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Stan Laurel (1890-1965)

  1. Harry Langdon, Zenobia, 1938.    The first Laurel & Hardy film without Laurel since the start of their globally adored double act.  It happened like this…  Producer Hal Roach was prepping the comedy for them when Laurel’s contract ended  and he was  not interested in any renewal. The couple felt they’d have a better bargaining position if they waited for Hardy’s contract to also run out.   Roach wasn’t waiting. He gave Roland Young’s lead role to Hardy, thus breaking up the cinema’s finest comedy duo. Temporarily. Because Laurel then sued the studio for breach of contract. 
  2. Charles Dale, Two Tickets To Broadway, 1951.   Charles Dale and Joe Smith's roles were intended for Laurel and Hardy   -  who quit due to illness contracted by Stan while making the French Atoll K,  1951 - their last film ensemble.  Two years later, Hardy was dead. Without Ollie, Stan pledged never to perform again.
  3. Jack Benny,  It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, 1962.    Producer-director Stanley Kramer’s movie was stuffed full with comics. Not all agreed to join  the party, being  terrified at the prospect of working with Spencer Tracy.  Bud Abbott,  Lucille Ball, Imogene Coca, George Burns, Judy Holliday, Bob Hope, Harold Lloyd, Jackie Mason, Martha Raye, all refused - despite or because of  Phil Silvers holding crap games on  the set.   Stan  Laurel had a better reason…  Following the   death of  his partner, Oliver Hardy, Stan vowed never to work again. And he never did.   It is possible that Benny took his time in accepting Kramer’s invite.  As in his most celebrated tag-line.… "I'm thinking it over!"




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