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Stan Laurel

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The Laurel And Hardy Collection: Volume 2... "This is another fine mess you've gotten me into!" In fact, "The Laurel and... more info $34.98was $34.98 Buy Now

Laurel And Hardy: Air Raid Wardens /... The inimitable Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy report for duty in a winning pair of... more info $7.99was $14.98 Buy Now

The Laurel And Hardy Collection... As funny as ever, this collection of early shorts features Stan Laurel and... more info $14.95was $14.95 Buy Now

TCM Archives: Laurel and Hardy Collection... In this 2-disc collection, classic comedy team Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy get... more info $39.98was $39.98 Buy Now

The Laurel And Hardy Collection: Volume 1... The 3-disc "The Laurel And Hardy Collection, Vol. 1" features a trio of zany... more info $34.98was $34.98 Buy Now

Classic Comedy Teams Collection... Slapstick lovers will be delighted with this 3-disc "Classic Comedy Teams... more info $28.98was $28.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Stan Jefferson, Arthur Stanley Jefferson Died: February 23, 1965
Born: June 16, 1890 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Lanchashire, England, GB Profession: actor, producer, vaudevillian, director, screenwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

With his prominently pointed chin, bowler hat, and unwavering childlike grin, comedy legend Stan Laurel became one of the most iconic faces in the history of film as one-half of the acting team Laurel and Hardy. Getting his start on the vaudeville stages of his native U.K. and as an understudy to none other than the great Charlie Chaplin, Laurel soon made the trek to America and the nascent film hub of Hollywood. Although he had appeared in dozens of short silent films, Laurel's intention upon joining Hal Roach Studios was to work primarily as a writer-director. That is, until coincidence and an astute director paired him with another up-and-coming comedic actor, the portly prince of the pratfall, Oliver Hardy. Early Laurel and Hardy shorts included the films "Duck Soup" (1927) and "Putting Pants on Philip" (1927). So strong were their comedic abilities, that even the addition of sound to film - the death knell to the careers of many of their contemporaries - did nothing to diminish their appeal. At the height of the Great Depression, Laurel and Hardy's brand of humor, one that emphasized the importance of smiling in the face of adversity, won over audiences in desperate need of laughter with films...

