Famous Pairs Series: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
In Minnesota, United States
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Welcome to Famous Pairs Series: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
This is my first long distance multi-cache. It starts in Richfield and goes all the way to Duluth in three easy stages. Hope you enjoy
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Why Duluth? Why Laurel and Hardy?
When I was young, my folks divorced and dad had me and my brother. Mom had us every Sunday. On Sundays, we'd go to this pizza place that played older movies like, Little Rascals, Three Stooges, and Laurel and Hardy.
Now, Mom has retired and moved to Duluth. Only seems fitting.
Stan Laurel was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson on 16 June, 1890 in Ulverston, England;
died on 23 February 1965.
Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy on 18 January, 1892 in Harlem, Georgia;
died on 7 August 1957.
The son of a British showman, Stan Laurel had been raised in British music halls. In 1910 he made his first trip to America as a member of the Fred Karno musical-comedy troupe, which also included Charlie Chaplin. Laurel stayed in the United States, touring in vaudeville and landing an occasional movie job.
Oliver Hardy had been destined for a military career, but opened a movie theater in Milledgeville, Georgia, instead. He next found work as an actor in Jacksonville, Florida, home of the Lubin film company. Hardy later moved to Hollywood, and by the mid 1920s, he was working as an all-purpose comic at the Hal Roach studio.
Laurel and Hardy's partnership at the Hal Roach studio began in 1926. Within a year of their first joint appearance, they were being touted as the new comedy team. After collaborating on many silent films, they took the transition to the talking film in stride. As their success spread throughout the world, they began making feature films as well and won an Oscar for their short subject entitled "The Music Box" (1932).
If it wasn't for an accident Oliver suffered cooking a leg of lamb, Stan Laurel would never have been coaxed into taking over his role in a forthcoming film. Stan Laurel might have continued contentedly as a writer and director and Leo McCarey would not have noticed the comedy chemistry which resulted from the chance pairings of Stan and Babe in those early Hal Roach comedies.
According to Movie Mirror (1933), Oliver Hardy bought the rights to their famous signature tune, Cuckoo, from the composer Marvin Hatley for $25. "I thought it was funny" said Stan.
By the time they produced their first true Laurel & Hardy film, Ollie was already thirty-five and Stanley was thirty-seven.
Hardy's most famous catchphrase is often misquoted, "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten us into." The incorrect "another fine mess" comes from the name of one of their short films, made in 1930.
Stan's daughter, Lois, was briefly considered for the role of the orphan girl in Pack Up Your Troubles. By the time of filming, it was determined that Lois looked too old for the role. When Lois was younger she used to dislike Ollie as he always seemed to bully her Dad in their films, and persuaded Stan to incorporate a 'revenge' scene at the end of One Good Turn, where Stan finally turns the tables on Ollie.Jerry Lewis once offered Stan $100,000 to write for him on a part-time basis. Stan declined the offer.
Ollie's favourite pastime was golf. Among his frequent golfing partners were Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Babe Ruth and Chico Marx. Stan's favorite pastime was fishing, especially salmon fishing in northern California. As his daughter Lois put it, "He loved it when the fish would put up a bit of a fight with him."
In addition to fishing, Stan's other interests included raising ducks and hydroponic gardening (a process in which plants are grown in chemical solutions rather than soil). He once successfully cross-bred a potato and an onion, but couldn't get anyone to sample the results.
Stan was married four times. His marriage to actress Lois Neilson (1926-1936) produced a daughter, Lois Jr., in 1927. Stan's first wife sometimes served as his personal business manager and handled all of his business dealings with Hal Roach. His stormiest marriage to Illiana Shuvalova, a Russian opera singer, lasted only a year.
Oliver was married three times. His final marriage was with Lucille Jones, a script girl that he had met during the filming of The Flying Deuces. It lasted from 1940 until his death in 1957.
Most fans know that the team's 1932 short The Music Box was honored with an Academy Award for Best Short Subject. What some don't know is that 1935's Tit for Tat also received a nomination in the same category.
The original preview prints of The Bohemian Girl featured Thelma Todd in the prominent role of the Gypsy Queen. After Thelma's mysterious death in December 1935, some of her scenes were scrapped and new footage was shot.
A monkey plays the role of Mickey Mouse in Babes In Toyland, one of the few times you're likely to see an appearance by a Disney character in a non-Disney film. Walt Disney himself was a Laurel and Hardy fan, as well as a close friend to Hal Roach.
Hardy played the Tin Man in a 1925 silent version of The Wizard Of Oz.
Name' actors who appeared in Laurel and Hardy films: Jean Harlow, Robert Mitchum, Alan Hale Sr., Sidney Toler, Peter Cushing, Elisha Cook, Jr., Vivian Blaine, Margaret Dumont and Jean Parker
Blake Edwards, known for his PINK PANTHER films with Peter Sellers, dedicated his 1965 film The Great Race to "Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy", while Kurt Vonnegut dedicated his novel Slapstick to "Arthur Stanley Jefferson and Norvell Hardy, two angels of my time.".
How did Stan and Ollie get together in the first place? They had appeared together by chance in an earlier film called THE LUCKY DOG, but it was not until each had joined Hal Roach that their teaming began. They were appearing in the same films at Roach when director/supervisor Leo McCarey recognized the comic contrast between them and encouraged their teamwork. They first appeared in something resembling their eventual format in a 1927 release called DUCK SOUP.
THE MUSIC BOX (1932) brought Laurel & Hardy an Oscar. The idea of steps was also used in one of their silents, HATS OFF, no copy of which is known to exist.
Including quest appearances, Laurel & Hardy made 106 films together. This number does not include films in which Laurel directed Hardy, newsreels, home movies or TV.
A few times, Stan and Ollie appeared together on TV: They were guests on a BBC show hosted by bandleader Henry Hall in 1953 and in the following year they were the subjects of THIS IS YOUR LIFE in America. In 1955 - in what was to be their last engagement as a team - they contributed a filmed insert for another BBC show, THIS MUSIC HALL.
FINAL NOTE: NOT WINTER FRIENDLY.
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Last Updated: on 1/19/2014 7:50:38 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (3:50 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum