As author Raymond Valinoti, Jr., notes, he embarked on a crash diet that led to a weight loss of 150 pounds. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Stan Laurel (left) and Oliver Hardy in a promotional photograph for, Stan Laurel (second from right) and Oliver Hardy (right) in the short film. Oliver Norvell Hardy (born Norvell Hardy, January 18, 1892 – August 7, 1957) was an American comic actor and one half of Laurel and Hardy, the double act that began in the era of silent films and lasted from 1927 to 1955. Laurel and Hardy were the popular American-based comedy team of thin, British-born Stan Laurel (1890-1965) and heavy, American-born Oliver Hardy (1892-1957). They often took an active role in shaping the films they worked on, writing and introducing physical gags. After the Karno company disbanded during an American tour in 1913, Jefferson worked in American films and vaudeville for several years, during which time he changed his surname to Laurel after deciding that a stage name with 13 letters was bad luck. The Sunday Post reports that both men were considered heavy smokers in an era when smoking was common and accepted, which didn't help their conditions. Laurel and Hardy were a comedy duo who rose to fame during the Classical Hollywood era. They remained an official team until Hardy’s death in 1957. When they finally got out from under Roach's control in the early 1940s, neither considered working alone. They dig a tunnel to escape from prison. According to author Raymond Valinoti, Jr., the officers took one look at Hardy's size and began to make fun of him, calling other recruiters over to look at him. By the end of 1927 they had become an official team. As those studios denied the team the creative input to which they had become accustomed at Roach, their comedy suffered, and their films from the 1940s are regarded as their weakest body of work. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for ID5866z - LAUREL AND HARDY - ONE TOGETHER IS TWO - 748 - vinyl 45 at the best online prices at eBay! As producer Roach and director-supervisor Leo McCarey noticed the chemistry between the thin one (Laurel) and the fat one (Hardy), Laurel and Hardy started to work together more often. Stan Laurel (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson; 16 June 1890 – 23 February 1965) was an English comic actor, writer, and film director who was part of the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. In a final humiliation, the producers found it impossible to get the film into theaters. Directors: Leo McCarey, James Parrott | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy… But as Smithsonian Magazine notes, Roach was a hard negotiator who made sure Laurel and Hardy didn't own the rights to their work, making certain they had to negotiate their deals separately. Laurel had chronic problems with his prostate, and per author Norbert Aping, he had to have an ulcer surgically removed from his prostate. 99 to rent. Their best full-length comedies included The Devil’s Brother (1933; U.K. title Fra Diavolo), Babes in Toyland (1934, rereleased as March of the Wooden Soldiers), Our Relations (1936), Block-Heads (1938), A Chump at Oxford (1940), and the two features generally regarded as their finest, Sons of the Desert (1933) and Way Out West (1937). Lou Costello, of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, once said of Laurel and Hardy, “They were the funniest comedy team of all time.” Most critics and film scholars throughout the years have agreed with that assessment. In 1910 he ran a movie theatre, which he preferred to studying law. One written in 1964 reads in its entirety "Just a few more stamps — hope you're feeling well — nothing much to tell you, everything is as usual here.". According to Norbert Aping, after World War II ended, Laurel and Hardy's celebrity suddenly took off internationally as their films were finally widely distributed, and so it was decided that there was potential to relaunch their film careers with a French-Italian co-production that eventually became known as Atoll K. The production was a fiasco. DVD $62.00 $ 62. From that point on, the pair rose to stardom under Roach's guidance — but Roach was a sharp businessman, and Laurel and Hardy were ... not. Prime Video $0.99 $ 0. Both Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel were working actors during the 1920s, but neither had achieved any sort of breakout success. Behemoths of the comedy film genre, Stan Laurel and Oliver “Babe” Hardy appeared together on film 107 times . According to his second wife, Virginia Ruth Rogers, Laurel was absolutely devastated by the loss of his mother, and in some ways, never recovered from it. Free shipping for many products! Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). As the Los Angeles Times reports, they usually improvised much of their bits, and carefully planned and even directed scenes while working with producer Hal Roach. The final phase of Laurel and Hardy's film career was a lengthy decline. Hardy was at his heaviest, and suffered heart problems as well as a serious bout of the flu, while Stan Laurel was dealing with his diabetes and a prostate condition. They remained popular, however, with wartime audiences. Corrections? When Laurel visits Hardy at home, hi-jinx occur and the Mrs. orders them out. He signed with Hal Roach Studios in 1925 with the understanding that his primary duties would be behind the cameras. When Oliver Hardy died in 1957, instead of pursuing solo work, Laurel quietly retired. (Left to right) Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, and Charley Chase in. Laurel returned to acting when a last-minute replacement for Hardy (who had seriously injured himself in a cooking accident) was needed for a Mabel Normand comedy. Only 1 left in stock - order soon. Neilson rejected Laurel (maybe he should have checked with her before filing for divorce), but Laurel didn't let that get him down — he married Vera Ivanova Shuvalova in 1938. As The Vintage News reports, they enjoyed a very healthy and balanced professional relationship, wherein Hardy trusted Laurel to shape the material in their films and went along with his ideas. Sam, showing off for his kid brother, climbed a tree and dived into the river from an overhanging branch. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's slapstick comedy dominated the 1930s, as they appeared in 107 films and earned an Academy Award. Our heroes try to borrow money from their employer, the toymaker, to pay off the mortgage on the shoe and to keep … In 1997, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "'culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.'" Largely out of economic necessity, the Roach Studios began to star Laurel and Hardy in feature films. Laurel and Hardy fans are so devoted that they formed an appreciation society, named after the 1933 feature The Sons of the Desert. Because of the dwindling market for short subjects, the team abandoned two-reelers reluctantly in 1935 but remained mostly contented while at Roach Studios, which, as one of the smaller studios, allowed them a greater degree of artistic freedom than they would have found elsewhere. Laurel and Hardy first appeared on-screen together in the 1921 film The Lucky Dog, but not as the comedy team still popular today. This bothered Hardy terribly, and he went into near-seclusion, seeing only a short list of trusted friends — including Stan Laurel. Laurel finally found love with Ida Kitaeva Raphael, who he married in 1946 and remained with until his death in 1965. But he almost immediately cheated on Neilson, and they divorced eight years later. Producer Hal Roach forced them to negotiate their contracts separately in order to control how much he paid them. This item allows players to see in Romevision, changing the appearance of Robots in Mann vs. Machine mode to wearing Roman armor. They frequently managed to convert simple everyday situations into disastrous tangles by acts of incredible naïveté and incompetence. Decades later, when Hardy appeared on the television program "This Is Your Life," he became very emotional when the subject was brought up, showing how much of a mark the loss left on the young boy. Norvell Hardy’s father died in late 1892; in tribute, the younger Hardy later adopted his father’s first name, Oliver. He was uninterested in working with anyone but his longtime friend. They became famous during the early half of the 20th century for their work in motion pictures, and also appeared on stage throughout America and Europe. In fact, as Lake Oconee Living reports, he was known as 'Fatty' as a little kid, and when he grew up and launched his entertainment career he was initially known as 'Babe Hardy' due to his size, which was usually well over 300 pounds. Some of these letters reveal tragic facts, as when he writes that after his stroke "of course I shall never be in a condition to work any more." Updates? While this initially disappointed his parents, who hoped Laurel would come work with them, they supported his dreams. Only 1 left in stock - order soon. Stan Laurel was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson in 1890 in England. It was a starring vehicle for Laurel, with Hardy in support. