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Oliver Hardy Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (2)  | Spouse (3)  | Trade Mark (10)  | Trivia (108)  | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (5)

Born in Harlem, Georgia, USA
Died in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA  (cerebral thrombosis)
Birth NameOliver Norvell Hardy
Nickname Babe
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Although his parents were never in show business, as a young boy Oliver Hardy was a gifted singer and, by age eight, was performing with minstrel shows. In 1910 he ran a movie theatre, which he preferred to studying law. In 1913 he became a comedy actor with the Lubin Company in Florida and began appearing in a long series of shorts; his debut film was Outwitting Dad (1914). He appeared in he 1914-15 series of "Pokes and Jabbs" shorts, and from 1916-18 he was in the "Plump and Runt" series. From 1919-21 he was a regular in the "Jimmy Aubrey" series of shorts, and from 1921-25 he worked as an actor and co-director of comedy shorts for Larry Semon.

In addition to appearing in two-reeler comedies, he found time to make westerns and even melodramas in which he played the heavy. He is most famous, however, as the partner of British comic Stan Laurel, with whom he had played a bit part in The Lucky Dog (1921). in the mid-1920s both he and Laurel wee working for comedy producer Hal Roach, although not as a team. In a moment of inspiration Roach teamed them together, and their first film as a team was 45 Minutes from Hollywood (1926). Their first release for Roach through MGM was Sugar Daddies (1927) and the first with star billing was From Soup to Nuts (1928). They became a huge hit as a comedy team, and after several years of two-reelers, Roach decided to star them in features, their first of which was Pardon Us (1931).

They clicked with audiences in features, too, and starred in such classics as Way Out West (1937), March of the Wooden Soldiers (1934) and Block-Heads (1938). They eventually parted ways with Roach and in the mid-1940s signed on with Twentieth Century-Fox.

Unfortunately, Fox did not let them have the autonomy they had at Roach, where Laurel basically wrote and directed their films, though others were credited, and their films became more assembly-line and formulaic. Their popularity waned and less popular during the war years, and they made their last film for Fox in 1946.

Several years later they made their final appearance as a team in a French film, a troubled and haphazard production eventually, after several name changes, called Utopia (1950), generally regarded to be their worst film. Hardy appeared without Laurel in a few features, such as Zenobia (1939) with Harry Langdon, The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) in a semi-comedic role as a frontiersman alongside John Wayne and Riding High (1950), in a cameo role. He died in 1957.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Ollie's mother was Emily (Emmie) Norvell, a school teacher and daughter of Thomas Benjamin Norvell, a Confederate veteran who'd been wounded at Gettysburg. On 17 November 1880 she married T. Sam Tant, a sign painter, she was 19 and he 27 and died 7 years later leaving her with 3 children, Samuel Tant Jr, Elizabeth and Emmie and Henry LaFayette ( always called Bardy) on the way.

In 1890 Emmie married Oliver Hardy, a descendant of an old Georgia family, who'd served as a Columbia County Tax Collector while continuing with the family farm, which he started to sell off and moved into shops and eventually hotel keeping.

It's believed that he had 3 children from one of his previous two marriages. He and Emmie left Harlem for Madison in 1891 where he became manager of the Turnell - Butler Hotel. Emmie becoming pregnant and nearing her time returned to Harlem for support of her family and gave birth on 18 January 1892 to Norvell Hardy, who weighed in at 10lb. 10 months later Emmie was widowed again when her husband died suddenly of a heart attack and making matters worse she was dismissed from the hotel.

Undaunted she opened her own hotel calling it 'The Hardy House' equipping it with a piano which helped stimulate Norvell's early passion for singing which she encouraged. Despite her best efforts she was forced to sell the hotel in 1898 and was forced to move around with her children until, in 1903, she became manager of the large and somewhat run down Hotel Millledgeville, in the town of the same name, with the job of renovating it back to it's original position of importance.

Outside of school she would chalk up meal offers on sandwich boards and have Norvell parade around the streets wearing them. By this time her two oldest children were married, Samuel T Tant, an electrician with Bell Telephone in Atlanta to Mary, and Elizabeth Tant also in Atlanta, to Ira Yale Sage, a railway contractor. Daughter Emmie married W.I. Dickerman within a year of arriving in Millledgeville and 2 months before her wedding mother Emily married again on 4 February 1904 to C.F. Jackson, a railway ticket agent.

