This is a biography of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, the premiere comedy duo of the 20th century. The author details the life of each comedian and their remarkable careers; careers that spanned the advent of silent motion pictures, into the "talkies", and up until television golden age. Oliver "Babe" Hardy started out as a serious actor in Florida who hailed from Georgia. As his film career stalled, he relocated to Hollywood where the Hal Roach Studios teamed him with British born vaudevillian Stan "Laurel" Jefferson in 1926 and the partnership eventually flourished. Mr. Laurel had been with a comedy troupe from England touring the US in the early part of the century, whose membership included Charlie Chaplin. Surprisingly, Stan Laurel was the driving force behind the duo, as the primary writer and choreographer of their routines, despite playing the baby-faced simpleton often bullied and bossed around on screen by the larger than life Babe.
Both actors were beloved worldwide yet. They both had with multiple marriages that went sour for one reason or another, often to fortune seekers or individuals with challenging mental states of mind. Mr. Hardy died at the age of 65 in 1957, while Mr. Laurel outlived his partner passing away in 1965 aged 74. The team won an Oscar for their film The Music Box in 1932, but struggled to keep their routines and films sharp as the public's taste in comedy changed with the times in the 40's and 50's.
This report prepared by David Fletcher