Who Is Oliver Hardy?

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Who Is Oliver Hardy?

Oliver Hardy was an American comic actor famous for half of the comic duo Laurel and Hardy. Hardy shot more than 100 films with his British buddy Stan Laurel, from the 1920s to the 1950s silent film era.

Who was Oliver Hardy?

Oliver Hardy was born on January 18, 1892 in Harlem, Georgia. At eight, he appeared in Minnesota shows. As a teenager, he began engaging in various comedy short films, making two reelers, dramas and westerns and playing "the fat guy". Although Hardy first collaborated with Stan Laurel around 1920, it took almost a decade for them to embark on their double-stock after their movie Putting Pants on Philip (1927) became a hit with moviegoers. From there, Hardy made over 100 films with Laurel, with his little mustache, combed black hair, and tie, including The Flying Deuces, Busy Bodies, Helpmates, and Men O'War.


Hardy had three wives in his life. He first married Madelyn Saloshin (1913-1921), but finally divorced a younger woman, Myrtle Reeves (1921-1937). But Myrtey's alcoholism and self-abuse overwhelmed Hardy, and finally he fled from 1929 in the arms of another woman, Viola Morse.

Hardy and Viola watched each other for the next decade until he married his third wife, Virginia Lucille Jones, whom he married in 1940 and died in 1957.

The first two wives of Hardy, Madelyn and Myrtle, were unhappy in love and would torture him until his death and relentlessly demand money, while his longtime partner Viola wanted to commit suicide after their separation.

Early life

Hardy (first name Norvell Hardy) was born on January 18, 1892 in Harlem, Georgia. His father, Oliver, served in the Confederation and helped after the Civil War in managing his family's cotton plantation. Hardy's mother was a schoolteacher named Emily Norvell. When the elder Oliver and Emily got married in 1890, both were divorced three or twice.

The couple had five children together, with Hardy being the youngest. Although Hardy was a somewhat unruly child, he responded well to music and theater and appeared in Minnesota shows at the age of eight. His mother encouraged his talents and paid for him to receive singing lessons.

When Hardy began to develop his stage personality, he soon changed his name to Oliver in honor of his father, who died when Hardy was still a child.

As a teenager, Hardy directed a movie theater and soon joined the Lubin Company in Florida. He started playing in a series of comedy shorts and debuted in 1914 in Outwitting Dad. He graduated from Two-Reelers, Drama and Western and played the role of the fat guy.

Who Is Oliver Hardy?

Laurel and Hardy

Hardy's first appearance with Stan Laurel was in The Lucky Dog (1921), but it was not until 1927, when he collaborated with the famous producer Hal Roach, that the two found out that their collaboration was a heaven-made hit when their short "Putting Pants "Philip became an absolute hit.

Laurel and Hardy were the first to get a top-notch account with the short film From Soup to Nuts (1928), and they shot their first feature film, Pardon Us (1931), followed by films such as March of the Wooden Soldiers (1934) and The Road West (1937).

Over the course of two decades, Laurel and Hardy together produced more than 100 films, including other notable hits such as Men O 'War (1929), Laughing Gravy (1931), Busy Bodies (1933), Helpmates (1932) and The Flying Deuces (1939) ).

Her double strike made her one of the most popular comedy teams of the era. Even after Laurel and Hardy had not played in films in 1950, they spent the rest of their working years on the streets, touring England together.

Death & Burial

In the spring of 1954, Hardy had a mild heart attack and lost 150 pounds. within a few months. Given that both Hardy and Laurel were extremely heavy smokers, many speculated that Hardy's rapid weight loss was due to a potentially deadly cancer that Laurel had mentioned in written letters.

Nevertheless, Hardy's health problems worsened when he suffered a severe stroke in 1956, which made him bedridden and temporarily unable to speak. After two more punches the following year, Hardy fell into a coma. He died on August 7, 1957. The cause of death was brain thrombosis.

Hardy's body was cremated and his ashes were placed in the cemetery of the Masonic garden of Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood.

Due to illness, Laurel was unable to attend Hardy's funeral, but was quoted as saying, "Babe would understand." Laurel reportedly had a difficult time dealing with his death and never recovered emotionally from the loss.

Quick Facts

Oliver Hardy

Actor, Comedian

Birth Date
January 18, 1892

Death Date
August 7, 1957

Place of Birth
Harlem, Georgia

Place of Death
North Hollywood, California

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