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Ray BolgerMore than a Scarecrow$
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Holly Van Leuven

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190639044

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190639044.001.0001

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Soldiers in Greasepaint

Soldiers in Greasepaint

(p.123) Chapter 7 Soldiers in Greasepaint
Ray Bolger

Holly Van Leuven

Oxford University Press

Chapter 7 retraces Bolger’s four-month stint in the South Pacific with pianist Little Jack Little. The two were the first entertainers to interact with Americans in the South Pacific. The USO sent just Bolger and Little to the South Pacific because many of the territories they would tour were still considered unfit for women, even for female nurses; Japanese militants were still on some of the islands. The logistics of battle in these islands and the impacts on Bolger and Little, as well as their audiences, are discussed. Simultaneously, the author traces Gwen Bolger’s attempts to secure Bolger a contract for a film with Rita Hayworth while Bolger was abroad. British director Victor Saville wanted Bolger for a supporting role in his forthcoming adaptation of the play Heart of the City. The film would be a Technicolor musical, telling the story of a London variety theater that refused to close for even a single performance during the Blitz.

Keywords:   USO, South Pacific, Rita Hayworth, Camp Shows, World War II, Australia

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