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Laurel and Hardy

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Born: 1890 (Laurel) and 1892 (Hardy)

Birthplace: Pardon Us, England (Laurel) and Harlem, Georgia (Hardy)

Died: 1965 (Laurel) and 1957 (Hardy)

Best Known As: Fat/skinny comedy team of the early cinema

The comedy team of Laurel and Hardy made many laugh, and hundreds of movies, both shorts and features, and the two men were among Hollywood's biggest stars from the 1930s to the 1950s. Stan Laurel real name was Arthur Stanley Jefferson, he was born in Ulverston, England on June 16, 1890, and Oliver Hardy real name was Norvell Hardy, and he was born in Harlem, Georgia on January 18, 1892. They both work for Hal Roach in Hollywood in the 1920s. They both appeared in their first feature film "Pardon Us" in 1931 and went on to make a many classic comedies together like: "Sons of the Desert, Babes in Toyland, and Way Out West". Their last film was a French production called "Atoll K" in 1950. They always played themselves in the movies. Laurel was the skinny, innocent one and Hardy was the heavy, noisy one. Hardy died on August 7, 1957 after a stroke, and Laurel died February 23, 1965 after a heart attack.

Their most popular and successful films are "Sons of the Desert" "Way Out West" and "Block-Heads" and the shorts "Big Business" "Liberty", and their Academy Award-wining short, "The Music Box". Almost all those films were silent movies, which was one of the reasons that Laurel and Hardy became mimes. According to Wikipedia, (2010), "A mime artist is someone who uses mime as a theatrical medium or as a performance art, involving miming, or the acting out a story through body motions, without use of speech. In earlier times, in English, such a performer was referred to as a mummer. Miming is to be distinguished from silent comedy, in which the artist is a seamless character in a film or sketch." A more traditional branch of mime, is often called pantomime, and characterized by full-body physical expressions, body language and gesture, often with little or no theatrical props. (Brockington, 2008). This is what Laurel contributed to the duo's comedian performances.

Laurel and Hardy will always be known as Hollywood's first great comedy team. Their more than 100 films spanning three decades (1921-51) are marked by expert pantomime, brilliant physical comedy, well-defined character, and a special care taken with props. (, 2010).

References: (2010). Laurel and Hardy. Retrieved April 5, 2010, from

Brockington, Paulette. (2008). The Mime Page. Retrieved April 5, 2010, from



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