Oakie, Jack, 1903-1978

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Jack Oakie was born Lewis Delaney Offield on November 12, 1903, in Sedalia, Missouri. He grew up in Oklahoma and Kansas before his family relocated to New York City. It was here where he was able to launch his acting career. He took his first acting job in a 1922 George Cohan production. When Oakie arrived in Hollywood in 1927, silent films were still quite common, and five of his first six films were silent pictures. In 1928, Oakie signed with Paramount Pictures and performed in Paramount's first sound picture, The Dummy. Oakie appeared in a number of college-themed pictures in the 1920s and 1930s, often playing a college jock. Perhaps Oakie is most well known for the role he played in the Great Dictator, the 1939 political satire starring Oakie as the Italian leader Benito Mussolini and Charlie Chaplin as Adolf Hitler. For his performance, Oakie was nominated for an academy award for supporting actor. The last major film Oakie appeared in was Lover Come Back in 1961, starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson. In Oakie's fifty-year career as an actor, he appeared in more than one hundred productions. In 1950, Oakie married Victoria Horne. They lived on a ranch in the hills of Northridge outside of Los Angeles. He died from an aneurysm on January 23, 1978.

From the description of Jack Oakie papers, 1880-1997, (bulk 1930-1978) (University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center). WorldCat record id: 70278420

Jack Oakie was born Lewis Delaney Offield on November 12, 1903, in Sedalia, Missouri. He grew up in Oklahoma and Kansas before his family relocated to New York City. It was here where he was able to launch his acting career. He took his first acting job in a 1922 George Cohan production. When Oakie arrived in Hollywood in 1927, silent films were still quite common, and five of his first six films were silent pictures. In 1928, Oakie signed with Paramount Pictures and performed in Paramount's first sound picture, "The Dummy." Oakie appeared in a number of college-themed pictures in the 1920s and 1930s, often playing a college jock. Perhaps Oakie is most well known for the role he played in "The Great Dictator," the 1939 political satire starring Oakie as the Italian leader Benito Mussolini and Charlie Chaplin as Adolf Hitler. For his performance, Oakie was nominated for an academy award for supporting actor. The last major film Oakie appeared in was "Lover Come Back" in 1961, starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson. In Oakie's fifty-year career as an actor, he appeared in more than one hundred productions. In 1950, Oakie married Victoria Horne. They lived on a ranch in the hills of Northridge outside of Los Angeles. He died from an aneurysm on January 23, 1978.

From the guide to the Jack Oakie Papers, 1880-1997 (bulk: 1930-1978), (University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn John Eldon Thayer collection of motion picture memorabilia, 1916-1979. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Oakie, Jack, 1903-1978. Jack Oakie papers, 1880-1997, (bulk 1930-1978) University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf Jack Oakie Papers, 1880-1997 (bulk: 1930-1978) University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
referencedIn American Vaudeville Museum collection, 1845-2007, (bulk 1910-1940) University of Arizona Libraries, Library Special Collections
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Museum of Vaudeville corporateBody
associatedWith Cullen, Frank, 1936- person
associatedWith McNeilly, Donald, 1945- person
associatedWith Thayer, John Eldon, 1899-1980 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Entertainers
Motion picture actors and actresses--United States
Motion picture actors and actresses
Entertainers--United States
Comedians
Comedians--United States
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1903-11-12

Death 1978-01-23

Americans

English

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