The Truth About Jack Haley Jr. And Liza Minnelli's Relationship

You might not know the name Jack Haley Jr. off the top of your head, but you may have seen some of his work. Maybe you've caught a late-night TCM showing of That's Entertainment, the film celebration he directed featuring scenes from nearly 100 classic Hollywood musicals. He was also at the helm for numerous documentaries over the years.

Not ringing a bell? You've definitely seen his father's work, though his name might not ring a bell, either. But if we were to tell you that Jack Haley Sr. starred as the Tin Man in the 1939 classic Wizard of Oz, we bet you could picture him now. In that film, Haley Sr. starred alongside a young actress named Judy Garland, who would go on to have a long and storied career in the film business.

Among Garland's other claims to fame was her daughter, actress and performer Liza Minnelli, an icon in her own right. It must have seemed like fate, or at least a union of Hollywood royalty, when Minnelli went on to marry Haley Jr. in 1974. That's right: Once upon a time, the Tin Man's son was married to Dorothy's daughter.

When Liza married Jack

According to a 1974 article about their wedding ceremony in The New York Times, Minnelli was an hour late to the ceremony, though she didn't disappoint on arrival. The bride, who'd been married once before, was not showing up in everyday white. She reportedly donned a "bright yellow Halston pantssuit." In classic Old Hollywood form, Sammy Davis, Jr. served as a witness.

Fated though it may have seemed, the union didn't last. As The Things described it, Haley was "straight, but they were friends rather than lovers." The two remained married for only five years and while Minnelli has tried to gin up some luck at the altar twice more, neither marriage has stood the test of time. Haley never remarried.

Despite the split, it appears they sustained their friendship. When Haley passed away in 2001, Minnelli was quoted in Variety as saying of him, "I fell in love with him the first time I met him, and I have loved him with all of my heart ever since." Maybe love stories don't have to last forever to stand the test of time.