The Making of Stan Laurel

Echoes of a British Boyhood


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SKU: 9780786463121 Categories: ,

About the Book

As an adult, Stan Laurel (1890–1965) lived in the United States. As a boy, he lived in north-east England, the son of a prominent local theatrical figure. This ground-breaking biography examines Laurel’s family background, his formative years and his struggle to establish a show business career. Stan retained the emotional bonds forged in his youth throughout his life and visited his boyhood homes during his UK tours with Oliver Hardy.
Describing Stan Laurel’s key roles in making his films with his partner Oliver Hardy so successful internationally, the book analyzes how Stan’s boyhood experiences are often echoed in those films. It also notes his influence on successive generations of comic actors who, to this day, still pay fulsome tribute to him. Included is a selection of photographs relevant to Laurel’s boyhood, some related to themes in the Laurel and Hardy comedies.

About the Author(s)

Danny Lawrence is a retired sociologist from the University of Nottingham in England. He was born and raised a few hundred yards from Stan’s North Shields’ home. Visit his website at

Bibliographic Details

Danny Lawrence
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: 36 photos, 2 maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6312-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8515-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      7

1. The Jeffersons      13
2. Stan’s Theatrical Inheritance      24
3. Family Life in North Shields      43
4. Boyhood Years      50
5. From Theatrical Obscurity to Film Stardom      68
6. Echoes of a North Shields Boyhood      100
7. Lifetime Links with North Shields      132
8. Returns to the “Old Town”      144

Epilogue      175
Appendix: Theaters Played During the UK Tours      177
Chapter Notes      179
Bibliography      191
Index      195

Book Reviews & Awards

“Painstakingly-researched”—North East Life.