Haley in Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)
|Born||John Joseph Haley
August 10, 1898
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
|Died||June 6, 1979
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Cause of death||Heart Attack|
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, singer|
|Spouse(s)||Florence McFadden (1921-1979; his death)|
|Children||Jack 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 the Tin Man in the now-classic film The Wizard of Oz. In the same film, he also played Hickory, one of the three farmhands that Dorothy, in her "dream", imagines as the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion.
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.
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. 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.
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
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. 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 (which he used for the "Hickory" character) was moderately gruff. For the Tin Woodman, 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 was raised Roman Catholic. He was a member of the Good Shepherd Parish and the Catholic Motion Picture Guild in Beverly Hills, California. 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. 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.
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.
Haley and his wife were the Godparents to Miel Roman, daughter of singer Dick Roman and model Honey Merrill Roman. Haley was also Republican congressman Bob Dornan's uncle.
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.
- Broadway Madness (1927)
- Follow Thru (1930)
- Mr. Broadway (1933)
- Sitting Pretty (1933)
- Here Comes the Groom (1934)
- Spring Tonic (1935)
- Redheads on Parade (1935)
- The Girl Friend (1935)
- Coronado (1935)
- F-Man (1936)
- Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)
- Pigskin Parade (1936)
- Mister Cinderella (1936)
- Pick a Star (1937)
- She Had to Eat (1937)
- Wake Up and Live (1937)
- Danger – Love at Work (1937)
- Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937) (Cameo appearance)
- Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938)
- Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)
- Hold That Co-ed (1938)
- Thanks for Everything (1938)
- The Wizard of Oz (1939)
- Moon Over Miami (1941)
- Navy Blues (1941)
- Beyond the Blue Horizon (1942)
- Higher and Higher (1943)
- Take It Big (1944)
- One Body Too Many (1944)
- Scared Stiff (1945)
- George White's Scandals (1945)
- Sing Your Way Home (1945)
- People Are Funny (1946)
- Vacation in Reno (1946)
- Norwood (1970)
- New York, New York (1977)
- The 20th Amendment (1930)
- Success (1931)
- Then Came the Yawn (1932)
- Wrongorilla (1933)
- Hollywood on Parade No. A-9 (1933)
- Nothing But the Tooth (1933)
- Salt Water Daffy (1933)
- Screen Snapshots Series 18, No. 9 (1939)
- Screen Snapshots: Famous Fathers and Sons (1946)
- Screen Snapshots: The Skolsky Party (1946)
- Round the Town (1924) (Broadway)
- Gay Paree of 1925 (1925) (Broadway)
- Gay Paree of 1926 (1926) (Broadway)
- Good News (1928) (Chicago)
- Follow Thru (1929) (Broadway)
- Free for All (1931) (Broadway)
- Take a Chance (1932) (Broadway)
- Higher and Higher (1940) (Broadway)
- Show Time (1942) (Broadway)
- Inside U.S.A. (1948) (Broadway)
- "Jack Haley". Social Security Death Index. FamilySearch.org. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
- "Sun Journal". www.news.google.com.
- Church of the Good Shepherd: Our History
- NNDB biodata
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jack Haley.|
- Jack Haley at the Internet Movie Database
- Jack Haley at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jack Haley at Find a Grave