Oliver Hardy

Oliver Hardy

Highest Rated: 100% The Three Ages (1923)

Lowest Rated: 43% The Hollywood Revue (1929)

Birthday: Jan 18, 1892

Birthplace: Harlem, Georgia, USA

Oliver Hardy was an American actor who helped revolutionize comedy on film during the silent era and beyond, alongside his beloved comedic partner, Stan Laurel. Together, they made up perhaps the most iconic comedy team in history: Laurel and Hardy. Born Norvell Hardy on January 18, 1892 in Harlem, Georgia, to homemaker Emily Norvell Hardy and Confederate officer turned businessman Oliver Hardy. He was the youngest of five children, and his father passed away shortly before Norvell's first birthday. To make ends meet, his mother rented out the family home in Harlem to tenant farmers. As a boy, Norvell had a rough and tumble life. One of his older brothers, Sam Hardy, drowned in the Oconee River, despite Norvell's efforts to resuscitate him. He also developed a streak of delinquency, running away from school and partaking in petty crimes, and had to be sent to Georgia Military College in Milledgeville. However, his mother soon recognized that young Norvell had a talent for singing, so she sent him off to Atlanta to study music and voice with renowned vocal coach Adolf Dahm-Petersen. After completing his lessons, and earning his first professional gig, singing at the Alcazar Theater for $3.50 a week, Hardy decided to return to Milledgeville. Around this time, Hardy also began using his father's first name, Oliver, as his own name in tribute. Upon returning to Milledgeville in 1910, Hardy took a job as the projectionist, ticket taker, janitor, and manager of the town's first movie theater. He obsessively watched every film that came through the theater, and was soon convinced that he could do a better job than the actors he saw on screen every day. On the suggestion of a friend, Hardy moved to Jacksonville, Florida, which at the time had a burgeoning film industry. It was 1913, Hardy worked as a cabaret and vaudeville singer at night, while working in a factory during the day. In November of that year, he married his first wife, pianist Madelyn Saloshin. In 1914, Hardy made his film debut in "Outwitting Dad" (1914) for the Lubin studio. At first the movies didn't quite know what to do with Hardy: due to his 6'1", 300 pound frame, he was often cast in villainous roles. By 1915, Hardy had done 50 one-reeler films with Lubin studio, so he moved to New York, where he made films for Pathé, Casino, and Edison studios. He briefly worked for the Vim Comedy Company after returning to Jacksonville, but the studio folded after Hardy discovered the owners were stealing from the payroll. In 1917, Hardy moved to Los Angeles, where he continued to play "heavies," mainly for Vitagraph, whom he worked with between 1918 and 1923, but also began booking comedic parts that better suited his talents. He and Saloshin separated in 1919, and their divorce was finalized on November 17, 1921. One week later, Hardy married actress Myrtle Reeves, which proved to be a bad pairing from the start, largely due to Reeves's alcoholism. 1921 would also prove to be a banner year for Hardy because of his appearance in the film "The Lucky Dog" (1921), which was the first time he appeared on screen alongside Stan Laurel. The pair would not cross paths again until Hardy began working with Hal Roach Studios, appearing the the "Our Gang" films, as well as the silent version of "Wizard of Oz" (1925). He next worked with Laurel, who was by now focusing on writing and directing, by appearing in the film "Yes, Yes, Nanette!" (1925). Hardy was next scheduled to star in "Get 'Em Young" (1926), but when he was burned in an onset accident, Hal Roach decided to bring in Stan Laurel to replace him. This marked Laurel's return to acting, and later that year, the pair appeared in "45 Minutes From Hollywood" (1926), though they didn't share any scenes. By 1927, Roach Studios supervising director Leo McCarey realized that the pair had great comedic rapport, what with Laurel's extreme deadpan playing perfectly