Sadly this only lasted about 6 years as in the 1910 census Emmie is listed as being a widow. Norvell and Bardy were enrolled in the Madison Grammar School but Emmie became unimpressed with their progress so sent them to the Young Harris Accademy in the Georgia Mountains then to the junior section of the Georgia Military College where Norvell, laden with a full back pack collapsed on more than one occasion while being drilled on the parade ground.

On the plus side the college staged regular concert evenings at which Norvell developed a routine of jokes, anecdotes, and stories interspersed with songs. When the college staged a production of 'Who Killed Cock Robin' there was only one choice for lead singer -Norvell, which was his first major stage appearance, and his big solo number got great acclaim.

He made the city bakery his own as the supplier of his favourite macaroons and muffins which reinforced the meagre rations at the college, On at least one occasion he got so dissatisfied with the meagre portions at college that he went back home and demanded 20 muffins as ransom for his return to college. His mother gave in, he went back and devoured all 20 in one sitting. Small wonder that he weighed 18 stone when 14. Always an inquisitive boy, one of his interests was the local paper and on being shown around the printing house he was allowed to feed the paper into the hand press which became a regular job.

It was thought his career would follow that path. As a mark of manhood he had a Maple Leaf tattooed on his right arm which became infected and swollen. It's unknown why the symbol of Canada was chosen except that it might have been the cheapest design available. Despite his size Norvell was always popular with the girls.

One who paid him the most attention was the daughter of the local circuit judge. Another had the use of her father's car and often took him for rides out of town. He had a fancy for the mayors daughter and there are stories of him serenading her outside a window.

The strongest relationship was with the sisters Edyth and Althea Miller. Althea would walk to school with him carrying his books instead of the other way round. He kept a lifetime contact with her, mainly by letter, and she appeared on 'This is Your LIfe' to give testimony of their schooldays relationship. He loved music and when he heard that Caruso was going to sing Aida in Atlanta in 1909 he vowed to do anything to see him.

One story is that his Aunt Susan took him to the concert, another is that he walked all the way there and back. Either way he saw him and knew that his destiny was to entertain using his fine singing voice. Knowing his passion Emmie sent him to have his voice trained at the Atlantic Conservatory of Music. but he soon tired of the lessons and when a new cinema opened he got a job singing to the slide shows between the films at $3.50 a week and got a taste for earning a living as a public entertainer.

As he watched the films, particularly those of John Bunny, a very popular, overweight comedian, he thought he could do just as well so in 1915, having adopted his late father's name of Oliver, he and his wife Madelyn Saloshin, who he'd married in 1913, moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where a number of film companies were based, including the Lubin Company for whom he appeared in some 65 films within a year of starting as a bit player and working his way up to being a lead comedian. He had an idea of creating a character based on a newspaper cartoon character called 'Happy Hooligan' who always tried to be helpful but inadvertently caused mayhem and disaster.

Could this be where Stan's character evolved from ?

- IMDb Mini Biography By: tonyman5

Spouse (3)

Virginia Lucille Jones (7 March 1940 - 7 August 1957) (his death)
Myrtle Reeves (24 November 1921 - 23 February 1937) (divorced)
Madelyn Saloshin (7 November 1913 - 17 November 1920) (divorced)

Trade Mark (10)

Usually played a childishly bossy man who barely tolerated his friend, Stan Laurel, but still valued him as someone to whom he could feel superior. With Stan Laurel, they often had a scene in their films where they would get into a fight with another person that consisted solely of destroying property.The duo would destroy something the opponent values while the opponent looks on and does not resist. When they are done, the opponent does the same to the duo, while they refrain from resisting and so on.
Black hair always combed forward and a small mustache
The "slow burn" - looking into the camera, often with an expression of exasperated suffering over what his on-screen partner had just done.
The tie-twiddle, used to convey a sense of coyness or embarrassment
Every puddle his character stepped in appeared to be endlessly deep (He would step into a small puddle and would suddenly be over his head in water)
Most famous costume was a dark suit, a black necktie, and a dark bowler hat
The line, usually directed toward Stan Laurel: "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!"
On introducing himself: "I'm Mr. Hardy and this is my friend Mr. Laurel."
To Stan: "Why don't you do something to *help* me?"
His large frame compared to the thin Stan Laurel

