Oliver Hardy

Actor, Comedian, Singer
Portly, pompous, and in a nearly constant state of exasperation due to the childlike shenanigans of his reed-thin companion, Oliver Hardy was one-half of possibly the greatest comedy duo of all time. Raised in a small ... Read more »
Born: 01/17/1892 in Harlem, Georgia, USA

Filmography

Actor (45)

Laurel and Hardy Laughtoons 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

The Best of Laurel and Hardy 1970 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Flying Deuces 1938 (Movie)

(Actor)

Block-Heads 1937 (Movie)

(Actor)

Way Out West 1936 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hollywood Party 1934 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Tit For Tat 1934 (Movie)

(Actor)

Sons of the Desert 1932 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Music Box 1931 (Movie)

(Actor)

Chicken Come Home 1930 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hollywood Revue of 1929 1929 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case 1929 (Movie)

(Actor)

Big Business 1928 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hats Off 1926 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Chump at Oxford (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

A-Haunting We Will Go (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Air Raid Wardens (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Babes in Toyland (Movie)

Oliver Dee (Actor)

Brats (TV Show)

Actor

Busy Bodies (TV Show)

Actor

Charley's Aunt (Movie)

(Actor)

Girl in the Limousine (Movie)

(Actor)

Great Guns (Movie)

Oliver (Actor)

Habeas Corpus (Movie)

(Actor)

Hello Trouble (Movie)

(Actor)

Jitterbugs (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Our Relations (Movie)

Bert Hardy (Actor)

Pack up Your Troubles (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Pardon Us (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Pick a Star (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Riding High (Movie)

Horse player (Actor)

Rivals (TV Show)

Actor

Saps at Sea (Movie)

Oliver Hardy (Actor)

Sugar Daddies (TV Show)

Actor

Swiss Miss (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Agent (TV Show)

Actor

The Big Noise (Movie)

Oliver (Actor)

The Bohemian Girl (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Bullfighters (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Dancing Masters (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Devil's Brother (Movie)

Olio (Actor)

The Midnight Patrol (Movie)

Oliver (Actor)

The Rogue Song (Movie)

Murza-Bek (Actor)

Zenobia (Movie)

Dr. Tibbitt (Actor)

Biography

Portly, pompous, and in a nearly constant state of exasperation due to the childlike shenanigans of his reed-thin companion, Oliver Hardy was one-half of possibly the greatest comedy duo of all time. Raised in a small town in Georgia, Hardy fell madly in love with the new medium of film while working at a local movie theater. After launching a successful career in silent films on the East Coast with production outfits like the Lubin Manufacturing Company, he made the move to Hollywood in 1917. Working as a solo freelancer in dozens of pictures, Hardy ultimately crossed paths with fellow comedic actor Stan Laurel at Hal Roach Studios. When an astute director at the studio recognized their onscreen chemistry, they were paired in such early short films as "Duck Soup" (1927) and "Putting Pants on Philip" (1927). So strong were their comedic abilities that even the addition of sound to film - the death knell to the careers of so many of their contemporaries - did nothing to diminish their appeal. At the height of their popularity, films like "The Music Box" (1932), "Sons of the Desert" (1933), and "Babes in Toyland" (1934) were all considered instant classics. Although their output diminished greatly in the years following their departure from Roach Studios in 1940, the high esteem in which they were held by adoring fans the world over never did. Frequently and unjustly underappreciated in his day, it can be said that if Stan Laurel were the brains behind the team of Laurel and Hardy, then Oliver 'Babe' Hardy was most certainly its heart and soul.

Relationships

Oliver Hardy

Father
died while Hardy was still an infant he adopted his father's first name in tribute

Emily Hardy

Mother

Myrtle Lee

Wife
married on November 24, 1921 Hardy filed for divorce in 1933 but later withdrew the petition divorced on May 18, 1937 had severe alcohol problems that led to her being institutionalized several times

Lucille Price

Wife
married in 1940 until his death in 1957 later married businessman Ben Price died on October 8, 1986 at the age of 77

Madelyn Saloshin

Wife
married in 1913 divorced in 1921

EDUCATION

Atlanta Conservatory of Music

Georgia Military College

Milestones

1956

Felled by massive stroke on September 14, never fully recovering but lived nearly another year

1954

Suffered minor heart attack

1950

Last L & H film, "Atoll K/Utopia"

1950

Also appeared solo in Frank Capra's "Riding High"

1949

Made rare solo appearance in "The Fighting Kentuckian", starring John Wayne, registering as a tough albeit corpulent Kentucky backwoods fighter

1939

Acted in "Zenophobia" with Harry Langdon; Laurel's contract had expired, and the pair figured they would have more bargaining power together, thus this appearance (sans Laurel) to fulfill his contract

1935

Filmed last shorts for Roach

1932

Laurel and Hardy short, "The Music Box", won the first ever Oscar given in the category of Best Short Subjects (Live Action Comedy)

1931

"Pardon Us" marked first feature appearance of Laurel and Hardy

1929

First L & H talkie, "Unaccustomed as We Are"

1927

Teamed with Laurel by Roach at the insistence of director Leo McCarey who had noticed extra sparks whenever the two appeared in scenes together as members of the Hal Roach Comedy All-Stars; Laurel and Roach considered "Putting Pants on Philip" (screenplay

1926

Replaced by Laurel in "Get 'Em Young" after being sidelined by a cooking accident

1925

Appeared as the Tin Woodsman in the silent version of "The Wizard of Oz"

1925

Reunited with Laurel at Roach, acting in "Yes, Yes, Nanette" (co-directed by Laurel and Clarence Hennecke) and "Enough to Do" (helmed by Laurel); Laurel did not act in either film

1921

Made "Lucky Dog", by chance supporting a young comic named Stan Laurel in the lead role

1914

Appeared in an amazing total of over 100 films, working primarily at two Jacksonville studios, the Lubin and Vim companies

1913

Took off for Jacksonville, Florida to try his luck in the "flickers"

1910

Entered show business through "the real business end" as manager of a movie theater in Milledgeville, Georgia

1900

Toured as boy tenor with Coburn Minstrel Show

Enjoyed great success with Laurel on stage, particularly in Great Britain

Bonus Trivia

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"As a child I got into a habit that I still have. Lobby watching. I sit in the lobby and I watch people. I like to watch people. Once in a while someone will ask me where Stan and I dreamed up the characters we play in the movies. They seem to think that those two fellows aren't like anybody else, but there are plenty of Laurels and Hardys in the world. Whenever I travel, I am still in the habit of sitting in the lobby and watching the people walk by--and I tell you, I see many Laurels and Hardys. I used to see them in my mother's hotel when I was a kid: the dumb, dumb guy who never has anything bad happen to him--and the smart, smart guy who's dumber than the dumb guy only he doesn't know it." --Oliver Hardy to John McCabe in 1954

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"[Hardy] was playing the part of a maitre d' who was coming in with a cake to be served. As he steps through a doorway, he falls and finds himself on the floor, his head buried in the cake. I shouted to him, 'Don't move! Above all, don't move! Stay like that, the cake should burn your face!' And for a minute and a half, the public couldn't stop laughing. Hardy remained immobile, his head in the cake!" --Leo McCarey, quoted in "A Biographical Dictionary of Film" by David Thompson (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1994)

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