Laurel and Hardy were a pair of comedians who became famous during what was known as the Golden Age of American cinema from the 1920s to 1940s time period. The team consisted of two men who played off each other. One of the men was named Oliver Hardy, while the other was was named Stan Laurel. Hardy was born in Harlem, Georgia in the United States while Laurel was born in Lancashire, England in the United Kingdom.
Stan Laurel was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson on 16 June in 1860 while Oliver Hardy was born on the 18 January 1892. Oliver Hardy was originally known as Norvell Hardy but later took on his father’s name of Oliver some years after his father died. Stan also changed his name, shortening it to Stan from Stanley Jefferson because he was concerned that his actual birth name was too long. Stan started his career at the young age of 16 years old. He started his career in Glasgow at the Britannia Theatre of Varieties and Panopticon music hall. In 1912 Stan Laurel decided to immigrate to America from the UK.
Before Hardy started acting in movies he worked as a projectionist at a movie house in Georgia. While at the movie house, he also worked as a manager. Before working together they both had a successful movie career with Hardy acting in over 250 movies and Laurel in over 50 movies.
In 1926, both men signed up with the Hal Roach studio which hired both of them to act in a short movie. The Hal Roach studio gave them a great deal of creative flexibility which is not something they were able to have as easily once they signed with later production movie studios such as MGM. The duo of Laurel and Hardy were most popular from the 1920s and into the 1940s. They worked together on and off during the 1920s until 1927 when they acted in their first movie together.
They became very popular in silent movies. For many years they were in short comedy shows. When sound was finally introduced into movies, it served to make the two of them even more popular as they used their different accents to great effect. The comedy no longer relied only on physical action. It wasn’t until 1931 that they both acted together in a full feature film entitled Pardon Us. During the late 1940s they focused on their stage act and did not make movies during this time period, but spent time on stage in Europe instead.
The last movie that the two of them made together was named Atoll K, and was made in 1950 in France. The final appearance of Laurel and Hardy together was in 1955 in a BBC television program. Hardy died in 1957 and Laurel died in 1965. Laurel and Hardy acted together in several films both short films and feature films. This highly successful pair remains famous today, with their movies and shows still being shown in several different countries around the world.