Trivia (108)

Related to Captain Hardy (as in "Kiss me Hardy" - Nelson).
Had appeared in over 400 movies.
Best known for his work with Stan Laurel.
Interred at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood, California, USA.
Subject of one of five 29¢ US commemorative postage stamps celebrating famous comedians, issued in booklet form 29 August 1991. He is shown with his partner Stan Laurel. The stamp designs were drawn by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. The other comedians honored in the set are Edgar Bergen (with alter ego Charlie McCarthy), Jack Benny, Fanny Brice, and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.
His favourite pastime was playing golf, which he learned from comedian Larry Semon.
Appears on sleeve of The Beatles' album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".
When Ollie died in 1957, his partner, Stan Laurel, pledged he would never perform again. Despite offers, he never did.
Used Babe Hardy for a screen name until convinced by a numerologist that the longer screen name, Oliver Hardy, would bring him success.
Billy Wilder planned on doing a film with him and Stan Laurel in the 1950s. The film would have opened with each of them sleeping in one of the letter O's of the Hollywood sign. The plot centered on a woman coming between them. The project was aborted owing to Ollie's failing health.
His father, also named Oliver Hardy, was a successful lawyer who died when Norvell, as he was known to his family, was ten months old. At a time when few women had careers, his mother supported the family by running a highly successful hotel.
Despite rumors over the years, he did not die from the effects of obesity--quite the contrary. Dieting on doctor's orders, he took off too much weight too fast, going from 300+ pounds to 150 in a matter of a few weeks, weakening his constitution well past the danger point. It was becoming dangerously underweight in this manner that brought about his final illness and death.
He was voted, along with comedy partner Stan Laurel, the 45th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Laurel and Hardy's films had and still have great success in Italy, where they are known as "Stanlio and Ollio". Their voices being dubbed into Italian in a very funny and colorful way accentuates their funny lines.
He and partner Stan Laurel have been and continue to be very popular in Germany under the name of "Dick und Doof" (Fatty and Stupid).
His voice in the Italian version of his and Stan Laurel's shorts and features was that of Alberto Sordi.
Entered St. Vincent's Hospital to have his tonsils removed the day after filming wrapped on March of the Wooden Soldiers (1934).
Is portrayed by John Fox in Harlow (1965)
He and partner Stan Laurel have been and continue to be very popular in Spain, Mexico and Latin America under the name of "El Gordo y El Flaco" (The Fat One and The Thin One).
He and partner Stan Laurel have been and continue to be very popular in Hungary under the name of "Stan és Pan".
In 1930, he lived at 621 North Alta Drive in Beverly Hills, California.
Suffered a severe stroke on September 12, 1956 that left him paralyzed and unable to speak.
He was the only child of Oliver Hardy and his third wife; Oliver had three girls, and his third wife had two girls and two boys by their previous marriages.
Still popular in Brazil where he and partner Stan Laurel are known as "O Gordo e O Magro" (Fat and Skinny).
Had a mild heart attack on 17 May 1954.
Was a member of the Lakeside Country Club and close friends with John Wayne and Bing Crosby.
According to letters written by Stan Laurel, Hardy had advanced cancer at the time of his death from two strokes.
A heavy smoker, Hardy had been suffering from heart problems since the filming of Utopia (1950), and his weight had ballooned from 250 to 350 lbs.
An avid sportsman, Hardy became interested in hunting. After he shot his first deer, he walked to the animal expecting to field-dress it. However, the deer was still alive, and looked Hardy directly in the eyes. He never picked up a gun again.
A man of many interests, Hardy was an excellent cook, card player, golfer, singer and dancer, and unlike "Ollie", was always impeccably tailored. Off camera, he and Laurel both combed their hair straight back, as was the fashion of their time.
Lucille Hardy tells the story of Babe, her brother, and several others building elaborate chicken coops for the birds they raised. In true Laurel and Hardy fashion, they were too big to move out the door of the shed where they had been built, and had to be taken apart and reconstructed outside.
