Ray Bolger: More than a Scarecrow

Ray Bolger: More than a Scarecrow

by Holly Van Leuven

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Best remembered for his role as the Scarecrow in the 1939 MGM musical The Wizard of Oz, Ray Bolger led a rich and extraordinary career in the decade before and more than four decades after the creation of the film. Ray Bolger: More Than a Scarecrow is the first biography of this classic American entertainer, covering the luminous and forgotten career of the eccentric dancer outside of his burlap mask.

The product of a fragmented, working-class Boston Irish family, Bolger learned tap and eccentric dance steps as solace for a difficult life before running away to repertory theater and Vaudeville. From there, he would go on to become a Broadway star, a contract player at Hollywood's major studios, one of the first performers to tour the South Pacific for the USO, a Tony Award winner, an early sitcom star, and the opening headliner of the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas.

Using unprecedented access to Bolger's papers and many never-before-published photographs, Ray Bolger: More Than a Scarecrow pieces together the lost story of an itinerant hoofer who survived and thrived during the major media changes of the twentieth century and established himself as a staple of American pop culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190639068
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 02/01/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Holly Van Leuven is a writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Los Angeles, California. She is the first researcher to access the personal papers of Ray Bolger. She is the inaugural winner of the Biographers International Organization's Hazel Rowley Prize for first-time authors.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Timeless Wanderer
Chapter 1: "What Will You Be? It's Up to You!"
Chapter 2: Entering Show Business
Chapter 3: Steppin' in Society
Chapter 4: Depression Days
Chapter 5: Broadway Goes West
Chapter 6: Jupiter Forbid
Chapter 7: Soldiers in Greasepaint
Chapter 8: Where's Charley?
Chapter 9: The New Triple Threat Man
Chapter 10: All American
Epilogue: No Sad Songs


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