Stan and Ollie: The Double Life of Laurel and Hardy

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9780571203529: Stan and Ollie: The Double Life of Laurel and Hardy
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Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy both passed away almost 40 years ago, yet their films still have the power to reduce audiences old and new to helpless laughter. There has been no comprehensive account of their lives and work, until now. The roots of their comic greatness lay in nineteenth-century variety theatre. Lancashire-born Stan Laurel was steeped in the traditions of the music hall, and found himself touring the USA in the 1910s as Charlie Chaplin's understudy. American Oliver Hardy had established himself as a 'fat funny man' by the time he and Laurel were first paired in 1927. Laurel inspired Hardy to forge their famous double act, in which Laurel played the eternal comic fool, Hardy his temperamental master. Both men were devoted to their professional partnership, which outlasted multiple marriages. Stan and Ollie completes Louvish's trilogy of definitive biographies of the great clowns of screen comedy, following his books on W. C. Fields and the Marx Brothers.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Thanks to a lively, affectionate writer, we can glimpse the great clowns at work."
-The Dallas Morning News

Praise for Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy: The Double Life of Laurel and Hardy

"[Louvish] has researched his subjects thoroughly. . . . A useful reference book and a solid overview of their careers." ---The New York Times

"A fan's gleeful . . . double take on the beloved bumblers of silent and talking picture fame, seeing their prodigious pile of slapstick misadventures as high art . . . Louvish's wide-eyed love for his subjects' simple, forthright, and hardworking desire to please will bring down the house." ---Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"Lovingly researched." ---New York Daily News

From 1927 to the present day Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy have remained the screen's most famous and beloved comedy double act. Until now, there has never been a definitive biography of the duo, from birth to death.

Simon Louvish traces their early lives, and the minstrel and variety theatre that influenced their later work. Their inspired casting in Duck Soup teamed them until their last days. Both often married, they found balancing their personal and professional lives nearly impossible. Their Hal Roach and MGM films were brilliant, but their move in 1941 to Twentieth Century Fox proved disastrous.

In spite of this, Laurel and Hardy survived as exemplars of lasting genius, and are significant to this day. Simon Louvish has seamlessly woven tireless and thorough research into an authoritative biography of these two important and influential Hollywood pioneers.

About the Author:

Simon Louvish was born in Glasgow in 1947 and grew up in Jerusalem. He has also produced documentary films and many acclaimed novels. His Man on the Flying Trapeze: The Life and Times of W. C. Fields and Monkey Business: The Lives and Legends of the Marx Brothers are also published by Faber.

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Louvish, Simon
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ISBN 10: 0571203523 ISBN 13: 9780571203529
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