against Hardy's flustered anger, and began casting them to appear together in a number of shorts, including "Slipping Wives" (1927), "Duck Soup" (1927), and "With Love and Hisses" (1927). Starting with "Putting the Pants on Phillip" (1927), the duo was billed as Laurel and Hardy, and before long set off on a highly prolific run of short films, including "The Battle of the Century" (1927), "Should Married Men Go Home?" (1928), "Two Tars" (1928), "Unaccustomed As We Are" (1929)(their first talkie), "Berth Marks" (1929), "Blotto" (1930), "Brats" (1930), "Another Fine Mess" (1930), and "Be Big!" (1931), amongst many others. Laurel and Hardy made their feature debut in "The Hollywood Revue of 1929" (1929), and starred in their first full-length movie, "Pardon Us" (1931), two years later. They won their first and only Academy Award for the short film "The Music Box" (1932), the next year. Their winning streak was interrupted, however, when Laurel and Hal Roach got into a nasty contractual dispute, effectively breaking up his and Hardy's partnership for a time. Also on the rocks was Hardy's second marriage; he and Myrtle Reeves divorced in 1937. While waiting for Laurel's dispute with Hal Roach to be smoothed over, Hardy worked on the film "Zenobia" (1939). Once new contracts were agreed upon, Roach loaned the duo out to General Service Studios to make their comeback picture, "The Flying Deuces" (1939). While on set, Hardy fell in love with a script girl, Virginia Lucille Jones, and they married the following year. Luckily for Hardy, the third time proved to be a charm. That same year, he and Laurel made their two final films for Hal Roach, "A Chump at Oxford" (1940), and "Saps at Sea" (1940). After leaving Roach Studios, the duo made films with 20th Century Fox and MGM, but found less creative control than they had enjoyed in the past, and decided to part ways with the studios following the release of "The Bullfighters" (1945). Their next major project was a six-week tour of the United Kingdom in 1947. Neither men were sure how they would be received, but they were mobbed wherever they went, played to sold out theaters every night, and even performed for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Due to the rapturous response, the tour was extended to include stops in Scandinavia, Belgium, and France. The duo would embark on similar tours over the next few years, until 1954, but unfortunately they were marred by both men's declining health. Meanwhile, Hardy continued to occasionally act without Laurel, in the John Wayne western "The Fighting Kentuckian" (1949), and the Frank Capra/Bing Crosby production "Riding High" (1950). The final Laurel and Hardy film, "Atoll K" (1951), began production in 1950, and the process was arduous. The film was funded by a shady crew of European interest men, the cast and crew all came from different countries and could not speak to one another due to the language barrier, Laurel was forced to rewrite the entire script, and both men were ill during most of the production. No surprise, then, that "Atoll K" was an ignominious ending to the pair's career in film. Due to Hardy's appearance on the popular series "This Is Your Life" (NBC, 1952-1961) in December of 1954, he and Laurel decided to give television a try, working with Hal Roach Jr. to develop a TV show based on the Mother Goose fables, set to begin airing in the fall of 1955. However, the series was put on hold indefinitely when Laurel suffered a stroke, and while he was recovering, Hardy was felled by a heart attack and a stroke. Hardy began losing weight at a rapid pace, dropping 150 pounds in a few months, which totally altered his appearance. Hardy suffered another stroke on September 14, 1956, which left him bedridden and unable to speak for nearly a year. Just as he was beginning to walk and talk again, thanks to the care of his beloved wife Lucille, Hardy suffered two major strokes in August of 1957. This time, he fell into a coma, and never work up. Oliver Hardy died of cerebral thrombosis on August 7, 1957. He was 65 years old.

