Your Hometown Stories: Oliver Hardy


Oliver Hardy, born Norvell Hardy in 1892 in Harlem Georgia would become part of a comedy team that would change movie history.

Hardy didn’t stay in Harlem Georgia very long. His mother moved him after 11 months following the death of his father.

“His mother moved them to Milledgeville, Ga. Where she ran a hotel and he started running the movie projector and he found he could and wanted to do the same thing as the vaudeville acts”

Oliver next found work as an actor in Jacksonville, Florida, home of the Lubin film company. Hardy later moved to Hollywood, and by the mid 1920s, he was working as an all-purpose comic at the Hal Roach studio.

Laurel and Hardy’s partnership at the Hal Roach studio began in 1926. Within a year of their first joint appearance, they were being touted as the new comedy team. After collaborating on many silent films and as their success spread throughout the world, they began making feature films as well and won an Oscar for their short subject entitled “The Music Box”.

“After that they made a hundred and six movies together and remained buddies, friends they’re entire life”

Today Harlem Georgia native Oliver Hardy is remembered for his work with Stan Laurel at the Laurel and Hardy museum in downtown Harlem.

The museum is packed with memorabilia from the comedy team, they have over 30 films that you can view, and even items for sale. Even though the museum is in the small town of Harlem, it’s visited by many.

“Indeed we have, we get about 300-400 visitors a month and out of that about 40-50 come from about any place in the world”

The Laurel and Hardy museum is open Tuesday through Saturday in downtown Harlem and is a must visit.

For your hometown stories, I’m John Lynn, WJBF News channel 6

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