Ask Lois Laurel-Hawes
I've read about your shyness as a young girl toward Oliver Hardy & his treatment of your father on film....and that Stan thus made "One Good turn" for your benefit. Is this all true and what was your relationship like with Mr.Hardy once you were older?
The ONE GOOD TURN story is indeed true. My relationship with Babe Hardy thereafter was marvelous. He was like an uncle to me. My late husband, Tony Hawes, explained to someone, it was like having two fathers. Maybe Babe was especially nice to me because he never had any children of his own. We were very close until he died, just as I was with (his widow) Lucille.
On the "Laurel and Hardy Disscussion Group" page. Someone asked the question: Why was Oliver Hardy turned down for military service during WWI? SOmeone said it was because Babe's grandfather fought with the South during the Civil War, while McCabe says the recuritment office just cruelly teased him about his size. Which version is correct?
As far as I know Babe was rejected for military duty because of his weight.
A few years ago I was in a store called Tower Records, and I saw a CD that contained a recording of a conversation when Stan was in his 70's discussing his film years. Also on that same CD they had a recording of his marriage ceremony, which I thought was a little odd to have issued on a CD. Unfortunately, I did notbuy the CD that day, and when I went back to the store, I did not see it. Tower Records dosen't even remember having it, and the only CD recordings I see today are of music. Is there any recodings of Stan's discussing his film years withOliver Hardy. I remember as a kid my father waking me up one early morniong tolisten to an interview with John McCabe and Stan taliking about his film years. That CD I saw in Tower may have been that excerpt recording. Needless to say I am so sorry that I didn't get that CD the day I saw it and I have been looking for something like it for years. Do you know where I could find it or any recording of Stan talking about his film years. My 2 year old son and my 5 year old daughter just love to watch the films I have collected and I'm sure they would love to hear his voice. Please advise if you can as I would greatly appreciate it.
Bob & Kristi Gedeon
The marriage ceremony, as you call it, was actually a pilot for a radio program, a dramatization, NOT a binding, legal wedding! The recording with comments from John McCabe and my father was done by Dr. McCabe's friend Bill Rabe. Another recorded interview with dad was conducted by the late Tony Thomas, but I cannot say where either interview is commercially available for sale. Sorry. There was a radio interview Ruth (Laurel) told me about after one of here marriages to dad in Las Vegas, but we have no indication that show was ever recorded.
Did Stan receive invitations to work as an actor after Oliver's death? Why is it so hard to find images of Stan's public appearances after his partner's death?
My dad was always being asked to write for, consult with or appear with all kinds of directors and actors. He didn't make a lot of personal appearances; he was a private person. But if he couldn't totally control the situation, he didn't want to be involved. That is why he was so uncomfortable on 'This is your Life'. Besides, he wanted to be remembered for his best work, and he was a little uncomfortable after the stroke - he didn't want to disappoint people.
just wondering if your dad wanted you to be in show business (a big time name),the way Groucho had hoped his daughter Melinda would be.
PS- I'm from and live in Hal Roach's home town (Elmira NY.) and had been very fortunate to have gotton to known him to some extent when he was in his 90's and started a series of home town visits. Hal was buried here in 1992
I was never that interested in acting. Dad didn't discourage it, and I did work in SWISS MISS. But I was not that interested in a film career. Dad told me the stage was the place to start, but I just didn't ever have 'the calling'. I did take some acting lessons with a teacher named Florence Enright, but I was bored silly doing it!
During W.W. II how many USO tours/shows did Stan and Ollie participate in? Also, a recent L&H book told me that Hal Roach had a radio station on the grounds of the studio. If the boys did any radio shows, did they do them in the station? If so, are there any copies of these shows that you can purchase?
Too numerous to mention. They went to Riverside Camp Pendleton, all over the Carribean Sea Tour, too many to say. And Dad used to have open house for the young boys on Sundays. He felt sorry -- I mean they were soldiers, but they were just kids to him, so he would open up our home to them, to make them feel welcome and appreciated. As for the radio station, I was too young to remember much about this. I don't think anything on the station was recorded and saved.
Were any of the family pets in any of the L&H films?
Good question! But the answer is no. There were, however, some publicity photos showing my father and Babe -- in costume -- with our Saint Bernard dog, named 'Lady.' This was not the same dog they used in SWISS MISS.
I was told by Rudy Schafer, son of the manager of Thelma Todd's sidewalk cafe, that Laurel and Hardy went there regularly. Can you tell me about this, or about Laurel and Hardy's association with Thelma Todd, one of their coworkers on the Roach lot? I write for Thelma Todd magazine and also on the internet.
Thank you very much.
They went to the Thelma Todd's sidewalk cafe, but not regularly. They did make a point of going to the opening, but Thelma Todd's place was so far out, they did not visit often. Anyhow they were not party people, as Thelma was. Neither my father nor Babe frequented clubs or Hollywood parties; they were too busy, and preferred their different hobbies. Certainly they were fond of Thelma Todd, as was everyone at the studio. She was an exceptionally nice person.
Laurel and Heartily Yours for now!
I have a few questions, hope that's all right.
1. Are there any other living relatives of your father and/or Babe?
2. What vocal range was your father? (ie tenor or bass)
3. Could your Uncle Babe play guitar?
That is all the questions I have for you, though it wouldn't be too off to say I'll think of more!
Thank you ever so much,
1. My cousin, Nancy Wardell, lives in Dewsbury, England. Other more distant cousins live in Yorkshire. There are no close relatives of Babe's still living.
2. Don't know, for sure, so can't say.
3. Not to my knowledge, but he did strum my father's ukelele.
did stan and ollie ever talk about the time they met sir norman wisdom in england? i recently spoke to norman on the isle of man where we both live and he spoke very fondly of his pals stan and ollie. hope to hear from you.
Oh, sure, they urged him to get an agent, because at that time he didn't have one, Norman was a friend of my late husband Tony Hawes.