A popular Lakeside Country Club foursome consisted of Oliver Hardy, Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields and Babe Ruth.
Shared the nickname "Babe" with another beloved comedian of his time - Curly Howard. Hardy was named by a Florida barber because of his "baby" face; Howard by his family because he was the youngest, or "baby".
Throughout their association with Hal Roach, Laurel and Hardy had separate contracts, with Stan's salary being considerably higher than Babe's. This didn't bother Hardy one bit, as he acknowledged that Stan did much more than he during the making of their films.
His given first name was Norvell, the name his family always used. He took the name Oliver in respect for his father, who died when Norvell was still an infant. He also liked the "over the top" sound of introducing himself as "Oliver Norvell Hardy" in the films.
While he and Stan Laurel were between contracts with Hal Roach, John Wayne asked him to co-star in The Fighting Kentuckian (1949), a film Wayne was producing. Wayne and Hardy had previously appeared together on stage for a wartime benefit, and Wayne knew the value of comedy in his pictures. Hardy at first refused, fearing rumors of a breakup with Stan; but Laurel encouraged his partner to take the role and Hardy delivered a memorable light comedy performance.
Stan Laurel put Hardy's trademark "camera look" and his love of golf to good use. He held many of the "camera look" shots till the end of the day, when he knew Hardy was dying to get to the golf course. Hardy's frustration in these looks is quite real.
He was posthumously awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1500 Vine Street in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
At clubs and restaurants, Hardy pointed out the stars he recognized as if he were a tourist to Hollywood. "Look, there's Norma Shearer", he would say. It never occurred to him that he was as famous as the people who fascinated him.
Because of his weight, most people don't realize that Hardy was almost 6'2" tall, and towered over all his co-stars except the 6'5" Tiny Sanford.
In Spain Stan and Ollie were known as El Gordo y El Flaco..
In Holland Stan and Ollie were known as De Dikke en de Dunne.
In some of the shows Norvell was spelled Norval.
Oliver "Norvell" Hardy's father Oliver Hardy (1844-1892) was a sergeant in Company K, 16th Georgia Infantry of the Confederate States Army. Oliver's unit fought with the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days' Battles to Gettysburg. Oliver, Jr. was the son to Oliver, Sr. and his third wife.
Stan and Ollie made their first comic appearance in issue 46 of the American The Realm of Fun and Fiction in December 1929. In 1949 they had their own comic - the Laurel and Hardy Comic- produced by Jubilee publications and Archer St John Press. They made their first appearance in the centre spread of the English comic Film Fun in issue 564 dated November 1930 which moved to the front page in March 1934 and remained there until 1957. The popularity of the strip found it syndicated abroad where in Italy it appeared in Bombolo in 1934 and Cine Comico, a film weekly. The same year a rival company produced the Mastro Remo comic with them on the cover in a strip in colour called Stan e Oli. In France in 1934 there was a colour strip of them in Cri-Cri. After the war an Italian publisher produced an all Laurel and Hardy comic called Criche e Croc.
He, in a partnership which included Bing Crosby, and Gary Cooper had the Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California built in 1937.
During contract disputes between Hal Roach and Stan Laurel in the mid 30's a press release was issued saying that Ollie, Patsy Kelly and Spanky McFarland were to star together in 'The Hardy Family ' series to be directed by James W. Horne with the first to be 'Their Night Out'.
He joined Lubin as a water boy until he got the chance of doing bit parts.
If it wasn't for Ollie burning his arm while cooking a leg of lamb Stan would never have been coaxed into taking over his role in a film and Leo McCarey would not have noticed their comedy chemistry.
According to Movie Mirror(1933) Ollie bought the rights to their 'Cuckoo' signature tune from composer Marvin Hatley for $25.
Ollie's favourite pastime was golf. His frequent partners were Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Babe Ruth and Chico Marx.
He met his third wife, Lucille Jones when she was a script girl on the film The Flying Deuces.
