Oliver Hardy

Oliver Hardy

Billy Wilder planned on doing a film with him and Stan Laurel in the 1950s. The film would have opened with each of them sleeping in one of the letter O's of the Hollywood sign. The plot centered on a woman coming between them. The project was aborted owing to Ollie's failing health.

A heavy smoker, Hardy had been suffering from heart problems since the filming of Utopia (1951), and his weight had ballooned from 250 to 350 lbs.

A man of many interests, Hardy was an excellent cook, card player, golfer, singer, and dancer, and unlike "Ollie", was always impeccably tailored. Off camera, he and Laurel both combed their hair straight back, as was the fashion of their time.

A popular Lakeside Country Club foursome consisted of Oliver Hardy, Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields and Babe Ruth.

According to letters written by Stan Laurel, Hardy had advanced cancer at the time of his death from two strokes.

Although he often insisted he was not a big eater, friends says Hardy's favorite meal was a 32-ounce steak medium well, potatoes fried in pure lard, a salad, and a pot of coffee.

An avid sportsman, Hardy became interested in hunting. After he shot his first deer, he walked to the animal expecting to field-dress it. However, the deer was still alive, and looked Hardy directly in the eyes. He never picked up a gun again.

Appears on sleeve of The Beatles' "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album.

Best known for his work with Stan Laurel.

Despite rumors over the years, he did not die from the effects of obesity--quite the contrary. Dieting on doctor's orders, he took off too much weight too fast, going from 300+ pounds to 150 in a matter of a few weeks, weakening his constitution well past the danger point. It was becoming dangerously underweight in this manner that brought about his final illness and death.

Entered St. Vincent's Hospital to have his tonsils removed the day after filming wrapped on Babes in Toyland (1934).

Had a mild heart attack in May 1954.

He and partner Stan Laurel have been and continue to be very popular in Germany under the name of "Dick und Doof" (Fatty and Stupid).

He and partner Stan Laurel have been and continue to be very popular in Hungary under the name of "Stan és Pan".

He and partner Stan Laurel have been and continue to be very popular in Spain, Mexico and Latin America under the name of "El Gordo y El Flaco" (The Fat One and The Thin One).

He was the only child of Oliver Hardy and his second wife; both of them had two children from an earlier marriage; Oliver had two boys, and his second wife had two girls.

He was voted, along with comedy partner Stan Laurel, the 45th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

His father, also named Oliver Hardy, was a successful lawyer who died when Norvell, as he was known to his family, was ten months old. At a time when few women had careers, his mother supported the family by running a highly successful hotel.

His favourite pastime was playing golf, which he learned from comedian Larry Semon.

His given first name was Norvell, the name his family always used. He took the name Oliver in respect for his father, who died when Norvell was still an infant. He also liked the "over the top" sound of introducing himself as "Oliver Norvell Hardy" in the films.