Born Arthur Stanley Jefferson on June 16th 1890 in Ulverston, England. His father owned various theatres throughout the north of England and Scotland. Stan made his debut at the age of 16 at the Britannia Panopticon Theatre, Glasgow.
In 1909 Stan joined the famous Fred Karno troupe that toured the UK, and in 1910 they set off to the USA with Charlie Chaplin, (Stan was Charlie´s understudy).
Around 1920/21 Stan appeared in a film called The Lucky Dog with a certain Oliver Hardy, although their teaming was still a few years off. Eventually they got together and made over 100 wonderful films. Stan passed away on February 23rd 1965 and his resting place is at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Los Angeles, in the George Washington section second terrace 910.
Oliver Hardy (Babe)
Born Norvell Hardy on January 18th 1892 in Harlem, Georgia, USA. His father (also called Oliver) passed away when Norvell was only 10 months old. His mother ran a Hotel in nearby Madison.
He had a beautiful singing voice, and at one stage it looked like he would make this his career. He would occasionally sing in Laurel and Hardy films. By 1910 he began running the first movie theatre in Milledgeville, Georgia. It was while watching these silent films, that Hardy decided this is what he would like to do. In 1913 he made his way to Jacksonville, Florida and, over the next few years made over 100 comedies for the Lubin and Vim companies. It was here that he took his father’s name, Oliver. However he was very proud of his own name, so in the Laurel and Hardy films, he would always introduce himself as "Oliver Norvell Hardy". In his personal life he was known as ‘Babe’ Hardy, a nickname that he was given by an Italian barber, who applied talc to Oliver's cheeks and would say to him, "nice-a-baby, nice-a-baby". This soon shortened to ‘Babe’, and the name was to remain with him all his life.
Ollie passed away on August 7th 1957 and his resting place is at the Pierce Bros, Valhalla Memorial Park, Los Angeles, in the Garden of Hope, lot 48.
Born on August 19th 1899 in Birmingham, England. In 1920 he left Birmingham to take a job working in a factory in New York. Within a couple of years he had moved to Hollywood, and began working as an extra in the new movie industry. Charlie Hall went on to appear in 47 films with Laurel & Hardy.
In 1937 he made a return visit to Birmingham. While in the UK he made a film with Will Hay called ‘Hey Hey USA’.
In the fifties he appeared on TV with various people such as Groucho Marx, Clint Walker, Alfred Hitchcock and Abbott and Costello. There is a pub named after him in Erdington, Birmingham.
Charlie passed away on December 7th 1959 and his resting place is at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA, in Eventide, lot 1928.
James Finlayson (Fin)
Born on August 27th 1887 in Larbert, NR Falkirk, Scotland. After touring the British Music Halls, he moved to the USA to star in the 1912 show ‘Bunty Pulls the Strings’. He made various films for other studios including Mack Sennett, before moving to the Hal Roach Studios. He would go on to appear in 33 Laurel and Hardy comedies.
He is probably the best known and best loved of the entire Laurel and Hardy co-stars. With his bald head and false moustache, he is easily recognisable. He was the master of the ‘Double-take’ and Stan Laurel would say of him, "He would only have to raise his eyebrow to make me laugh." His catch phrase "Doh!" has been adopted by Homer Simpson, of The Simpsons fame.
James passed away on October 9th 1953, James was cremated and his ashes were given to family or friends.
Born Annie Mae Busch on 18th June 1891, in Melbourne, Australia. Her family moved to the US around 1900. Mae was placed in St. Elizabeth Convent, New Jersey, while it’s thought her parents joined the vaudeville circuit. Mae left the convent in 1905. In later years Mae would give a different account of her early life, and she gave her date of birth as 1897.
In 1927 Mae Busch took a part in her first film with Laurel and Hardy called ‘Love Em and Weep’. In all she was to appear in 13 of the Laurel and Hardy movies, making her presence felt as Charlie Hall’s wife in ‘Them Thar Hills’ and the follow up ‘Tit for Tat’.