Highest rated movies

Way Out West
March of the Wooden Soldiers
Sons of the Desert
The Three Ages
The Rogue Song
The Flying Deuces
Swiss Miss
The Hollywood Revue

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Four Clowns Unknown (Character) - 1970
No Score Yet 83% The Further Perils of Laurel and Hardy Unknown (Character) - 1967
No Score Yet 80% Laurel and Hardy's Laughing '20s Self - 1965
No Score Yet No Score Yet MGM's Big Parade of Comedy Unknown (Character) - 1964
No Score Yet No Score Yet Days of Thrills and Laughter Unknown (Character) - 1961
No Score Yet 31% Utopia Ollie (Character) - 1950
No Score Yet 64% The Fighting Kentuckian Willie Paine (Character) - 1949
No Score Yet 39% The Bullfighters Ollie (Character) - 1945
No Score Yet 45% Nothing but Trouble Oliver (Character) - 1944
No Score Yet 59% The Big Noise Ollie (Character) - 1944
No Score Yet 41% Air Raid Wardens Oliver Hardy (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet 43% The Dancing Masters Ollie (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet 36% Jitterbugs Ollie (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Tree in a Test Tube Self - 1943
No Score Yet 25% The Tree in a Test Tube Unknown (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet 56% A-Haunting We Will Go Ollie (Character) - 1942
No Score Yet 53% Great Guns Oliver (Character) - 1941
No Score Yet 85% A Chump at Oxford Self - 1940
No Score Yet 76% Saps at Sea Ollie (Character) - 1940
83% 64% The Flying Deuces Ollie (Character) - 1939
No Score Yet 50% Zenobia Dr. Henry Tibbett (Character) - 1939
No Score Yet 85% Block-Heads Oliver (Character) - 1938
60% 54% Swiss Miss Oliver (Character) - 1938
100% 91% Way Out West Ollie (Character) - 1937
No Score Yet No Score Yet Movie Struck Oliver Hardy (Character) - 1937
No Score Yet 57% The Bohemian Girl Ollie (Character) - 1936
No Score Yet 85% Our Relations Ollie/Bert Hardy (Character) - 1936
No Score Yet 64% Bonnie Scotland Ollie Hardy (Character) - 1935
No Score Yet No Score Yet Tit For Tat Oliver (Character) - 1935
No Score Yet 67% Thicker Than Water Ollie (Character) - 1935
No Score Yet 80% The Fixer Uppers Ollie (Character) - 1935
No Score Yet 29% Hollywood Party Ollie (Character) - 1934
100% 78% March of the Wooden Soldiers Ollie Dee (Character) - 1934
No Score Yet No Score Yet Going Bye-Bye! Mr. Hardy (Character) - 1934
No Score Yet 78% The Live Ghost Ollie (Character) - 1934
No Score Yet No Score Yet Oliver the Eighth Oliver (Character) - 1934
No Score Yet 92% Them Thar Hills Ollie (Character) - 1934
No Score Yet 71% The Devil's Brother Ollio (Character) - 1933
100% 86% Sons of the Desert Oliver (Character) - 1933
No Score Yet 62% Dirty Work Ollie (Character) - 1933
No Score Yet 68% Twice Two Oliver Hardy/Mrs. Fanny Laurel (Character) - 1933
No Score Yet No Score Yet Me and My Pal Oliver Hardy (Character) - 1933
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Midnight Patrol Officer Oliver Hardy (Character) - 1933
No Score Yet 72% Busy Bodies Ollie (Character) - 1933
No Score Yet No Score Yet Any Old Port! Ollie (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet 69% Pack Up Your Troubles Ollie (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet 72% County Hospital Ollie (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet 68% Towed In A Hole Ollie (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet 50% Scram! Mr. Hardy (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet 67% Their First Mistake Ollie (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet 91% Music Box Ollie (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet 78% Helpmates Ollie (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet 60% The Chimp Mr. Hardy (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet 65% Pardon Us Oliver Norval Hardy (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet 55% One Good Turn Ollie (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet 62% The Stolen Jools Police Driver (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet No Score Yet Be Big! Ollie (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet No Score Yet Come Clean Ollie (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet No Score Yet Los Calaveras Señor Hardy (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet No Score Yet Politiquerías Oliver (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet 73% Chickens Come Home Mr. Oliver Hardy (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet 75% Our Wife Ollie (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet 59% Beau Hunks Ollie (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet No Score Yet Les Carottiers M. Hardy (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet No Score Yet De Bote En Bote Oliver Norval Hardy (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet 72% Hog Wild Unknown (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet 59% Another Fine Mess Ollie (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet No Score Yet Below Zero Oliver (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet 77% Blotto Ollie (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet 72% Night Owls Mr. Hardy (Character) - 1930
