movie, Broadway, and television star
Raymond Wallace Bulcao was born
in Dorchester, Massachusetts, on January 10,
Like many other performers of his era,
Ray began his career in vaudeville, as part of
the team "Sanford and Bolger." He also
did numerous Broadway shows and appeared
(uncredited) in a few movies on his own. His real
movie career began when he signed a contract with
MGM in 1936; that same year he played himself in The
Great Ziegfeld. His first dancing and
singing role was in Sweethearts (1938),
where he did a "wooden shoes" number
with Jeanette MacDonald. It was this role that
got him noticed by MGM producers and resulted in
his being cast as the Scarecrow in The Wizard
of Oz (1939).
Although The Wizard of Oz
was a success and made Bolger famous, his
contract with MGM ended soon after its release.
He then went to RKO, where he made Four Jacks
and a Jill in 1942. After this, he went to
Broadway, where he had great success.
In 1953, Bolger made the
transition to television, starring in Where's
Raymond?, which later became The Ray
Bolger Show, from 1953 to 1955. After the
series ended, he made frequent guest appearances
on television and had some small roles in movies.
Bolger made his last major
appearance in 1985, co-starring in That's
Dancing! with Liza Minnelli. He died on
February 15, 1987, and is interred at Holy Cross
Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Married Gwendolyn Rickard on
July 9, 1929.
The last surviving star of The
Wizard of Oz.
Two Tony Awards -- in 1948; and
the 1949 Best Actor (Musical), for Where's
Also won two Donaldson Awards.
Elected to the Theatre Hall of
Fame in 1980.
The Internet Movie Database www.imdb.com/name/nm0001961/
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