The world is full of Laurel and Hardys
Together with sidekick Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy is one of the comedy’s best-loved comedy heroes of all time.
As Laurel and Hardy, they were famed for their movie capers, filmed between the 1920s and Fifties. Ollie was loved for his tie twiddling and catchphrase – “That's another fine mess you've gotten me into!” – and for his exasperated looks of horror when Stan had done something especially stupid.
In real life Oliver Norvell Hardy, known by those who loved him (and many people did) as “Babe,” had been drawn into the showbusiness life at the age of eight after showing little interest in schoolwork. He was already an experienced slapstick comedy performer before he met Stan and they formed a double-act that also blossomed into a lifelong friendship.
His best films with Stan Laurel included Swiss Miss and Way Out West were achieved with producer, Hal Roach.
“We had a lot of fun and did many, many crazy things,” Ollie later reminisced.
Endearingly, although Ollie was one half of a double act still instantly recognisable today, he was capable of being star struck, pointing out the celebrities that he spotted whilst out on the town, as though he himself was someone quite unknown.
Ollie had suffered a period of ill health, before he died of a stroke aged just 65. Stan Laurel was heartbroken and refused all offers to work again.
Writing to a relative, Stan said simply: “I miss him terribly and feel quite lost – can’t quite realise that he’s gone.”
Together, Ollie and Stan are remembered as kings of comedy and among the greatest film icons of all time.