Ray Bolger

  1. Jack Haley, The Wizard of Oz, 1938.
  2. Robert Preston, The Music Man, 1961.   Jack Warner begged… but Cary Grant felt only the Broadway show’s star should do it. “Not only will I not star in it, but if Robert Preston doesn’t star in it, I will not see it,” he said. (He used a similar line about Rex Harrison when Warner offered him  My Fair Lady, in  1963).Also refusing to steal Preston’s  thunder:  Milton Berle, Ray Bolger, Art Carney, Dan Dailey, Danny Kaye, Phil Harris, Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.
  3. Dan Dailey, When My Baby Smiles At Me, 1947.    After two versions in eight years (1929 and 1937), Paramount sold the Burlesque, rights to RKO, which wanted Bolger vehicle. Apparently, he couldn’t drive! At Fox, producer George Jessel selected Dailey and Betty Grable after their other vaudeville item, Mother Wore Tights. Dailey won an Oscar nomination. So did Laurence Olivier. For Hamlet. Nolo contendere.
  4. Jackie Coogan, The Partridge Family, TV, 1974.      The occasional roles of Shirley Jones’ parents went to Bolger (The Wizard of Oz scarecrow) and Rosemary DeCamp.  However, for two shows in  the final season,   Grandpa had a new actor – and a new name.  Walter.

 Birth year: 1904Death year: 1987Other name: Casting Calls:  4