Thursday, June 16, 2011


Today, "Bloomsday" in the literary universe, is my brother Andrew's birthday here in the Trueniverse. I would happily embarrass him by proclaiming how old he is, were it not for the fact that I am twelve years his senior.

So in honor of my youngest brother, today's ASOTV Showcase features one of the greatest celebrities to share his birthday.....



Jim Norton

The one-hour teleplay, based on a radio drama, was about Stan's visit to "Babe" one last time after he suffered a massive stroke, with flashbacks to their past together.  (Not mentioned was the involvement of a certain Time Lord in one of their movies.)

From Wikipedia:
Arthur Stanley "Stan" Jefferson (16 June 1890 – 23 February 1965), better known as Stan Laurel, was an English comic actor, writer and film director, famous as the first half of the comedy team Laurel and Hardy. His film acting career stretched between 1917 and 1951 and included a starring role in the Academy Award winning film The Music Box (1932). In 1961, Laurel was given a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award for his pioneering work in comedy. He has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
In May 1954, Oliver Hardy had a heart attack and canceled the tour [of Europe]. In 1955, they were planning to do a television series, 'Laurel and Hardy's Fabulous Fables', based on children's stories, but the plans were delayed after Laurel suffered a stroke, from which he recovered. But as he was planning to get back to work, Oliver Hardy had a massive stroke on 15 September 1956.  Paralyzed and bedridden for several months, Hardy was unable to speak or move.

On 7 August 1957, Oliver Hardy died. Laurel did not attend his funeral, stating "Babe would understand". People who knew Laurel said he was absolutely devastated by Hardy's death and never fully recovered for the rest of his life.

In 1961, Stan Laurel was given a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award for his pioneering work in comedy. He had achieved his lifelong dream as a comedian and had been involved in nearly 190 films. He lived his final years in a small apartment in the Oceana Hotel in Santa Monica, California.

Always gracious to fans, he spent much time answering fan mail. His phone number was listed in the telephone directory, and fans were amazed that they could dial the number and speak to Stan Laurel. Dick Van Dyke told a similar story: When Van Dyke was just starting his career, he looked up Laurel's phone number, called him, and then visited him at his home.
Laurel was a heavy smoker until suddenly giving up when he was about seventy years of age. He died on 23 February 1965, aged 74, several days after suffering a heart attack. Just minutes away from death, Laurel told his nurse he would not mind going skiing right at that very moment. Somewhat taken aback, the nurse replied that she was not aware that he was a skier. "I'm not," said Laurel, "I'd rather be doing that than this!" A few minutes later the nurse looked in on him again and found that he had died quietly.

"If anyone cries at my funeral, I will never speak to him again."
Stan Laurel

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