Mae passed away on April 19th 1946 at the Motion Picture and Television Country Home and Hospital, Encino, California. Incredibly her ashes were left unclaimed until the 1970s, when members of the Way out West Tent of California paid to have her finally laid to rest. Mae’s ashes are at the Chapel Of The Pines Crematory, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA, at Deadora Hall, South in R, Sec. 7.
Born on July 29 1905 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Thelma signed for the Hal Roach Studios and appeared with such stars as Harry Langdon, Charley Chase and of course Laurel and Hardy. She has a superb scene with Stan Laurel in the 1930 film ‘Another Fine Mess’.
In 1931 Hal Roach gave Thelma her own series with Zasu Pitts and later Patsy Kelly. She would also appear in the Marx Brothers films ‘Monkey Business’ and ‘Horse Feathers’. Her last film was with Laurel and Hardy in 1935 called ‘The Bohemian Girl’. However, most of her part was cut from the picture, as the terrible news came through that Thelma Todd had died.
Thelma was found dead in her car, on the morning of December 16th 1935, To this day her death remains a mystery. Officially she died of carbon monoxide poisoning. However, many people believe she was murdered.
Thelmas resting place is at Bellevue Cemetery, Lawrence, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA, in Section 19, L-5548.
Other notable co stars include:
Female Supporting Cast inc; when born and died-
Rosina Lawrence, 3 FILMS 1912 - 1997
Dorothy Coburn, 11 FILMS 1905 - 1978
Anita Garvin, 11 FILMS 1906 - 1994
Jean Harlow, 3 FILMS 1911 - 1937
Jean 'Babe London, 1 FILM 1901 - 1980
Vivian Oakland, 6 FILMS 1895 - 1958
Daphne Pollard, 4 FILMS 1890 - 1978
Male Supporting Cast inc; when born and died-
Charley Chase, 4 FILMS 1893 - 1940
Arthur Housman, 5 FILMS 1890 - 1942
Billy Gilbert, 11 FILMS 1894 - 1971
Edgar Kennedy, 9 FILMS 1890 - 1948
Walter Long, 5 FILMS 1879 - 1952
Tiny Sandford, 23 FILMS 1894 - 1961
Ben Turpin, 2 FILMS 1869 - 1940
Chill Wills, 1 FILM 1903 - 1978
Harry Bernard, 26 FILMS 1878 - 1940
Baldwin Cooke, 30 FILMS ???? - ????
Peter Cushing, 1 FILM 1913 - 1994
Boris Karloff, 1 FILM 1887 - 1969
Sam Lufkin, 39 FILMS 1892 - 1952
Charles Middleton, 4 FILMS 1879 - 1949
Robert Mitchum, 1 FILM 1917 - 1997
James.C.Morton, 9 FILMS 1884 - 1942
Noah Young, 5 FILMS 1887 - 1958
Hal Roach - Producer (Hal Roach Studios)
Born Harry Eugene Roach on 14th January 1892 in Elmira, New York. Arriving in Hollywood he found work as an extra in films and it was here he first met Harold Lloyd. He received a small inheritance and began making films under the name Rolin (‘Ro’ for Roach and ‘lin’ for his partner Dan Linthicum). Harold Lloyd joined him and the ‘Lonesome Luke’ character was born. Harold then donned a pair of glasses for his new character and this proved to be very successful.
Hal bought out his partner and the Hal Roach Studios was born. As well as Laurel and Hardy, Hal Roach was responsible for many other comedy series. ‘Our Gang’, Charley Chase, and Todd and Pitts to name few.
Hal Roach lived to the grand old age of 100. He once said that he was more famous for being 100 years old than for making all those movies. The wonderful Hal Roach Studios were closed in 1961 and all that remains now is a plaque showing where it once stood.
Hals resting place is at Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira, Chemung County, New York, USA.