Dedicated to musical classic film stars of the 30s-50s, has been around since October 2000. Please look around and enjoy while the site is being rebuilt.


The Tin Man of ‘Oz’ Really Does Have a Heart

by Maggie Savoy
Los Angeles Times
August 16, 1970

Jack Haley Sr. the Tin Woodman who skipped along with Judy Garland to find his heart and the Wizard of Oz, is now 70, rich, famous, happy, and loving.

And wise: He knows the worth of a penny.

He sits at the Brown Derby, caressing a cup of coffee (lunch is a no-no), caressing his memories (he writes a chapter every now and then) and signing autographs for kids whose parents were kids when he and Judy and the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow skipped “off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

He’s on heart business today: As first vice president of AGVA (American Guild of Variety Artists), he’s working to raise funds for down-and-out entertainers–skaters, shipboard entertainers, circus performers, vaudeville shufflers.

“You can’t be happy here if you don’t see any hope for people who are suffering, impoverished and in pain,” he says. “Who am I to be so fortunate? My being so lucky. I want to give some back.”

Ed Sullivan’s “Entertainer of the Year” TV special on Sept. 20 is one of Haley’s projects to raise money for AGVA’s Sick and Relief Fund.

As for a penny, when Jack Haley was a kid in Boston it was four Scotch Balls, a roll and 10 pennies made his Irish widowed mother smile “very, very wide.”

It was 12 clean-on-the-outside strawberry boxes (collected from garbage pails in the rich end of town); a Shabuoth errand (turn on the lights, light the fire and maybe get a toshen to boot): five minutes in the hack (in case the horse decided to mosey on).

And fun, fun, fun, to bring them home to mother, who worked so hard and loved so hard an dmanaged new shows and a new suit every Easter doing other people’s housework. And who never remarried lest a “stepfather be mean to you and Billy.”

Jack Haley Sr. never felt poor. There were dozens of kids on the stressts in the summertime, and outside of a full stomach, “What else does a kid need?” Instant play, pretty girls to tease, packs of games.”

When he hitched a ride on the sleigh runners and sassed the driver an dfootman and saw the rich kid in the heated cab all covered by furs, he was the one who laughed.

“I never once,” he says now, “had to ask my mother what-can-I-do-today?”

He laughs out loud: “I’ve never been on a psychiatrist’s couch.”

And Father is Doing Well


by Katharine Hartley
Modern Screen
November 1938

SEE THAT man over there?” said Dick, nodding across the room. “He has a new baby, too. At the hospital he had the room across from ours.”

The room across from ours! Well, in a way, that foolish-sounding statement was true, for when one Joan Blondell Powell gave birth to one Ellen Powell, weighing eight pounds six ounces, on June 30th, Papa Powell just about moved into the hospital, too.

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High Flyer


by Keith Monroe
Motion Picture
April 1948

Up, up, up goes Dick Powell’s stock, followed closely by Dick Powell’s plane—followed by loud wails from Junie Allyson

Harry Cohn, the all-powerful boss of Columbia pictures, turned maroon. “What?” he roared. “You mean you’re flying planes on Sundays?”

Dick Powell’s face hardened into the blank, tough-guy expression his movie audiences know so well. “Right,” he said in a flat voice. “I am flying on Sundays.”

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Fred is Fun


by Johnny Green
July 1937

A famous orchestra leader turns author and sheds a new light on an old friend— Fred Astaire—gagster, ribber, screwball

TO a comparative few of us has been given the fun of knowing well the Astaire who makes the Astaire you know tick. Not a smart international citizen, a cosmopolite in top hat, white tie and tails, equally at home in London as in New York, in Hollywood as on the Continent, but a great big kid with a simple, boyish and totally delightful sense of humor —that’s the Fred I know!

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Fred Astaire


Screen Album
Summer 1937

ANYONE who knows him will tell you that Fred’s the “worryingest” man in town. Although he is the acknowledged best male dancer in or out of captivity, Astaire always wonders whether or not he’s good. Even after seeing his picture, he isn’t quite convinced, nor does the critic’s unstinted praise reassure him too much. Probably the reason he’s so good is because he is so conscientious.

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Let George Do It!

by Hedda Hopper
The Chicago Tribune
April 2, 1950

George Murphy not only believes something in Hollywood. He does something about it.

Few men in motion pictures have done more for the industry than George. And his job is just beginning.

“I’d like to make a movie pretty soon, so I could get a rest,” he says. Asked whether he still practices his dancing, George replies, “How can you practice dancing in an airplane? There’s a law against it.”

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Eleanor Powell


Screen Album
Spring 1937

ELEANOR POWELL has a way of winning every tap dancing contest she puts her toe into. In fact, she’s been female champ for four years now. And it is surely an honest-to-goodness fair contest, for the judges sit under the stage and listen to the tap routines. In this way, beauty, personality or both don’t count—just fine and accurate stepping.

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If You Were Bob Hope’s House Guest


by Dorothy Deere
June 1947

There’ll be Hope—and the four Hopefuls—and life—warmth—and laughter.

SO YOU think your weekend with the Hopes is going to be a howling affair with your comic host springing trap doors and slipping rubber olives into the Martinis? Then you have a surprise in store. For the howls will be tempered to smiles in this home run on graciousness, even though it was built on gags.

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Bob Hope

Screen Album
Fall 1943

I USED to wonder,” cracks Crosby, “whether Hope was born or his mother knitted him.” Statistics prove he was born. Happened in England in 1904, but a Cleveland, O., up-bringing is responsible for that remunerative sense of humor. It earns him about $400,000 annually—about $150,000 from radio, the rest from Paramount, where he makes all those “Road” movies. read more…

Portrait of the Man with the Chin



by Joseph Henry Steele
April 1940

A black and white of Bob Hope—a comedian on whom Fate cast a benign eye when a hunch played him false

HIS favorite Scotch joke is the one about, the Scotchman who sat up all night and watched his wife’s vanishing cream.

He considers the most foolish act of his life the time he rejected his first radio offer because “radio would never amount to anything.” He recalls, wistfully, that he lost five years before he began to get his share of the ether bonanza.

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