Monday, April 20, 2009

Statue of comedy kings unveiled

Hundreds of people have gathered in Stan Laurel's hometown as a statue of the comedian and his sidekick Oliver Hardy was unveiled.

The duo, who captivated early cinema-goers with their slapstick mishaps, have been immortalised with a £60,000 bronze sculpture in Ulverston, Cumbria.

The statue of the pair leaning against a lamppost has been placed in the town's County Square, where Stan brought Ollie in 1947 and the famous duo waved from the balcony of the Coronation Hall to a huge crowd of fans below.

It was unveiled by comic Ken Dodd, who arrived with Stan and Ollie look-a-likes in a vintage Model T Ford.

After the unveiling, the crowd sang the Laurel and Hardy tune, We Are The Sons of the Desert, from the movie Sons of the Desert.

Laurel was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson in Ulverston's Argyll Street in June 1890 and remained there until he moved to North Shields, Tyneside, at the age of seven.

He met Hardy in 1926 when both were working at the Hal Roach Studios in Hollywood.

In a partnership lasting 31 years, Stan and Ollie appeared together in 106 short films and motion pictures, spanning the silent era until the 1950s.

Their career together ended in 1956 when Hardy, who was born in Georgia, US, suffered a heart attack and died a year later.

Laurel was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscars in 1961 and died in February 1965.

Source: Yahoo