Bolger was originally cast as the Tin Woodman, but felt himself better suited to the Scarecrow role. He campaigned vigorously with producer Mervyn LeRoy and studio head Louis B. Mayer for a switch in roles, and soon won the part he coveted. (Buddy Ebsen, originally intended as the Scarecrow, but he didn't mind and took the Tin Man role instead, with an unfortunate outcome.)
Over the course of his career, Bolger shared other credits with his Oz castmates. He played:
- with Judy Garland in The Harvey Girls (1946)
- with Margaret Hamilton in The Daydreamer (1966)
- with Charley Grapewin in The Girl of the Golden West (1938)
- with Frank Morgan in three films in 1936–38.
Judy Garland afecanatly called Bolger "My Scarecrow"
Bolger won a Tony award for the Brodway play Wheres Charlie in 1948
He also appeared as a dancer in a Dr Pepper comercial
He died from blader cancer on January 15 1987 at the age of 83
He was the last surviving member of the original cast of Oz (with exception to Buddy Ebsen)
- John Fricke, Jay Scarfone, William Stillman. The Wizard of Oz: The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History. Warner Books, 1989.