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. He paid them a flat wage instead of a percentage of the profits. Hardy married her far away from his family to avoid an ugly scene, and the couple left Georgia almost immediately. His weight caused him many health concerns over the course of his life, and by the 1950s he finally decided to do something about it. He married Myrtle Reeves shortly after the divorce was granted, but once again marital bliss was denied him. According to New Statesman, first came Mae Dahlberg, an older woman from Australia he met in 1917; she was considered to be Laurel's common-law wife. Roach also ensured that they never held any of the copyrights, or got any screenwriting credits, although they usually took a very active role in the writing and directing of their films. While Laurel had a relatively happy family life, as author Raymond Valinoti Jr. notes, he was frequently alone as a child. $3.99 shipping. The comedic formula that they developed was simple but enduring: two friends who possessed a combination of utter brainlessness and eternal optimism, or, as Laurel himself described it, “two minds without a single thought.” Laurel was the guileless simpleton, the cause of most of their troubles, whereas Hardy played the self-important, fastidious man of the world whose plans always went awry because of his misplaced faith in both his partner and his own abilities. Laurel and Hardy, comedy team that is widely regarded as the greatest in film history. Some are heartbreaking in their lack of necessity. Their voices—Laurel’s British accent and Hardy’s Southern tones—were perfectly suited to their characters, and Laurel devised several ingenious audio gags (such as the well-timed offscreen crash) to take full advantage of the sound track. 00. By the 1950s, Stan Laurel had been struggling with his own health. His mother, who managed local boarding houses, made things even worse when she made young Hardy walk around town wearing a sandwich board advertising the food at her hotels. They carried him back to the hotel their mother ran, but it was too late: Sam was dead. Oliver Hardy married Madelyn Saloshin in 1913 when he was just 21 years. Together they appeared in 34 silent shorts, A 45 sound shorts, and 27 full-length sound feature films. Hardy, concerned for his health, had lost more than 150 pounds and was sensitive about his appearance — but the crash diet was too late; he suffered a massive stroke in 1957 and died. Directors: Leo McCarey, James Parrott | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy… Laurel and Hardy, comedy team that is widely regarded as the greatest in film history. Laurel and Hardy, the world's most famous comedy duo, attempt to reignite their film careers as they embark on what becomes their swan song - a grueling theatre tour of post-war Britain. They go to a golf course where they try to impress two young ladies and wind up in a mud-slinging fight with other golfers. Starring: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy Directed by: Arthur D. Hotaling , Will Louis , Charles Parrott , et al. For example, he staggered the expiration dates of their contracts so they could never negotiate as a team, which allowed Roach to consistently undervalue them. Hardy developed a vast array of eccentricities: flowery speech and mannerisms, explosive double takes, tie-twiddling, and frequent looks into the camera to elicit audience sympathy. As both men went through several divorces, alimony payments piled up, and Oliver Hardy developed a gambling problem. Even more tragic, Stan Laurel penned something other than letters during his final years. Hardy expected people to be supportive, but as author Simon Louvish says, the change in Hardy's appearance was so drastic that friends and family were visibly upset at the sight of him. That may explain the consistent look and feel of the films, even though they were attributed to numerous directors. Laurel or Hardy: Early Films of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (Flicker Alley) [Blu-ray] Blu-ray $49.49 $ 49. When they moved to MGM in the 1940s, they were disappointed to find they'd lost that — they were treated as hired actors, with no input on the scripts or direction. Few performing acts successfully transitioned from the Silent Era into the age of sound, but Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel used a combination of visual contrast — the rotund and imposing Hardy standing next to the thin, angular Laurel — peerless physical comedy, and sharp comic timing to become one of the most popular comedy acts of the 1930s. When he divorced her, he actually married Rogers again, with this second attempt lasting five years. It has been said that first-time viewers tend to find Laurel the