When Stan's daughter, Lois, was little she disliked Ollie because he always seemed to bully her dad in their films so Stan incorporated a revenge scene at the end of their film 'One Good Turn' where Stan gets his own back on Ollie.
By the time they produced their first true Laurel and Hardy film Ollie was 35 and Stan 37.
He studied law at Georgia State University and vocal music at Atlanta Conservatory of Music .
His parents were of Scottish-English origin.
He worked as a jobbing actor at Vitagraph, Pathe and Gaumont.
On return from their 1947 tour to Britain Stan was diagnosed with diabetes. While he was recuperating Ollie appeared on stage in an all star charity production of 'What Price Glory? for the Masquers Club with John Wayne, Ward Bond and Maureen O'Hara with Ollie playing the town mayor. John Wayne was so impressed by Ollie in the play that he asked him to take a role in his film The Fighting Kentuckian. Ollie initially turned the film down, not wishing to harm the Laurel and Hardy team but Stan persuaded him to make the film.
After their appearance on This Is Your Life The Boys were contracted by Hal Roach to star in a series of hour long TV specials but they were never made.
An Expensive Visit (1915) was a lost Ollie Hardy film but it a copy was found amongst a large batch of nitrate films purchased by the American Library of Congress in 2012.
His half brother Sam Tant drowned in a river in Milledgeville. Ollie dived in, pulled him out and tried artificial respiration but it was too late.
Some titles of Laurel & Hardy films are subtly written into the dialogue of their other films. In 'Brats' Stan says "Blood's 'thicker than water'", 'Perfect Day' is mentioned in "Two Tars", 'Habeas Corpus' is mentioned in "The Big Noise", In "Saps ar Sea" the Boys are repeatedly referred to as 'Jitterbugs' and in "The Flying Deuces" Ollie says 'I'm as fidgety as a 'jitterbug'. 'Scram is mentioned in "Chickens Come Home", 'The Big Noise' is mentioned in "Great Guns". In "Bonnie Scotland" Stan says "Why don't we go somewhere 'way out West'" and in that film Stan calls Fin a "toad (Towed) in the hole" 'From Soup to Nuts' is mentioned in "A Chump at Oxford" In "Tit For Tat" a written on a sign is 'Open for 'big business' which also comes up in "Pack Up Your Troubles" when someone says" He's not familiar with these 'big business' deals". In "Bonnie Scotland" Stan says to the landlady "You're 'darn tootin'" In "Sons of the Desert" Stan says "Oliver I want you to 'be big' and a conventioneer says "You know 'that's my wife'". In "Midnight Patrol" Ollie says" 'Pardon us' chief" During the scene with the safe in "The Dancing Masters" Stan says "'One good turn' deserves another". and Ollie says the same thing in "Babes in Toyland" and in "On the Wrong Trek" Bonita says "Here's 'another fine mess' you've gotten us into".
Two further 'lost' solo films have been found, 'Gas and Air' (1923) co starring Katharine Grant and 'Zeb vs Paprika' (1924) co starring James Finlayson.
Had a series of heart attacks in his last years.
There were 156 laurel and Hardy cartoons by Larry Harmon with Larry providing the voice of Stan and Jim McGeorge that of Ollie.
According to 'The Golf Punk Essential 100 -the Greatest Golf Stuff of All Time' at number 28 the Greatest Celebrity Golfer was named as Oliver Hardy. He was certainly one of the best in California wining 24 cups and 2 gold medals.
He was in Milledgeville from 1903 until 1913 and attended the Georgia Military College from the 5th grade in 1903 until his graduation , which is believed to have been in the 12th grade. All records along with the school were destroyed in a fire in 1941.
A short film called 'M-G-M's Galaxy of Stars' was a promotional reel of scenes from forth coming films to be released Europe in the 1935 -36 season but it begins and ends with scenes of Stan and Ollie and James Finlayson. While their voices were dubbed into French Ollie can be heard in his own voice saying 'Ooooh' and Finn saying 'Dooh!'.
Twidling his tie and his nervous laugh to cover some embarrasment originated before he met Stan.
At one point he weighed 25 stone.
An animated version of him and Stan appear twice in the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon The Merry Old Soul. along with Charlie Chaplin , Joe E Brown and others.
In 1956 he lived at 5429 Woodman Avenue, Van Nuys, California.
Stan and Ollie believed that they got most of their laughs by combining dumbness with dignity making the audience feel that they were superior to them.
In 2010/11 the Film Musuem in Amsterdam discovered part of 'The Head Waiter, a missing 2 reeler, starring Larry Semon and Ollie which was made in 1919 for Vitagraph.
