Stan Laurel

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June 16, 1890 – February 23, 1965

On October 2, 1910 an English ocean liner named Cairnrona arrived in Quebec after a 10-day journey from Southampton. History and the way of the world at the time would indicate that this was no special ship or voyage.  That is, except for the fact that the vessel carried a troupe of comedians headed for America which included Charlie Chaplin and a 20 year-old man named Stanley Jefferson.  Jefferson would eventually change his name to Laurel and America was about to laugh…a lot.  But as impressive of a pairing as Chaplin and Laurel were on that same ship, it was Stan’s later partnership with another comedian that would make him a legend.

Stan Laurel first worked with Oliver Hardy on the 1921 silent film The Lucky Dog, but it wasn’t until both were under contract with Hal Roach in 1926 that the two were matched up as a team.  That team became one of the greatest comedy double acts of all time making over 120 short and feature films in both silent and talking formats. After 30 years together, Oliver died in 1957 and Stan withdrew from performing – partially to do with reverence to his partner, but also to do with his own failing health. Throughout his final years, Stan Laurel was still very warm and receptive toward his fans and friends. His phone number was publicly listed and he would routinely talk to strangers who called him up. He suffered a heart attack in February of 1965 and died four days later.  Ever the comedian, his final words to his nurse were that he would like to be skiing at that moment. When she responded that she didn’t know he was a skier, he simply said “I’m not. But I’d rather be doing that than this.”

Burial

Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills, CA

Specific Location

Court of Liberty, Lot 910; From the large George Washington statue, go up the steps on the main sidewalk (south) into the second level of gardens, Stan’s grave is marked on a stone wall just to the right of the main sidewalk.

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