more immediately funny of the pair, whereas longtime fans find Hardy the more enduringly funny. As noted by the encyclopedia Britannica, his father, Oliver Hardy, died just a few months after his birth. Oliver Hardy died surprisingly broke, and New Statesman reveals that in 1946, Stan Laurel was forced to admit he only had $2,000 in his bank account — and $200 a month to live on. The Hardy Laurel is a community-created promotional cosmetic item for all classes.It is a golden laurel wreath that sits upon the player's head.. According to The Los Angeles Times, Laurel had a stroke in 1955 — which he survived, but it left him weak. He lingered on for almost a year, being diagnosed with cancer and suffering an additional two strokes, and died in August 1957. Laurel and Hardy -- the world's greatest comedy team -- face an uncertain future as their golden era of Hollywood films remain long behind them. His parents were performers and theater managers, and they frequently traveled. According to Smithsonian Magazine, Roach managed to keep the upper hand through shrewd negotiating. Laurel was happy to see Dahlberg go because he wanted to marry Lois Neilson. FREE Shipping. The marriage lasted six years, and Hardy would describe it as a "sham" in his divorce application. Still, Laurel grew into a performer just like his parents, and he quickly began writing his own plays and pursued theater. During the next decade Hardy appeared in more than 200 mostly short films for various studios (beginning with Outwitting Dad [1914] and including an appearance as the Tin Man in the 1925 silent version of The Wizard of Oz) before being signed by Hal Roach in 1926. As a result, their output in the 1940s is considered to be of lower quality, and their stars began to fade. There were language barriers and a terrible script to contend with — but the truly tragic aspect was Laurel and Hardy's health. Laurel and Hardy first worked together in a Hal Roach short called The Lucky Dog, filmed in 1919 and released in 1921. At last count, there are 220 chapters—named “tents”—around the world, including the Midnight Patrol tent in San Jose and the Call of the Cuckoos tent in San Francisco. The development of motion-picture sound brought about the full flowering of the team’s genius. 4.3 out of 5 stars 8. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made more than 100 comedies together, Laurel playing the bumbling and innocent foil to the pompous Hardy. They were frequent costars in the All-Star Comedies but not yet a team. As a performer, Laurel had such trademarks as frequent head-scratching, a whimpering cry (usually punctuated with a plaintive “Well, I couldn’t help it!”), and a blank stare completely bereft of thought or emotion. He finally found contentment after divorcing Reeves in 1940. Hardy's weight was part of his identity, and also the cause of his health problems later in life. Stan and Ollie play two convicts who share a cell. When America entered World War I, Oliver Hardy sought to do his patriotic duty and went to a local enlistment office to join the army. (In it, Oliver robs Stan at gunpoint.) Directed by Jon S. Baird. Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee (played by Laurel and Hardy) live in a shoe which is owned by the villainous Silas Barnaby who is looking to marry Bo Peep. With Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly, Shirley Henderson, Nina Arianda. Laurel & Hardy, in pre-historic times, vie for the hand of the same Stone Age beauty. According to author Raymond Valinoti, Jr. Hollywood stars piling up marriages and divorces. He also wrote comedy routines designed for Laurel and Hardy — routines that would never be performed. As the Union Recorder reports, when he was 17 years old, his older brother Sam visited home, and the brothers decided to go swimming at an old mill dam on the Oconee River. Stan Laurel was crushed and chose to retire from show business rather than work without his friend of more than 30 years. Laurel had become primarily interested in directing and co-directed the comedy shorts Yes, Yes, Nanette (1925) and Wandering Papas (1926), both featuring Hardy. They made their feature debut in Pardon Us (1931) and went on to star in 13 more features through 1940. Laurel & Hardy - Big Business (New Audio Score) 1929 | CC. 49 $59.98 $59.98. The Hardy family reported that Hardy's mother was enraged at the union because Saloshin was older than her son. As Louvish notes, Reeves was an alcoholic who was forced to stay in a sanitarium several times as she struggled with her disease, leaving Hardy desperate to leave the marriage. One of the most surprising was the fact that they were very close friends