Well-known for his portrayal of the Tin Man in the classic 1939 MGM movie The Wizard of Oz, Jack Haley was an American vaudevillian with multiple talents.
Haley used his abilities as a stage, radio, and film actor, singer, light comedian, as well as a dancer to entertain his audiences for more than four decades.
Haley never let his personal losses affect his career. Jack’s father died in a shipwreck when he was only six months old. His older brother passed away from tuberculosis at the age of 20. Jack’s mother survived in Boston, Massachusetts, as his only family. Later he formed his own family by marrying Florence McFadden in 1921 and they had a son.
Haley worked with many eminent artists over the years, appearing in several musical films, among them Poor Little Rich Girl in 1936 and the musical Alexander’s Ragtime Band.
However, what contributed to his fame the most was his appearance with Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.
Sadly, at a young age, Garland struggled with depression and low self-confidence. After several suicide attempts, she became addicted to drugs and alcohol, which contributed to her death at the age of 47.
Allegedly, her self-esteem was also damaged by film executives who told her she wasn’t attractive enough.
Judy Garland was proclaimed among the 10 greatest female stars of classic American cinema when she was 39. Playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz was perhaps her most memorable role.
Married five times, Garland had three children: two girls and one boy. Her daughters followed in her footsteps and chose acting as their career. Liza Minnelli, her daughter with acclaimed director Vincent Minnelli, became a highly successful actress and singer with a career spanning decades.
Minnelli was also known for marrying the Tin Man’s (Jack Haley’s) son, Jack Haley, Jr., a producer and director. She had been married to entertainer Peter Allen from 1967 to 1974, before divorcing him. In 1972 Liza starred as Sally Bowles in the film Cabaret, winning the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Jack Haley Jr. was also prospering in the 1970s, directing the film That’s Entertainment! He and Liza married in 1974.
Jack Haley’s last film appearance was in in 1977 in Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York. In the “Happy Endings” musical number, he played a host who introduces a top star at an award ceremony, played by his daughter-in-law, Liza Minnelli, the star of the film.
The marriage between Jack Haley Jr. and Liza Minnelli lasted only five years.
The marriage with Haley Jr. wasn’t her last one; Minnelli married two more times. She never had any children. Haley, Jr. didn’t remarry after their divorce, and he died in 2001.
It seems the actress faced the same fate as her mother, who also didn’t have much luck with men. Judy Garland was married five times.
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As Minnelli remembers, she once asked her mother what happens after “happily ever after?” and Garland told her that she’ll find out alone.