February, 2003

Tribute to well known funny man Stan Laurel

By John Harvey
Today Laurel and Hardy are more popular than ever with their Films being re-released on video an CD- ROM. Back in 1975 Their films were seen more On TV. In the same year a song Was released from One of their films and got into the top 20. It Was called “The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine”, which got to No. 2 on the United Artistes record label. Stan Laurel lives on in his statue erected in Dockwray Square, North Shields, where he lived from 1897 to 1902. Born in Ulverston, Cumbria, the young Stanley Jefferson and his Family moved to North Shields and then to Bishop Auckland. In 1912 The young Jefferson went to America and changed his Name To Stan Laurel. He toured all over America as a stand-up Comedian and at one stage he understudied Charlie Chaplin. In 1917, Laurel was given the opportunity to star in silent films And over the next few years made a name for himself in Hollywood. By chance he played in a film called “Lucky Dog” With Oliver Hardy. Some years later they became a duo, with Stan creating most of the ideas and gags. Laurel and Hardy made nearly 100 films together, with the last one being released in 1945. They returned to Touring and made several trips to Britain, playing at Newcastle Empire in 1947. In 1952, along with the Sunderland Empire they played at Tynemouth Gaumont. Stan loved coming home to see his friends and people he Knew when he was a boy on Tyneside.

Stan Laurel died in Santa Monica on 23 February 1965 at the grand age of 74.

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