in real life. Laurel & Hardy (Sons of the Desert/The Music Box/Another Fine Mess/Busy Bodies/County Hospital) 4.7 out of 5 stars 634. As New Statesman reports, Laurel spent his final years as a lonely man who spent his time writing letters — possibly thousands of them. More Buying Choices $19.78 (15 used & new offers) VHS Tape Starring: Stan Laurel , Oliver Hardy … The plot line is that Laurel and Hardy attend the Sons of the Desert fraternal organization's convention in Chicago even after Mrs. Hardy tells her husband he's not allowed to go. In a new TCM Original, Hamill shares his lifelong love for Laurel and Hardy as well as talks about the emotional connection he has to the entertainers, talking about how … Directors: Frank Butler, Hal Roach | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Dorothy Coburn, Budd Fine. As New Statesman notes, it was almost as if it was Laurel's way of staying in touch with Hardy. As reported by Lake Oconee Living, Hardy was known as "Fatty" Hardy throughout his childhood — even after he became a famous Hollywood star, locals in his hometown in Georgia referred to him as "Fatty." In 1945, they were dispirited enough to retire, returning briefly to make what most regard as their worst film, Atoll K, in 1951, per the New Georgia Encyclopedia. Oliver Hardy and his friends dived into the river and pulled Sam out. Their best-known movies included Sons of the Desert and Way Out West. The team had attained enormous popularity by the end of the silent era through comic gems such as Putting Pants on Philip (1927), Two Tars (1928), Liberty (1929), and Big Business (1929). When they finally had the chance to break away, they leaped at it, signing new deals with 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn Mayer in 1941. $2.99 to buy. It was directed by James Parrott, produced by Hal Roach and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He moved into a small apartment in Santa Monica with his wife, Ida. Laurel spent hours every day corresponding with anyone he could, faithfully answering fan letters and sending missives off to his acquaintances. Votes: 525 For about 14 years, Laurel and Hardy were one of the most popular comedy duos in Hollywood. Laurel and Hardy, the iconic comedy duo, wouldn't exist without Hollywood producer Hal Roach. Even if the Hardy Laurel is not currently equipped or even owned, other players on the server will receive the … He was married no fewer than six times — and even married one of his ex-wives twice. They took their children with them — except Stan, who was weak and "sickly" as a child. By 1953, they were broke and out of the film business. In 1960 Laurel was awarded an honorary Oscar for his contributions to film comedy. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Stan Laurel's weepy, rail-thin figure next to Oliver Hardy's robust frame (he weighed more than 300 pounds for most of his life, per the Vintage News) was inherently charming to audiences. Or $0.00 with a Prime membership. February 23, 1965, Santa Monica, California, U.S.) and Oliver Hardy (original name Norvell Hardy; b. January 18, 1892, Harlem, Georgia, U.S.—d. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Hardy fakes an illness, with a doctor (actually a veterinarian) recommending that he recuperate by taking an ocean voyage, joined by Laurel, to Hawaii. According to Valinoti, the Metcalfes were kind to Laurel, but they were very strict, and he spent much of his time alone in a shack on their property being punished for one thing or another. When Laurel visits Hardy at home, hi-jinx occur and the Mrs. orders them out. When they switched film studios in the 1940s and lost creative control over their work, their quality declined and public tastes shifted, leaving them less popular than they'd once been. When he became especially agitated or depressed, his wife would invite Stan to visit. Laurel and Hardy were a motion picture comedy team whose official filmography consists of 106 films released between 1921 and 1951. But as author Simon Louvish writes, the reason for the Hardy family's opposition to the marriage was likely much worse: Saloshin was Jewish. Free shipping on many items | Browse your favorite brands | affordable prices. Roach saw their potential and put them together in 1927's The Second Hundred Years. Dahlberg was difficult, and according to writer Simon Louvish, producer Joe Rock paid Dahlberg off to return to Australia. That wasn't the only loss Hardy suffered during his childhood. Shuvalova drank heavily and accused Laurel of bizarre abuse, including an attempt to bury her alive. The importance of that artistic license became manifest in the 1940s, when Laurel and Hardy worked for Twentieth Century-Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. After changing film studios in the early 1940s, their popularity fell (along with the perceived quality of their films), but television kept them in the public eye and ensured their work would never be forgotten. They appeared in more than 40 sound shorts for Roach, including the classics Hog Wild (1930), Helpmates (1931), Towed in a Hole (1932), and the Academy Award-winning The Music Box (1932). Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Stan Laurel (original name Arthur Stanley Jefferson; b. June 16, 1890, Lancashire, England—d. Omissions? Laurel And Hardy were -and still are- one of the best comedians ever lived. This mutual respect extended to their career dealings as well. They divorced in 1937. He found minor success as the star of his own series of comedy shorts in the early 1920s, but, within a few years, acting took second place to work as a director and gag writer. In the end, the final film of Laurel and Hardy was a sad end to their brilliant careers. Then, in September 1956, Oliver Hardy suffered a massive stroke that left him paralyzed and mute. But, Laurel & Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies is like a whole collection of Laurel and Hardy books, articles and information all rolled into one. The two soon became members of Roach’s “All-Stars,” an ensemble of comic performers featured in several short comedies. Laurel, who had discovered his father was cheating on Madge some years before, blamed his father for breaking his mother's will to live. Stan was the thin one, the meek, fallible, childish, butterfingers, as opposed to the leader of the two, the fatty and oh so pompous Oliver. In fact, as the tragic history of Laurel and Hardy will show, they might have had more than their fair share of both. Laurel wound up spending much of his childhood with his grandparents, George and Sarah Metcalfe. Hardy's weight also caused him grief in his younger days. He was unable to concentrate on anything or communicate effectively with the people around him. Those comedy fundamentals have allowed the duo to endure in popular culture long after their death. His first movie short was Nuts in May (1917). Then, when Stan Laurel was just 18 years old, tragedy struck: His mother, Madge, unexpectedly died. They go to a golf course where they try to impress two young ladies and wind up in a mud-slinging fight with other golfers. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. There are many books on Laurel and Hardy, many good books on Laurel and Hardy. Every collector will want this wonderful book. But behind the act … Oliver Hardy was a big man his whole life. He appeared with his comedy partner Stan Laurel in 107 short films, feature films, and cameo roles. As Aping notes, when production had to be halted for the actors to recover, the result is scenes where Stan Laurel appears to age a decade in a matter of seconds. It's suspected she suffered from a respiratory illness made worse by the air quality in Glasgow, where the family had relocated. While managing a movie theatre in 1913, Hardy decided that he could do better—or at least no worse—than the actors he saw on-screen, so he went to work at the Lubin studio in Jacksonville, Florida, the following year. He married Virginia Lucille Jones, who remained by his side until his death in 1957. Norvell Hardy was born in Georgia in 1892. August 7, 1957, North Hollywood, California) made more than 100 comedies together, with Laurel playing the bumbling and innocent foil to the pompous Hardy. He left humiliated. His mother supported the family by managing hotels and boarding houses. Laurel and Hardy were the popular American-based comedy team of thin, British-born Stan Laurel (1890-1965) and heavy, American-born Oliver Hardy (1892-1957). Part of the magic that was Laurel and Hardy as a comedy act was their physical disparity. By the 1950s, Laurel and Hardy had to embark on a live tour of English music halls to try to pay some bills — which failed when Hardy took ill and the tour had to be canceled. The film, which depicts the pair attempting to move a piano up a long flight of steps, won the first Academy Award for Best Live Action Short (Comedy) in 1932. They were virtually retired by 1945. Their final film was the European-produced Atoll K (1950; also released as Utopia and Robinson Crusoeland), after which they toured English music halls to great success. The Music Box is a Laurel and Hardy short film comedy released in 1932. Laurel quickly married Virginia Ruth Rogers, but just two years into the marriage, he told her that he still had feelings for Neilson.