Hal Skelly was an American Broadway and film actor.
J. Harold Skelly was born in Alleghenyville, Pennsylvania and spent his early years in Davenport, Iowa. He left home at the age of 15 and joined the circus. He acted in his first stage production, The Time, the Place and the Girl, at the LaSalle Theater in Chicago. He became a veteran of medicine shows, musical comedy, burlesque, Lew Dockstader's minstrels and opera. His eccentric dancing ability earned him the nickname "Tumbling Harold Skelly".
Skelly made his Broadway debut in Fiddler’s Three (1918) and went on to appear in ten other shows on Broadway. In 1927, he played a starring role alongside Barbara Stanwyck, in her first Broadway hit, the musical Burlesque. The two were invited by Paramount Studio to star in the 1929 film version of the show, retitled The Dance of Life since Paramount executives thought the original title too risqué. Stanwyck turned down the offer, while Skelly reprised his role as 'Skid' Johnson. Skelly made a total of ten films, including the Woman Trap (1929), Behind the Make-Up (1930), and The Shadow Laughs (1933). He was also featured on two movie soundtracks.
Skelly was killed in a train-auto accident in West Cornwall, Connecticut when the truck he was driving was struck by a New York-Pittsfield train at a crossing.