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Ray Bolger

Filmography | Downloads | Links | Image Credits | THE WIZARD OF OZ

Ray Bolger

Long, lanky and a unique classic movie singer, dancer, and comedian, Ray Bolger appeared in a little over 20 films during the course of his career, but his nimble, eccentric dance style and winning, aw-shucks onscreen persona nevertheless made an indelible contribution to the movie musical.


Bolger made his film debut in THE GREAT ZIEGFELD (1936), a musical biography of Broadway producer Florence Ziegfeld, Jr. (played by William Powell).  Also starring Luise Rainer and Myrna Loy, THE GREAT ZIEGFELD was nominated for seven Oscars and won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

A publicity still of Bolger from MGM's 3-hour-long epic musical THE GREAT ZIEGFELD (1936) in which, along with Broadway stars Fanny Brice and Harriet Hoctor, he played himself, a featured performer in one of Mr. Ziegfeld's shows. THE GREAT ZIEGFELD

A still with Judy Garland in THE WIZARD OF OZ. Bolger's role as the Scarecrow in this classic 1939 musical is the most famous of his career.

Click here "I'm a failure because I haven't got a brain." --as The Scarecrow in THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939).

Multimedia Clips from THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939):

Click here "Original Theatrical Trailer" from THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) with Judy Garland, Jack Haley and Bert Lahr (courtesy Warner Bros.).
Click here"If I Only Had A Brain" (clip) (a .WAV file courtesy Rhino Records).
Click here"If I Only Had A Brain" (clip) sung with Judy Garland (a .MP3 file courtesy Rhino Records).

(For help opening any of the above files, visit the plug-ins page.)


After his success in OZ at MGM, Bolger returned to his stage career in New York but still found time to make three films for RKO in the early war years including FOUR JACKS AND A JILL (1942).  The musical headlined comedy Bolger with Anne Shirley and June Havoc, along with Armand Wright and Desi Arnaz (with Bolger at left) as well as Eddie Foy, Jr.


In 1946, Bolger re-teamed with his OZ co-star Judy Garland, this time singing the Oscar-winning Best Song of the year, "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," in MGM's THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946), also featuring Marjorie Main, Cyd Charisse, Virginia O'Brien, Angela Lansbury and John Hodiak.  THE HARVEY GIRLS offered Bolger his best screen opportunities, both comedic and dance, since his unforgettable performance as the rubber-legged Scarecrow -- especially the "Wild Wild West" with Virginia O'Brien where he learns a bit about blacksmithing, and his polished-yet-energetic tap dance reprise of "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe."

Music Clips from THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946):

Click here"Main Title" (clip) by Conrad Salinger (a .MP3 file courtesy Rhino Records).
Click here"On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" (clip) sung by Judy Garland (an .AU file courtesy Rhino Records).

Filmography | Downloads | Links | Image Credits | THE WIZARD OF OZ

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Last updated: October 19, 2010.
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