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 Ray Bolger

Ray Bolger

Original Name Raymond Wallace Bulcao
Birth
Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 15 Jan 1987 (aged 83)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Mausoleum, Block 35, Crypt F2
Memorial ID 1528 · View Source
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Actor. Born Raymond Wallace Bulcao in Dorchester, Massachusetts, son of James, a house painter, and Anne Bulcao. In 1922, he made his stage debut with the Bob Ott Musical Comedy Repertory Company in Boston. He then moved to Vaudeville, where he was half of a team called Sanford and Bolger. In 1926, he was spotted by star maker, Gus Edwards, who hired him for the Broadway show "A Merry World." Numerous Broadway roles followed including the lead in the Rodgers and Hart 1936 classic "On Your Toes." The strength of that performance earned him a movie contract from MGM. His feature film debut was as himself in the film "The Great Ziegfeld" in 1936. He was then cast in "Rosalie" (1937) and "Sweethearts" (1938). In 1939 he was assigned to the role of Tin Man in the production of "The Wizard of Oz." Dismayed at the limited mobility of the character, however, he convinced producer Mervyn LeRoy to allow him to switch roles and play the Scarecrow. It was to become the role that he is probably most associated with. MGM did not re-sign Bolger after the success of "Oz", however, and he went to work for RKO where he starred in two films; 1941's "Four Jacks and a Jill" and "Sunny" before returning to Broadway to appear in Rodgers and Hart's "By Jupiter." From 1943 to 1945 he toured with the USO before returning to Hollywood to appear in "Stage Door Canteen." He reunited with former co-star Judy Garland for 1946's "The Harvey Girls." In 1949 he returned to Broadway where he starred in "Where's Charley?" for which he won a Tony Award as Best Actor. He recreated the role in the film version of the play in 1952, preserving his performance of "Once in Love with Amy" which became his signature song. In 1953 he tried television starring in the sitcom, "Where's Raymond?" which was later renamed "The Ray Bolger Show." It ran until 1955. After a 1962 return to Broadway in "All American," for which he was nominated for a Tony Award, suitable roles became difficult to find. He earned an Emmy nomination for his performance in "The Entertainer" in 1976 and weathered hip surgery in 1984, after which he kept busy with work in retrospectives and guest roles on television including appearances in "Love Boat," "Battlestar Galactica," "Little House on the Prairie," and "Fantasy Island." He succumbed to cancer five days after his 83rd birthday, attended by Gwendolyn Rickard, his wife of 60 years. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard for movies and at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard for television.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1528
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ray Bolger (10 Jan 1904–15 Jan 1987), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1528, citing Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .