Oliver Hardy

Oliver Hardy
Oliver Hardy Portrait.jpg
Hardy circa 1930
Norvell Hardy

(1892-01-18)January 18, 1892
DiedAugust 7, 1957(1957-08-07) (aged 65)
Years active1914–1955
Spouse(s)Madelyn Saloshin
(m. 1913–1921; divorced)
Myrtle Reeves
(m. 1921–1937; divorced)
Virginia Lucille Jones
(m. 1940-1957; his death)
Oliver Hardy signature.svg

Oliver Norvell Hardy (born Norvell Hardy, January 18, 1892 – August 7, 1957) was an American comic actor and one half of Laurel and Hardy, the double act that began in the era of silent films and lasted from 1927 to 1955. He appeared with his comedy partner Stan Laurel in 107 short films, feature films, and cameo roles.[1] He was credited with his first film Outwitting Dad in 1914. In most of his silent films before joining producer Hal Roach, he was billed on screen as "Babe Hardy."

Early life and education

Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy in Harlem, Georgia.[2] His father Oliver was a Confederate veteran who had been wounded at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 and was a recruiting officer for Company K, 16th Georgia Regiment. The elder Oliver Hardy assisted his father in running the vestiges of the family cotton plantation following the Civil War. He then bought a share in a retail business and was elected full-time Tax Collector for Columbia County, Georgia. Hardy's mother Emily Norvell was the daughter of Thomas Benjamin Norvell and Mary Freeman, descended from Captain Hugh Norvell of Williamsburg, Virginia. The elder Hardy and Norvell married March 12, 1890; it was her second marriage and his third.

The family moved to Madison, Georgia in 1891 before Norvell's birth.[3] He was likely born in Harlem, though some sources say that his birth occurred in Covington, Georgia, his mother's hometown. His father died less than a year after his birth. Hardy was the youngest of five children. His older brother Sam drowned in the Oconee River; Hardy pulled him from the river but was unable to resuscitate him.[4]

As a child, Hardy was sometimes difficult. He was sent to Georgia Military College in Milledgeville as a youngster. He was sent to Young Harris College in north Georgia in the 1905 fall semester when he was 13. He had little interest in formal education, although he acquired an early interest in music and theater. He joined a theatrical group and later ran away from a boarding school near Atlanta to sing with the group. His mother recognized his talent for singing and sent him to Atlanta to study music and voice with singing teacher Adolf Dahm-Petersen. He skipped some of his lessons to sing in the Alcazar Theater for $3.50 a week.

As a teenager Hardy began styling himself "Oliver Norvell Hardy", adding the first name "Oliver" as a tribute to his father. He appeared as "Oliver N. Hardy" in the 1910 U.S. census,[N 1] and he used "Oliver" as his first name in all subsequent legal records, marriage announcements, etc. Hardy was initiated into Freemasonry at Solomon Lodge No. 20 in Jacksonville, Florida. He was inducted into the Grand Order of Water Rats along with Stan Laurel.[5]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Oliver Hardy
العربية: أوليفر هاردي
aragonés: Oliver Hardy
asturianu: Oliver Hardy
български: Оливър Харди
brezhoneg: Oliver Hardy
čeština: Oliver Hardy
Cymraeg: Oliver Hardy
Deutsch: Oliver Hardy
Ελληνικά: Όλιβερ Χάρντι
español: Oliver Hardy
Esperanto: Oliver Hardy
euskara: Oliver Hardy
français: Oliver Hardy
Gaeilge: Oliver Hardy
galego: Oliver Hardy
한국어: 올리버 하디
Bahasa Indonesia: Oliver Hardy
italiano: Oliver Hardy
Lëtzebuergesch: Oliver Hardy
magyar: Oliver Hardy
Nederlands: Oliver Hardy
polski: Oliver Hardy
português: Oliver Hardy
Ripoarisch: Oliver Hardy
română: Oliver Hardy
русский: Харди, Оливер
sicilianu: Oliver Hardy
Simple English: Oliver Hardy
slovenčina: Oliver Hardy
српски / srpski: Оливер Харди
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Oliver Hardy
svenska: Oliver Hardy
Tagalog: Oliver Hardy
українська: Олівер Гарді