Friday, December 26, 2008
Laurel and Hardy
Laurel and Hardy were the popular American-based comedy team of thin, British-born Stan Laurel (1890-1965) and heavy, American-born Oliver Hardy (1892-1957). They became famous during the early half of the 20th century for their work in motion pictures and also appeared on stage.
The two comedians worked together briefly in 1920 on The Lucky Dog. After a period appearing separately in several short films for the Hal Roach studio during the 1920s, they began appearing in movie shorts together in 1926. Laurel and Hardy officially became a team the following year, and soon became Hal Roach's most famous and lucrative stars. Among their most popular and successful films were the features Sons of the Desert (1933), Way Out West (1937), and Block-Heads (1938) and the shorts Big Business (1929), Liberty (1929), and their Academy Award-winning short, The Music Box (1932).
The pair left the Roach studio in 1940, then appeared in eight "B" comedies for 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1941 to 1944. From 1945 to 1950 they did not appear on film and concentrated on their stage show. They made their last film, Atoll K, in France in 1950 and 1951 before retiring from the screen. In total they appeared together in 106 films. They starred in 40 short sound films, 32 short silent films, 23 full length feature films, and in the remaining 11 films made guest or cameo appearances.