Monday 6 September 2010

Rare photographs of comedian Stan Laurel are auctioned

Rare photographs of comedian Stan Laurel are auctioned

I make no secret of my love for the films of Laurel & Hardy, so it was with great interest that I read about this discovery of some very early photographs of Stan Laurel (some of which can be seen here).

A few are very much in the vein of private family photographs, with some even showing him as a young boy playing and acting with his siblings, when he was still just little Arthur Stanley Jefferson. (He would later go on to be billed as "Stan Jefferson" when touring with Fred Karno's outfit in 1910s America but, a very superstitious man, he disliked the fact that it was 13 letters in length. It was his first wife, Mae Dahlberg, who suggested the name "Laurel", having seen a picture of Caesar wearing a laurel wreath).

Stan's parents were well known in local showbiz circles, with his father running a number of theatres and his mother performing in variety acts, so it should come as no surprise to see him catch the acting bug so early. And generations of comedy fans worldwide are glad he did!

Other photos in this collection include impromptu photos of Stan and Oliver Hardy clowning about on set and in publicity shots, many of which have never been seen before. This fact and the continued appreciation of their work by people the world over should ensure that these photographs fetch a tidy sum and end up in the hands of an appreciative collector who will preserve them for years to come.

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