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Fred posing in his hank costume

Fred J. Woodward (April 26th, 1882 - March 26th, 1960) was a stage and film actor of the early twentieth century who filled multiple roles in the dramatic adaptations of L. Frank Baum.

Woodward first played Imogene the cow in 1902's Wizard of Oz (stage) before becoming a hit in the 1913 stage production of The Tik-Tok Man of Oz, in which he played Hank the Mule. He went on to appear in most of the films produced by the Oz Film Manufacturing Company during its brief life, including:

While Woodward played some human roles (as in Last Egyptian), he excelled in comic animal parts; he played the Woozy and the Cowardly Lion as well as Hank. He reprised his mule role several times in later productions; he played Hank again as late as 1946, in an episode of an early television program called For the Children.

He is featured in the 1914 guide book Who's Who in the Film World with the description:

"Born in Toronto Canada, 1882, Mr. Woodward is well known as the original creator and player of animal parts. He first appeared in Detroit, and in 1902 joined the famous original production of the "Wizard of Oz," in which he played the role of the Cow with great success, remaining with this company for five seasons. He then went into vaudeville, over the Orpheum circuit, in Polly Pickles' Pets, playing the part of the Teddy Bear and the Parrot for one season, later touring Europe with the same production over the Moss & Stoll circuit. His next engagement was with Flo Zeigfeld's production of the Follies of 1909, in which he played the Ostrich and the Jackass, then The Follies of 1910. playing the Frog, Stork and the Owl, and in The Follies of 1911, the G. O. P. Elephant. He then appeared at Weber & Fields in Roly Poly, in the part of the Alligator one season, coming to Los Angeles and joining Oliver Morosco's Tik-Tok Man company, playing the famous Donkey part; then in a tableau sketch called, Fairyland, Jr. He then went into vaudeville with his own sketch, called Wise Old Hank, over the Pantages time, and in 1914 joined the Oz Film Company, Hollywood, California, where he is playing all the animal parts for Baum's fairy tale productions".

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