An Expensive Visit (1915) a lost film; of Ollie's was found among a collection of nitrate films obtained by the American Library of Congress.
While working in films in Florida Ollie applied to join the Solomon Lodge of the Freemasons in Jacksonville on 20th March 1916 and was accepted. Some while after that several of the brethren saw Ollie in a drunken state staggering about and behaving abusively. The following day he was summoned to appear before the lodge to explain his behaviour. He admitted that while the brethren were correct in what they saw what they had failed to see was a camera filming the scene which was for his next film.
Following his appearance with Stan on 'This is Your Life' Hal Roach contracted them to star in a series of hour long TV specials but they were never made.
In their films Stan wore a Bowler hat a size or two smaller so that it sat higher on his head. In the films where they mix up their hats Ollie wore a larger size than normal so that it would look humorously oversized on Stan while Stan's was substituted for an even smaller size to go on Ollie's head. Although they were identified with Bowlers they actually wore more other hats in their many films and when they were on their European tours they eagerly donned the appropriate national hat of the country they were in- Berets in Paris, Tam O Shanter in Scotland After Ollie's death Stan never wore a Bowler again.
When John Wayne offered Ollie a part in his film The Fighting Kentuckian He'd previously worked with Ollie on a charity tour of 'What Price Glory' and thought he'd be perfect as the food loving Kentuckian. Ollie wasn't keen at first not wanting people to think that he and Stan had split up but when he mentioned it to Stan, who was ill with diabetes and unable to work, Stan said 'Babe just because I'm sick and can't work , there's no reason you shouldn't. Do it' So Ollie signed on, causing John to say to fellow cast member Paul Fix 'Nobody's gonna remember Vera in our film because all they're gonna remember is Oliver Hardy and me doing our comedy scenes. The film did decent business and got good reviews with quite a few praising Oliver.
He and Stan were contracted by Hal Roach Jr to star in a series of TV specials but they were never made.
Film director Ray Bradbury, best known for his science fiction films was a big fan of Stan and Ollie attending Sons meetings when he could and wrote a number of short stories about them including - The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair, The Laurel and Hardy Alpha Centauri Farewell Tour, and Another Fine Mess, which was set on the Music Box Steps.
In the films where they mixed up their hats Ollie's was usually substituted for a larger size so that it would look over sized on Stan while Stan's hat was substituted for a smaller size when placed on Ollie's head. They could go through as many as a dozen hats in a month of filming. Although Stan wore a traditional bowler in their early films he soon switched to a flat brimmed one. After the death of Ollie Stan never publicly wore one again and no photographs are known to exist of him in one from that time. His daughter, Lois, said that from the time he moved into the Oceanna apartment in the late 50's he no longer owned one. Although The Boys were known for wearing Bowlers film for film they wore them less often than believed. Stan loved wearing different hats and when they were on their theatre tours they would wear ones appropriate to the country they were in -berets in France, tam 'o' shanters in Scotland, etc.
Emmie had regular consultations with a fortune teller and on one occasion after her reading asked about Norvell and was told 'One day he will be famous all over the world' Later in life he said of his mother 'I'm glad that she lived to see the prophecy come true.
He and Stan were inducted into the British show business organisation The Grand Order of Water Rats on 30th March 1947.
With 417 credits, Hardy made more than twice the number of appearances than his partner Stan Laurel with 188 credits. A large number of these appearances were between the years 1914-1917. By the time Laurel made his first appearance on film in May, 1917 in the short "Nuts in May", Hardy had more than 150 screen credits to his name.
Throughout his life, Oliver Hardy detested seeing other men who were his size, slouching about in the way they walked. Hardy ensured that he walked with considerable grace.
One day whilst making movies in Florida, Oliver Hardy was having a shave at the local barber's, along with a few colleagues. The Italian barber started saying to Hardy, "Nice a-baby, nice a-baby" after shaving him. This resulted in the comedian being nicknamed "babe" and it stuck with him for the rest of his life.