86% No Score Yet The Rogue Song Murza-Bek (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet No Score Yet La Vida Nocturna Ollie (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case Ollie (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet No Score Yet Brats Ollie Sr. / Oliver Jr. (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet No Score Yet Noche de Duendes Ollie (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet No Score Yet Berth Marks Ollie (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet 82% Big Business Ollie (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet 88% The Finishing Touch Ollie (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet 76% Liberty Ollie (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet 50% Double Whoopee Ollie (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet No Score Yet Perfect Day Ollie (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet 58% Angora Love Ollie (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet 60% Wrong Again Unknown (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet 77% Unaccustomed as We Are Oliver Hardy (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet 80% That's My Wife Ollie (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet No Score Yet Men o' War Ollie (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet 67% They Go Boom! Ollie (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet 40% Bacon Grabbers Oliver (Character) - 1929
43% 22% The Hollywood Revue Ollie (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet 50% Should Married Men Go Home? Mr. Hardy (Character) - 1928
No Score Yet 36% Flying Elephants Mighty Giant (Character) - 1928
No Score Yet 64% Leave 'Em Laughing Ollie (Character) - 1928
No Score Yet 67% You're Darn Tootin' Ollie (Character) - 1928
No Score Yet 75% Their Purple Moment Ollie (Character) - 1928
No Score Yet 45% Habeas Corpus Ollie (Character) - 1928
No Score Yet 71% Early to Bed Unknown (Character) - 1928
No Score Yet 71% Two Tars Oliver (Character) - 1928
No Score Yet 56% From Soup to Nuts Mr. Hardy (Character) - 1928
No Score Yet 62% We Faw Down Ollie (Character) - 1928
No Score Yet No Score Yet Crazy to Act Gordon Bagley (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet 38% Do Detectives Think? Sherlock Pinkham (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet No Score Yet No Man's Law Sharkey Nye (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet No Score Yet With Love and Hisses Top Sergeant Banner (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet 57% Why Girls Love Sailors First Mate (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet 50% Love 'Em and Weep Judge Chigger (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Second 100 Years Big Goofy (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet 62% The Battle of the Century Manager (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet 25% Putting Pants on Philip J. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sailors Beware Purser Cryder (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet No Score Yet Should Men Walk Home? Party Guest (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet 50% Sugar Daddies Brittle's butler (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet No Score Yet Fluttering Hearts Big Bill (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet 47% Duck Soup Colonel Buckshot (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet No Score Yet Call of the Cuckoo Asylum inmate (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet No Score Yet Along Came Auntie Mr. Vincent Belcher (Character) - 1926
No Score Yet No Score Yet 45 Minutes from Hollywood Hotel Detective (Character) - 1926
No Score Yet No Score Yet Bromo and Juliet Cab Driver (Character) - 1926
No Score Yet No Score Yet Long Fliv the King The Prime Minister's Assistant (Character) - 1926
No Score Yet No Score Yet Be Your Age Oswald Schwartzkopple (Character) - 1926
No Score Yet 70% Hop to It! Unknown (Character) - 1925
No Score Yet No Score Yet Yes, Yes, Nanette Nanette's sweetheart (Character) - 1925
No Score Yet 80% The Wizard of Oz Woodsman/Knight of the Garter/Farmhand (Character) - 1925
No Score Yet No Score Yet Isn't Life Terrible? Unknown (Character) - 1925
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Perfect Clown Unknown (Character) - 1925
No Score Yet No Score Yet Fiddlin' Around Theatre manager (Character) - 1925
No Score Yet No Score Yet Stick Around Unknown (Character) - 1925
No Score Yet No Score Yet Smithy Unknown (Character) - 1924
No Score Yet No Score Yet Kid Speed The Speed Kid (Character) - 1924
100% 77% The Three Ages Caveman/Roman Thug (Character) - 1923
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Sawmill The foreman (Character) - 1922
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Show Stage manager/Audience Member (Character) - 1922
No Score Yet No Score Yet Golf The Neighbor (Character) - 1922
No Score Yet 52% The Lucky Dog Masked bandit (Character) - 1921
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Bakery Foreman (Character) - 1921
No Score Yet No Score Yet Maids and Muslin Mr. Yards (Character) - 1920
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hustling for Health Unknown (Character) - 1919
No Score Yet No Score Yet His Day Out Ollie (Character) - 1918
No Score Yet No Score Yet He's in Again Head Waiter (Character) - 1918
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lottery Man Maggie Murphy (Character) - 1916
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Special Delivery Plump (Character) - 1916
No Score Yet No Score Yet One Too Many Plump (Character) - 1916
No Score Yet No Score Yet Aunt Bill Plump (Character) - 1916
No Score Yet No Score Yet Something in Her Eye The Grocer (Character) - 1915
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Brewerytown Romance Cassidy/the Cop (Character) - 1914

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet This Is Your Life Guest,
Self
1954 2019-2020
No Score Yet No Score Yet Laurel and Hardy Unknown (Character) 1939-1941 1951