Stan Laurel came from a theatrical family, his father was an actor and theatre manager, and he made his stage debut at the age of 16 at Pickard's Museum, Glasgow. He traveled with Fred Karno's vaudeville company to the United States in 1910 and again in 1913. While with that company he was Charles Chaplin's understudy, and he performed imitations of Chaplin. On a later trip he remained in the United States, having been cast in a two-reel comedy, Nuts in May (1917) (not released until 1918). There followed a number of shorts for Metro, Hal Roach Studios, then Universal, then back to Roach in 1926. His first two-reeler with Oliver Hardy was 45 Minutes from Hollywood (1926). Their first release through MGM was Sugar Daddies (1927) and the first with star billing was From Soup to Nuts (1928). Their first feature-length starring roles were in Pardon Us (1931). Their work became more production-line and less popular during the war years, especially after they left Roach and MGM for Twentieth Century-Fox. Their last movie together was The Bullfighters (1945) except for a dismal failure made in France several years later (Utopia (1950)). In 1960 he was given a special Oscar "for his creative pioneering in the field of cinema comedy". He died five years later.
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