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|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:||Cast ... comedian actor exhibitor singer|
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.
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