norwood" (1970), directed by his son, Jack Haley Jr.

Haley was born John Joseph Haley on Aug. 10, 1898 (some sources say 1899) in Boston, MA. He died June 6, 1979, in Los Angeles, CA.

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