Jack Haley

  1. Philip Terry, Seven Keys to Baldpate, 1946.   George M Cohan’s play (from Earl Derr Biggers’ book) birthed seven movies – the first being made in Australia in 1915.  Haley, the star of this sixth version, suddenly left. “The role is inappropiate for me.” What was it, a bigamist, a serial killer, another Tin Man as he’d played in The Wizard of Oz?  No, just a guy betting he could write  a novel in 24 hours, in the seclusion of the shuttered  Baldplate Inn (except six others also had  keys) and it had been played with relish  by such folk as the 1930  Cimarron Western star Richard Dix and Broadway’s King  Cohan, himself. Whatever the reason, co-star Boris Karloff, caught it – and quit the next day!  

  2. James Stewart, Harvey, 1950.   Playwright Mary Chase’s deal was  $100,000 per year for ten years against one-third of the film’s profits. Plus approval of the movie’s Elwood P Dowd, an alcoholic who relates to an invisible giant rabbit called Harvey. Joe E Brown and Stewart were the only contenders who had played the role on-stage (Jim never stopped reviving the play in the UK and US).  Other potential Elwoods were: Jack Benny, James Cagney, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Cary Grant,  Jack Haley (The Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz),  even the silent   era comic Harold Lloyd and crooner Rudy Vallee. In 2000, another Harvey –  the later disgraced New York producer Harvey Weinstein planned a re-tread. With Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler  or John Travolta. Spielberg as well. With Tom Hanks.   Or Robert Downey Jr.

 Birth year: 1897Death year: 1979Other name: Casting Calls:  2