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Ray Bolger papers, 1923-1987, bulk dates 1940s-1980s
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Among his many roles on stage, screen and television in a career that spanned sixty years, American comedian and dancer Ray Bolger was best known for his role as the Scarecrow in the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz. In addition to his work in film and television, he continually returned to the stage, often appearing in one-man shows. The collection consists of script material, contracts, clippings, correspondence, photographs, music, and ephemera related to Bolger's lengthy career.
Raymond Wallace Bolger was born on January 10, 1904, in Dorchester, Massachusetts. As a teenager, he danced on street corners in Boston and began his acting career performing in amateur theatricals. He made his stage debut with the Bob Ott Musical Comedy Repertory Company in 1922 and was soon appearing in vaudeville with Gus Edwards. Not long after, he appeared in Broadway productions of By Jupiter, George White's Scandals, Keep Off the Grass, Life Begins at 8:40, and On Your Toes, in which he won praise for his dancing skills in a number choreographed by George Balanchine. In time, he began appearing in musical films such as The Great Ziegfeld, Rosalie, Sunny, Sweethearts, and his most well-known film, The Wizard of Oz. During World War II, he helped organize U.S.O. shows that toured American military and naval bases around the world.
60 linear ft. (85 boxes, 2 record cartons, 39 flat boxes, 2 shoe boxes, 10 sound recording boxes)
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