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Oliver Hardy

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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 $14.98was $14.98 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

Laurel And Hardy Triple Feature... Laughs a plenty are in store with the gut-busting "Laurel and Hardy Triple... more info $14.95was $14.95 Buy Now

Also Known As: Babe Hardy, Norvell Hardy, Oliver Norvell Hardy Died: August 7, 1957
Born: January 18, 1892 Cause of Death: complications from a stroke
Birth Place: Harlem, Georgia, USA Profession: comedian, actor, exhibitor, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Portly, pompous, and in a nearly constant state of exasperation due to the childlike shenanigans of his reed-thin companion, Oliver Hardy was one-half of possibly the greatest comedy duo of all time. Raised in a small town in Georgia, Hardy fell madly in love with the new medium of film while working at a local movie theater. After launching a successful career in silent films on the East Coast with production outfits like the Lubin Manufacturing Company, he made the move to Hollywood in 1917. Working as a solo freelancer in dozens of pictures, Hardy ultimately crossed paths with fellow comedic actor Stan Laurel at Hal Roach Studios. When an astute director at the studio recognized their onscreen chemistry, they were paired in such early short films as "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 so many of their contemporaries - did nothing to diminish their appeal. At the height of their popularity, films like "The Music Box" (1932), "Sons of the Desert" (1933), and "Babes in Toyland" (1934) were all considered instant classics. Although their output diminished greatly in...

Portly, pompous, and in a nearly constant state of exasperation due to the childlike shenanigans of his reed-thin companion, Oliver Hardy was one-half of possibly the greatest comedy duo of all time. Raised in a small town in Georgia, Hardy fell madly in love with the new medium of film while working at a local movie theater. After launching a successful career in silent films on the East Coast with production outfits like the Lubin Manufacturing Company, he made the move to Hollywood in 1917. Working as a solo freelancer in dozens of pictures, Hardy ultimately crossed paths with fellow comedic actor Stan Laurel at Hal Roach Studios. When an astute director at the studio recognized their onscreen chemistry, they were paired in such early short films as "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 so many of their contemporaries - did nothing to diminish their appeal. At the height of their popularity, films like "The Music Box" (1932), "Sons of the Desert" (1933), and "Babes in Toyland" (1934) were all considered instant classics. Although their output diminished greatly in the years following their departure from Roach Studios in 1940, the high esteem in which they were held by adoring fans the world over never did. Frequently and unjustly underappreciated in his day, it can be said that if Stan Laurel were the brains behind the team of Laurel and Hardy, then Oliver 'Babe' Hardy was most certainly its heart and soul.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Stop, Look, and Listen (1926) Assistant Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
4.
 Atoll K (1951) Ollie
5.
 Riding High (1950) Sucker
6.
 The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) Willie Paine
7.
 Nothing But Trouble (1945) Oliver [Hardy]
8.
 The Bullfighters (1945) Oliver Hardy
9.
 The Big Noise (1944) Oliver Hardy
10.
 Jitterbugs (1943) Oliver Hardy
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1900:
Toured as boy tenor with Coburn Minstrel Show
1910:
Entered show business through "the real business end" as manager of a movie theater in Milledgeville, Georgia
1913:
Took off for Jacksonville, Florida to try his luck in the "flickers"
1914:
Appeared in an amazing total of over 100 films, working primarily at two Jacksonville studios, the Lubin and Vim companies
1921:
Made "Lucky Dog", by chance supporting a young comic named Stan Laurel in the lead role
1925:
Appeared as the Tin Woodsman in the silent version of "The Wizard of Oz"
1925:
Reunited with Laurel at Roach, acting in "Yes, Yes, Nanette" (co-directed by Laurel and Clarence Hennecke) and "Enough to Do" (helmed by Laurel); Laurel did not act in either film
1926:
Replaced by Laurel in "Get 'Em Young" after being sidelined by a cooking accident
1927:
Teamed with Laurel by Roach at the insistence of director Leo McCarey who had noticed extra sparks whenever the two appeared in scenes together as members of the Hal Roach Comedy All-Stars; Laurel and Roach considered "Putting Pants on Philip" (screenplay by McCarey) as the first "official" L & H film
1929:
First L & H talkie, "Unaccustomed as We Are"
1931:
"Pardon Us" marked first feature appearance of Laurel and Hardy
1932:
Laurel and Hardy short, "The Music Box", won the first ever Oscar given in the category of Best Short Subjects (Live Action Comedy)
1935:
Filmed last shorts for Roach
1939:
Acted in "Zenophobia" with Harry Langdon; Laurel's contract had expired, and the pair figured they would have more bargaining power together, thus this appearance (sans Laurel) to fulfill his contract
:
Enjoyed great success with Laurel on stage, particularly in Great Britain
1949:
Made rare solo appearance in "The Fighting Kentuckian", starring John Wayne, registering as a tough albeit corpulent Kentucky backwoods fighter
1950:
Also appeared solo in Frank Capra's "Riding High"
1950:
Last L & H film, "Atoll K/Utopia"
1954:
Suffered minor heart attack
1956:
Felled by massive stroke on September 14, never fully recovering but lived nearly another year
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Georgia Military College: -
Atlanta Conservatory of Music: -

Notes

"As a child I got into a habit that I still have. Lobby watching. I sit in the lobby and I watch people. I like to watch people. Once in a while someone will ask me where Stan and I dreamed up the characters we play in the movies. They seem to think that those two fellows aren't like anybody else, but there are plenty of Laurels and Hardys in the world. Whenever I travel, I am still in the habit of sitting in the lobby and watching the people walk by--and I tell you, I see many Laurels and Hardys. I used to see them in my mother's hotel when I was a kid: the dumb, dumb guy who never has anything bad happen to him--and the smart, smart guy who's dumber than the dumb guy only he doesn't know it." --Oliver Hardy to John McCabe in 1954

"[Hardy] was playing the part of a maitre d' who was coming in with a cake to be served. As he steps through a doorway, he falls and finds himself on the floor, his head buried in the cake. I shouted to him, 'Don't move! Above all, don't move! Stay like that, the cake should burn your face!' And for a minute and a half, the public couldn't stop laughing. Hardy remained immobile, his head in the cake!" --Leo McCarey, quoted in "A Biographical Dictionary of Film" by David Thompson (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1994)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Madelyn Saloshin. Pianist. Married in 1913; divorced in 1921.
wife:
Myrtle Lee. Married on November 24, 1921; Hardy filed for divorce in 1933 but later withdrew the petition; divorced on May 18, 1937; had severe alcohol problems that led to her being institutionalized several times.
wife:
Lucille Hardy Price. Actor, script girl. Married in 1940 until his death in 1957; later married businessman Ben Price; died on October 8, 1986 at the age of 77.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Oliver Hardy. Lawyer. Died while Hardy was still an infant; he adopted his father's first name in tribute.
mother:
Emily Hardy. Hotelier.

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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