Unlike Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy trained as an actor/comedian entirely within the medium of film.
His family and close associates knew Hardy as a man with a sense of humor, but the comedian never took kindly to any humor which was off color or suggestive.
Whenever he was asked about how any of their films worked, Hardy would always refer to Laurel as knowing the answers.
When Hardy was spending his life at a military academy during his childhood, he used to run away and return home. He claimed to have missed his family and good quality food.
Always claimed to be a keen observer of people from all walks of life. Hardy said that he developed this interest when he used to watch various guests at his parents hotel.
Was a marvelous comic foil to comedian Larry Semon and would appear in several of Semon's films.
He adopted his late father's name, Oliver, as his own after learning a great deal about the man and being impressed. The fact that Captain Oliver Hardy had assisted his father Samuel on the plantation, managing nine slaves (Oliver was 26 on abolition) was probably concealed from him, although he must have uncovered this unwelcome fact for himself.
Despite having been raised in Georgia, Oliver Hardy's speech never suggested a southern American accent. In fact his pronunciation of words such as "first, bird, third, word and worse" strongly suggest "Brooklynese." He often says "What could be woyse?" instead of "What could be worse?" Hopefully somebody can explain this. Most actors retain at least a trace of their childhood speech habits.
Ollie used to be a member of the 'Twentieth Century Four' alternatively known as 'Half a Ton of Harmony'.
Unlike contemporaries Bud Abbott and Moe Howard, Hardy never slapped Laurel across the face in their movies. He pushed Laurel by the shoulders, hit him in the head with his hat, even choked him, but did not slap his face.
Unlike Stan, who answered virtually all of his fan mail personally, Babe Hardy seldom answered his directly. An autographed photo was generally all he replied.
Whilst his comedy partner remained at the studios after work had officially ended, Hardy would leave immediately so he could play golf.
Played the Tin Men in Larry Semon's silent version of "The Wizard of Oz.".
Was of the opinion that the world would be a better place if people treated one another with more respect.
According to 'The Golf Punk Essential 100 -the Greatest Golf Stuff of All Time' at number 28 the Greatest Celebrity Golfer was named as Oliver Hardy.
In 1928 Stan and Ollie appeared in the short film 'A Pair of Tights' but their scenes were deleted.
Known for being a hefty actor ranging in weight from 250 to 350 lbs during his career, his love for good was often demonstrated. His favorite restaurant meal was a 32 ounce steak cooked medium well, potatoes fried in pure lard, a salad and a pot of coffee.
In late 1922 he made 'Fortunes Mask' and 'Little Wildcats' (with Alice Calhoun) at Vitagraph both are believed lost.
At the boxing match in the film Battle of the Century when Stan gets knocked out Oliie collapses. Look carefully and you'll no doubt have to freeze frame it but the spectator 2nd on Ollies right is Lou Costello.
The Tony Curtis / Jack Lemmon film The Great Race was dedicated to Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy by director Blake Edwards because it contained a pie fight and because he loved comedy and L&H.
The newsreel sequence in the film Sons of the Desert set a record for the number of extras used in one scene, some 500. This was of the marching sons along the studios back lot New York street set Originally the Sons were to be on bicycles with the Boys riding into a banner which wraps itself around the other cyclists causing some to end up in a fountain,.

Personal Quotes (5)

I don't know much, but I know a little about a lot of things.
[explaining his and Stan Laurel's success] The world is full of Laurel and Hardys. I saw them all the time as a boy at my mother's hotel. There's always the dumb, dumb guy, who never has anything bad happen to him, and the smart guy who's even dumber than the dumb guy, only he doesn't know it.
[his usual response when asked about how they made the films] You better ask Stan.
[on his physical grace and athleticism]: I hate to see big men lurching around all over the place.
On his screen character - I'm the dumbest kind of guy there is; I'm the dumb guy who thinks he's smart.

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