Laurel and Hardy

LAUREL OF LAUGHS Who was Stan Laurel and what was his cause of death?

KNOWN for his bowler hats and slapstick humour, Stan Laurel was one of Hollywood's greats.

As one half of comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, the comic actor cemented himself into the golden era of Tinseltown.

Stan Laurel (left) was one half of Laurel and Hardy - seen here with comedy partner Ollie Hardy
Stan Laurel (left) was one half of Laurel and Hardy – seen here with comedy partner Ollie HardyCredit: AP:Associated Press

Who was Stan Laurel?

Born Arthur Stanley Jefferson in the Lake District on June 16, 1890, Stan Laurel was an English comic actor, writer, and film director who was best known for the double act, Laurel and Hardy.

Together with his comedy partner Oliver Hardy, he appeared in 107 productions.

Laurel began his career as a member of the Fred Karno’s Army, where he was Charlie Chaplin’s understudy.

The talented star began his film career in 1917 and made his final appearance in 1951.

At the 33rd Oscars ceremony in 1961, Laurel was given an Academy Honorary Award for his pioneering work in comedy.

The late actor has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Were Laurel and Hardy friends in real life?

Laurel and his comic partner Oliver Hardy first appeared together in The Lucky Dog in 1921, although they did not officially become Laurel and Hardy until 1927.

The comic duo became well known during the late 1920s through the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy, with Laurel playing the clumsy and childlike friend of the pompous bully Hardy.

The duo’s signature tune is known variously as The Cuckoo Song, Ku-Ku, or The Dance of the Cuckoos.

It was played over the opening credits of their films and has become as emblematic of the duo as their bowler hats.

On screen, Laurel and Hardy were a match made in heaven.

In real life, however, it is reported that they weren’t all that close and didn’t socialise together that often.

Was Stan Laurel married?

Stan was actually married FIVE times during his life – twice to the same woman – meaning he had four wives.

His first wife was Lois Neilson, who he wed in August 1926, but they divorced in December 1934.

In 1935, Laurel married Virginia Ruth Rogers, but two years later they split In 1937, after he confessed that he was not over his ex-wife Lois.

On New Year’s Day 1938, Laurel married Vera Ivanova Shuvalova, but they only lasted a year.

In 1941, Laurel remarried Virginia, but it wasn’t meant to be, and they split for a second time five years later.

In May 1946, he wed Ida Kitaeva Raphael, and they remained together until his death.

Did Stan Laurel have any children?

Laurel had two children with his first wife Lois.

Together they had a daughter, also names Lois, who was born on December 10, 1927.

Their second child, Stanley, was born two months premature in May 1930, but sadly died after nine days.

Their daughter Lois passed away on July 27, 2017, aged 89.

What was Stan Laurel’s cause of death?

On February 23, 1965, aged 74, Laurel died four days after he suffered a heart attack.

Minutes before his death, he told his nurse that he would not mind going skiing, and she replied that she was not aware that he was a skier.

“I’m not,” said Laurel, “I’d rather be doing that than getting all these needles stuck in me!” A few minutes later he died in his armchair.

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