With his prominently pointed chin, bowler hat, and unwavering childlike grin, comedy legend Stan Laurel became one of the most iconic faces in the history of film as one-half of the acting team Laurel and Hardy. Getting his start on the vaudeville stages of his native U.K. and as an understudy to none other than the great Charlie Chaplin, Laurel soon made the trek to America and the nascent film hub of Hollywood. Although he had appeared in dozens of short silent films, Laurel's intention upon joining Hal Roach Studios was to work primarily as a writer-director. That is, until coincidence and an astute director paired him with another up-and-coming comedic actor, the portly prince of the pratfall, Oliver Hardy. Early Laurel and Hardy shorts included the films "Duck Soup" (1927) and "Putting Pants on Philip" (1927). So strong were their comedic abilities, that even the addition of sound to film - the death knell to the careers of many of their contemporaries - did nothing to diminish their appeal. At the height of the Great Depression, Laurel and Hardy's brand of humor, one that emphasized the importance of smiling in the face of adversity, won over audiences in desperate need of laughter with films like "The Music Box" (1932), "Sons of the Desert" (1933), and "Babes in Toyland" (1934) . Although their relationship with Roach eventually became irreparably strained and later work with major studios MGM and 20th Century Fox yielded less-than-memorable films, the comedy duo remained popular with audiences in American and Europe well into the 1950s. In nearly 190 films that spanned the silent and sound eras, most of them alongside collaborator "Ollie" Hardy, Stan Laurel engrained himself into the very essence of cinema, and his gifts have been rediscovered by future generations of appreciative fans.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Never Too Old (1926) Director
2.
  Merry Widower, The (1926) Director
3.
  Raggedy Rose (1926) Director
4.
5.
  Madame Mystery (1926) Director
6.
  Wandering Papas (1925) Director
7.
  Yes, Yes, Nanette (1925) Director
8.
  Unfriendly Enemies (1925) Director
9.
  Enough to Do (1925) Director
10.
  Moonlight and Noses (1925) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 The Crazy World of Laurel and Hardy (1967) The Skinny One
4.
 Atoll K (1951) Stan
5.
 Nothing But Trouble (1945) Stan [Laurel]
6.
 The Bullfighters (1945) Stan Laurel/Don Sebastian
7.
 The Big Noise (1944) Stan Laurel
8.
 The Dancing Masters (1943) Stan Laurel
9.
 Air Raid Wardens (1943) Stanley [Laurel]
10.
 Jitterbugs (1943) Stan Laurel
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1905:
Family moved to Glasgow, Scotland, where father managed a theater
1906:
Made stage debut at Pickard's Panoptican in Glasgow, a quaint and unique house of entertainment that included a museum, a side show, a nickelodeon and a small theatre featuring second and third-rate music-hall style entertainment
1907:
Toured as a "golliwog" (a stuffed doll) in "Sleeping Beauty" pantomime
1908:
On tour in "Alone in the World"
1910:
Joined Fred Karno's company, playing various roles in show "Mumming Birds"; sometimes understudied fellow Karno performer Charlie Chaplin
1911:
Left Karno while on successful US tour in dispute over money, returning to England
1911:
Acted in "Ben Machree" at Prince's Theatre, managed by his brother Gordon
1912:
Joined Karno's second US tour as understudy to Chaplin (playing the lead role of The Drunk) in the show now titled "A Night in an English Music Hall"
:
Following Chaplin's departure from Karno for Hollywood, the troupe returned to England while Laurel remained behind touring North American vaudeville circuit in "The Nutty Burglars", a sketch of his own devising
1915:
Impersonated Chaplin in "The Keystone Trio" act
1917:
Began his professional association with actress Mae Dahlberg, appearing in a series of skits as Stan and Mae Jefferson (later Laurel)
1917:
Film debut in "Nuts in May" (with Dahlberg)
1919:
Returned to vaudeville in sketches with Dahlberg
1921:
Appeared in first film with Oliver Hardy (by coincidence, not design), the short "The Lucky Dog"
:
Made more than 60 one- and two-reelers as a solo performer
1922:
Burlesqued Rudolph Valentino in particularly well-received short "Mud and Sand"
1924:
Dismissed by Hal Roach (for second time) because of irregular status with common-law wife Dahlberg; signed with producer Joe Rock, who reportedly paid Mae to return to her native Australia
1925:
Returned to Roach studio where he reunited with Hardy for "Yes, Yes, Nanette" (co-directed by Laurel and Clarence Hennecke) and "Enough to Do" (directed by Laurel); Laurel did not act in either film
1926:
Replaced Hardy in "Get 'Em Young" after 'Babe' burned his arm in a cooking accident
1927:
'The Boys' appeared together in their eighth film, "Do Detectives Think?" (Hal Roach/Pathe), donning for the first time their trademark uniforms: a frumpy suit for Ollie, with a flapping tie to fiddle with and a postage stamp of a mustache; a natty little suit for Stanley, with a bow tie and an unruly crop of bristled hair-with a bowler hat as the crowning touch for each; Laurel and Fred Roach, however, cited "Putting Pants on Phillip" as the first official L & H film
1929:
First sound film made by Laurel and Hardy, "Unaccustomed As We are"
1931:
Made first Laurel and Hardy feature, "Pardon Us", directed by frequent helmsman James Parrott
1932:
The Laurel and Hardy comedy short "The Music Box" won the first Oscar ever given in the category of Best Short Subjects (Live Action Comedy)
1933:
Despite Laurel's increasing difficulties on set as a result of alcoholism, "Sons of the Desert" (based on their silent two-reeler "We Faw Down" 1928, one of the few shorts on which Leo McCarey received directorial credit) became one of L & H's most-loved films
1934:
Locked horns with Roach on "Babes in Toyland"; Laurel had rejected the script that Roach had written, and subsequently relationship was 'strictly business' (though they reportedly mended fences later in life); Roach's throwing up of his hands and allowing Laurel to have his way resulted in one of L & H's best films, as well as the best movie based on the Victor Herbert operetta
1934:
Officially changed surname to 'Laurel'
1935:
Last L & H shorts for Roach, "Tit for Tat", "The Fixer Uppers" and "Thicker Than Water"
1936:
First producing credit, "Our Relations"
1938:
Initial teaming with Harry Langdon providing the story, "Block-Heads"; also "The Flying Deuces" (1939)
1940:
Last quality L & H film, "Saps at Sea", directed by Gordon Douglas; story by Langdon
1940:
Formed Laurel and Hardy Feature Productions
:
After final falling out with Hal Roach, 'The Boys' fell head-first into the machinery, working initially at Fox and later at MGM; treated scandalously, they delivered listless turns in anonymous, dreary pictures; unlike at Roach, had no creative input into the comedies
1942:
Filmed one last L & H short, "The Tree in a Test Tube"
1945:
Diagnosed as diabetic
:
With Hardy enjoyed great success on the live stage, particularly in Great Britain; returning to his English music hall roots, Laurel wrote sketches for the duo which delighted sellout crowds
1950:
Final Laurel and Hardy film, "Atoll K/Utopia", doomed by poor script and production; uncredited directing by former Roach helmsman Arthur Goulding
1955:
Suffered a paralyzing stroke early in the year
1957:
Oliver Hardy died on August 7; Laurel resolved never to work on film again
1960:
Presented special Academy Award for "his creative pioneering in the field of cinema comedy"; dubbed the little bald man of gold 'Mr. Clean' and proudly displayed it in his home
1981:
Laurel and Hardy Museum opened in Ulverston, Lancashire, England, the town of Laurel's birth
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Queen's Park Academy: -

