Georgia-born Oliver Hardy first considered acting while running the town’s movie theatre. Dismayed by the acting on the screen, Hardy decided he couldn’t be any worse than those people! His first stop was Jacksonville, Florida – at that time a filmmaking capitol. Hardy moonlighted as a cabaret singer while breaking into the movies. In his first three years he would make over 100 films.
In his long solo film career before teaming with Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy frequently found himself paired off with a little fellow. As early as 1915, Hardy starred with Billy Ruge in the Vim Comedies “Plump and Runt” series. In 1925 Hardy was teamed with tiny comedian Bobby Ray in a series of pictures that held eerie resemblance to his later work with Laurel.
In 1926, Hardy joined the Hal Roach Studios, and appeared alongside popular stars Charlie Chase, Mabel Normand, and Our Gang. He fit perfectly in his new surrounding, and was soon in demand with every comedy unit on the lot. Soon Oliver Hardy was paired with Stan Laurel, forming one of screen comedy’s most beloved teams.