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Bolger was a Vaudevillian actor as one-half of a comedy duo. Like many actors of his era, Bolger's skills combined acting with song and dance skills.
He was signed on by MGM Studios in 1936 for a role as himself in the movie, The Great Ziefield. Various combination acting, singing and dancing roles followed, which culminated in what was to be his most memorable role as the Scarecrow in the classic film, The Wizard of Oz.
Bolger's contract with MGM ended shortly after, but the actor went on to the new world of television, starring in his own situation comedy, Where's Raymond? (later called The Ray Bolger Show) in 1953.
Bolger won a Tony Award, as well as two Donaldson Awards in 1948. In 1980, he was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame.
Bolger appeared as a guest in many more television roles and a few film roles throughout the latter half of the 20th Century. In the documentary film, That's Dancing!, Bolger co-hosted the film with many other classic and contemporary dancing actors, including Oz co-star Judy Garland's daughter, Liza Minnelli.
Bolger was the last surviving member of the four central characters of The Wizard of Oz. He died of cancer in 1987.