Notes

According to Leo McCarey, one of the creative forces (along with Fred Roach) behind the Laurel and Hardy team: "[Laurel] was one of the rare comics intelligent enough to invent his own gags. Laurel was remarkably talented, while Hardy wasn't. This is the key to the Larel-Hardy association. Throughout their lives [I was one of their intimates], Laurel insisted on earning twice as much money as Hardy. He said he was twice as good and twice as important, that he wrote the film and participated in its creation, while Hardy was really incapable of creating anything at all--it was astonishing that he could even find his way to the studio." --From "A Biographical Dictionary of Film" by David Thompson (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1994)

"Forget Chaplin. Stan was the greatest." --Buster Keaton, reportedly overheard at Laurel's funeral

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Mae Charlotte Dahlberg. Singer, dancer. Australian; lived together from 1919 until 1925; common law wife; appeared together in vaudeville shows as Stan and Mae Laurel; she coined the name Laurel, favoring its fewer letters (than Jefferson) for billing purposes.
wife:
Lois Neilsen. Actor. Married in August 23, 1926; divorced on September 10, 1935; mother of Laurel's two children.
wife:
Ruth Rogers. Married in 1934 before his divorce from Lois Nielsen was finalized; legally married on September 28, 1935; divorced in 1937; remarried in 1941; divorced a second time in 1946.
wife:
Ivanova Shuvalova. Singer, dancer. Married on January 1, 1938; divorced in 1940.
wife:
Ida Kitaeva Raphael. Married from May 1946 until Laurel's death.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Arthur J Jefferson. Actor, director, producer, writer. L & H's "Duck Soup" (1927) short based on "Home from the Honeymoon", an Arthur Jefferson sketch which Stan Laurel had performed on the English music hall stage.
mother:
Madge Metcalfe. Actor.
brother:
Gordon Jefferson. Theater manager.
daughter:
Lois Laurel. Born in 1928; married to Rand Brooks; mother, Lois Neilsen.
son:
Stan Laurel Jr. Born and died in 1930; only lived for a few days; mother, Lois Neilsen.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Boys: The Cinematic World of Laurel and Hardy"
"Laurel and Hardy: A Bio-Bibliography" Greenwood Press
"Laurel and Hardy: From the Forties Forward" Vestal Press
"Stan and Ollie: The Double Life of Laurel and Hardy" Faber and Faber
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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