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June 2, 2024

30 Portrait Photos of Jack Oakie in the 1930s and ’40s

Born 1903 as Lewis Delaney Offield in Sedalia, Missouri, American actor Jack Oakie made his professional debut on Broadway in 1923 as a chorus boy in a production of Little Nellie Kelly by George M. Cohan. He worked in various musicals and comedies on Broadway from 1923 to 1927, when he moved to Hollywood to work in movies at the end of the silent film era. He made his first talking film, The Dummy, in 1929.

Oakie was remarkably successful, appearing in 87 films, most made in the 1930s and 1940s. He portrayed Benzino Napaloni, the boisterous dictator of Bacteria, in Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (1940), for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. This role was a broad parody of the fascist dictator of Italy, Benito Mussolini, then in power.

Late in his career, Oakie appeared in various episodes of a number of television shows, including The Real McCoys (1963, three times as Uncle Rightly), Breaking Point (Episode #22 A Child of the Center Ring, 1964), Daniel Boone (1966), and Bonanza (1966).

Oakie died in 1978, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 74 from an aortic aneurysm. Take a look at these vintage photos to see portraits of young Jack Oakie in the 1930s and 1940s.


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