About

Stan Laurel (1890-1965)

Stan Laurel

Stan Laurel was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson on the 16th of June in Ulverston, Cumbria in England, 1890. His father was a vaudeville performer and this led Arthur to being a stage performer too. He didn't get much schooling and this led to the joining of Fred Karno's Troupe where Arthur understudied the future star, Charles Chaplin. In 1912 they went on a tour to America where Chaplin remained, but Stan went straight back to England. In 1916 he returned to the States and did an impersonation of Charlie Chaplin and the act was called "The Keystone Trio" and it was quite successful.

In 1917 Stan made his first movie entitled Nuts in May (1917) and at the first screening among the people in the audience were Chaplin himself and producer Carl Laemmle who were both impressed. This led onto more short comedies with such greats as 'Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson' , Larry Semon, and Hal Roach. Stan now changed his surname to Laurel thus given the name Stan Laurel. In 1917 Laurel had in fact appeared in a film called A Lucky Dog (1921) with an actor in the cast by the name of Babe Hardy. They formed a friendship but not a very good one. Stan later said they did not see each other for another 2 or 3 years.

It was in 1925 that Hardy and Laurel had met again at the Hal Roach studios and at that point in time Laurel was directing movies at the studio with Hardy in the cast for a couple of years. Among these films were Yes, Yes, Nanette (1925) and Wandering Papas (1926) written & directed by Stan Laurel and starring Babe who now acted under his real name, Oliver Hardy. In 1926 they began appearing together but not yet as a team. One of the directors at the Hal Roach studio known around the world as director of such great movies The Bell's of St. Mary's and Going My Way (1944), Leo McCarey joined these comic geniuses and an immediate partnership unfolded. Laurel & Hardy had appeared as funny as they could be in Putting Pants on Philip (1927) which led them to stardom. They made films for another 20 years. Laurel & Hardy are now known as one of the best comedy teams. They retired from films in 1950 but Stan & Oliver went on a tour of England and appeared in many stage shows for years.

Stan's trademark

  • Usually played a childishly innocent man who always looked up to his good friend Oliver Hardy, whether it was deserved or not. Common schticks included crying in cases of great predicaments, taking instructions literally at all times and mixing up his lines. With Oliver Hardy, they often had a scene in their films where they would get into a fight with another person that consisted solely of destroying property. The duo would destroy something the opponent values while the opponent looks on and does not resist. When they are done, the opponent does the same to the duo, while they refrain from resisting and so on.

  • Wide, "hanger-in-my-mouth" smile, spiky hair sported in all of his films, and of course, the "whiny face" for which he is famous.

  • Source: IMDb

Oliver Hardy (1892-1957)

Oliver Hardy

Oliver Hardy's Scottish-English parents were never in show business. As a young boy he was a gifted singer and, by age eight, was performing with minstrel shows. In 1910 he ran a movie theatre, which he preferred to studying law. In 1913 he became a comedy actor with the Lubin Company in Florida and began appearing in a long series of shorts; his debut film was Outwitting Dad (1913). 1914-5 was the Pokes and Jabbs series; 1916-8 saw the Plump and Runt series, 1919-21 the Jimmy Aubrey series, and from 1921-5 he worked as an actor and codirector of comedy shorts for Larry Semon. In 1917 he had played a bit part in A Lucky Dog (1921), starring Stan Laurel. His first two-reeler with Laurel was Forty-five Minutes from Hollywood (1926).

Their first release through MGM was Sugar Daddies (1927) and the first with star billing was From Soup to Nuts (1928). Their first feature-length starring roles were in Pardon Us (1931). Their work became more production-line and less popular during the war years, mostly working for Twentieth Century-Fox. Their last movie together was The Bullfighters (1945) except for a French failure (Atoll K (1951)). He appeared without Laurel in The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) and Riding High (1950) and died seven years later.

Oliver's trademark

  • Usually played a childishly bossy man who barely tolerated his friend, Stan Laurel, but still valued him as someone to whom he could feel superior. With Stan Laurel, they often had a scene in their films where they would get into a fight with another person that consisted solely of destroying property.The duo would destroy something the opponent values while the opponent looks on and does not resist. When they are done, the opponent does the same to the duo, while they refrain from resisting and so on.

  • Black hair always combed forward.

  • Looking into the camera, often with an expression of exasperated suffering over what his on-screen partner had just done.

  • The tie-twiddle, used to convey a sense of coyness or embarrassment.

  • Every puddle his character stepped in appeared to be endlessly deep (He would step into a small puddle and would suddenly be over his head in water).

  • Source: IMDb

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