: [on Charles Chaplin] Just the greatest.
Stan Laurel (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson) was an English comic actor, writer, and film director who was part of the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. He appeared with his comedy partner Oliver Hardy in 107 short films, feature films, and cameo roles.
Laurel began his career in music hall, where he developed a number of his standard comic devices, including the bowler hat, the deep comic gravity, and the nonsensical understatement.
Laurel began his film career in 1917 and made his final appearance in 1951. From 1928 onwards he appeared exclusively with Hardy, and Laurel officially retired from the screen following his comedy partner's death in 1957.
While rarely credited as a writer or director, he was the driving creative force behind the team of Laurel and Hardy. Whenever Oliver Hardy was asked a question about a gag, story idea, or plot line, he always pointed to Laurel and said, "Ask Stan." Laurel often worked well into the night, writing and editing their films.
In his later years, he was arguably the most approachable of all movie stars, keeping his phone number in the phone book, welcoming all sorts of visitors, and responding to his fan mail personally.
When Stan Laurel died, Buster Keaton said 'Forget Chaplin. Stan was the greatest'.
By the time they produced their first true Laurel and Hardy film, Stan was 37 and Oliver Hardy was 35. Stan and Ollie believed that they got most of their laughs by combining dumbness with dignity making the audience feel that they were superior to them.
Stan and Oliver Hardy could go through a dozen hats in a month of filming. Although Stan wore a traditional bowler in their early films, he soon switched to a flat-brimmed hat. After Ollie died, Stan never publicly wore a bowler again. No photographs are known to exist of him in one from that time.
Personal quote "[about the trip he and Oliver Hardy] took to Ireland in 1953] The love and affection we found that day at Cobh was simply unbelievable. There were hundreds of boats blowing whistles and mobs and mobs of people screaming on the docks. We just couldn't understand what it was all about. And then something happened that I can never forget. All the church bells in Cobh started to ring out our theme song "Dance of the Cuckoos" and Babe [Oliver Hardy] looked at me and we cried. I'll never forget that day. Never".