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DEAN MCKEOWN

To contact Dean click below:

 

Hi there, youíd think writing something about yourself would be an easy feat but its not and there is nothing more daunting than a blank piece of paper or in this case a blank word file!

 

It would perhaps be logical to start at the beginning as the beginning is were most people start but being a Nutter Iíd prefer to start at the end. 

 

THE END

 

Dean McKeown, May 2008

 

 

 

 

Ok so I didnít get away with that.  Last month (April 2008) I had a brainwave one so spectacularly brilliant I had to follow through with it, it simply could not fail!  It did. However luckily for me the three hours waiting in the Accident and Emergency Department wasnít time wasted, it got me thinking of conversations Iíve had with my fellow Nutters about the possibility of a web site dedicated to The Nutty Nut News Network.  You see in 2005 The Nutty Nut News Network Show was resurrected when the 1986 Valley Forge Convention audio was remastered by Mike David and posted on The Laurel and Hardy Forum. 

 

Since its emergence on the scene The Laurel and Hardy Forum has grown into an untameable monster that contains masses of information on anything and everything to do with Laurel and Hardy, I was lucky enough to be on the staff team as a Global Moderator and together with the admins and the dedicated members we proudly watched and helped the forum expand beyond all possible dreams.  The forum kept me busier than a one legged Riverdancer and in April of 2008 I parted ways with the it and found myself with the time needed to help my fellow Nutters launch a dedicated Nutty Nut News Network website to help give the Networks material the exposure it deserves as it was easily lost amongst the forums ever expanding database.  And so we are proud to launch www.nuttynutnewsnetwork.co.uk and Iíd like to add that you never really learn to swear until you learn to create a web site!

Me in April 2008 with Scottish screen and stage legend Gerard Kelly at an award dinner in his honour.

 

Ever since I can remember I have been a fan of Laurel and Hardy.  Now anyone who knows me will argue that I can barely remember last week as I had amnesia onceÖ..or was it twice?  But as I see it a bad memory usually means you always have a clear conscience.  Regardless of this I know my first memory is of watching Laurel and Hardy in Swiss Miss, the scene being the rope bridge piano delivery one and I think I must have been around three or four at the time as I hadnít yet started school.  This was back in the day when the BBC regularly screened Laurel and Hardy films in the mornings and I felt so lucky that my parents were wise enough to invest in a video recorder as this was the early 1980s and video recorders were the latest technology and quite expensive.  Now of course videos are rarely used and we can all carry films around with us on IPODís.  I just thank my lucky stars that from that early age I was exposed to Stan and Ollie and as I grew my love for The Boys grew as well. 

Backstage after the Tom McGrath play in Edinburgh in 2006

 

In the early nineties I became a member of the Bonnie Scotland Tent but was only in my early teens and so could not travel to meetings.  I then directly subscribed to Willie McIntyreís Bowler Dessert making me a member of The Call of the Cuckoos Tent which I am still a member of today.

The Three Wise Men (Larry, Curly and Moe) at the Panopticon.

 

 

If you now fast forward to 2005 I was asked by Ross Owen to be his Vice Sheik when he formed Oasis 250, the Fra Diavolo Tent of North Lanarkshire where I served for one year and then was let off for good behaviour.  It was around this time my own personal Laurel and Hardy collection went from consisting of some DVDís and pictures to filling a room with everything you can possibly imagine.  Autographs, letters, movie posters, artwork, all types of figures and ornaments, a projector and nine foot screen and as many Laurel and Hardy books as I could find.  Basically anything I see relating to Laurel and Hardy I usually buy.  It is now at the stage where items I find myself buying are rarer and more expensive.  Many people see my collection and question my sanity but my sanity and lack thereof has never been in doubt.

Yes the rumours are true, I can read.  This is me at the Fra Diavolo Tents first meeting.  The stag in the background was doing 90 miles an hour when it went through that wall.

 

For the past two years I have attended regular meetings of the Call of the Cuckoos Tent in the Panopticon in Glasgow where Willie McIntyre shows Laurel and Hardy films on a big screen to a full house made up of people off the street and fellow Sons, sometimes we even untie the people off the street and let them leave!  Seriously these monthly meetings prove to be the highlight of my month.  You are always guaranteed a warm, friendly atmosphere which does help in winter when the buildings temperature is so low they open up an ice box to give us all a heat!

Presenting John Bogie with his Laurel and Hardy Forum Quiz Champion 2008 certificate (April 2008)

 

If youíve read this far then I salute you and sympathise with you since your TV is probably broken or you have insomnia I can think of no other reasons why you just read my profile.  I hope that everyone from fellow Sonís to ordinary (if thatís the correct word) Laurel and Hardy fans find something to entertain them on The Nutty Nut News Network site.  Donít forget you can get involved by submitting your own audio files or news items, this site should be used as a resource for Tents around the world to share information as keeping people informed was the main reason Guido Cipriani founded the Network.

 

Hope everyone has fun here with Stan and Ollie and my fellow Sons and Nutters.

Dean McKeown, May 2008

 

THE END (for real this time)

To contact Dean click below:

The Charlie Hall Picture Archive is a unique book for all fans of Charlie Hall and Laurel and Hardy. The book features over two hundred and ten images, many of which have never been published and has sections covering Charlie Hall, his family and the places they visited, his cars, the studio set up in Hollywood (with a section dedicated to Hal Roach) and the stars of the time (including Mary Pickford and Mabel Normand). There are numerous mini biographies of Charlie's co-stars and the book closes with a sixty five page chapter relating to Charlie Hall's film stills with in depth synopsis of some of his films. Where possible Charlie's own words have been used.

The book is slightly smaller than A4, has 178 pages in total and close to 17,000 words. The book was written by Dean McKeown and edited by Maria Cairney, the foreword was written by Willie McIntyre.

Contents

Foreword xi

1. Introduction page 1

2. Charlie Hall page 4

3. Meet The Family page 15

4. A Man And His Cars page 37

5. Out On Location page 44

6. Studios And Stars page 71

7. Charlieís Film Stills page 95

8. Filmography page 161

9. Appendix page 165



The Charlie Hall Picture Archive 2009 © Dean McKeown. All rights reserved
www.charliehallpicturearchive.co.uk

Book cover designed by Dean McKeown

No part of The Charlie Hall Picture Archive book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from Dean McKeown.
 


 

Dean, your book is really smashing! A must have for everyone interested in Laurel and Hardy Land! The pictures are all stunning and fascinating, it's hard to put this book down. A job more than well done. Bravo!

Lois Laurel-Hawes

I don't think I am overstating the case when I say that this is one of the most exciting books ever to have been written by a Son of the Desert. There has never been anything quite like this before! Very skilfully compiled by Dean McKeown, it takes you right into Charlie's personal life and work in a way which leaves you feeling you have finally got to know that little chap from Birmingham.

Willie McIntyre, author of The Laurel and Hardy Digest and Bowler Dessert Magazine.

Dean McKeown's "The Charlie Hall Picture Archive" is a well written visual masterpiece. I can't imagine any admirer of Laurel and Hardy being without this work....The book makes the reader feel close to Charlie's career and illustrates the expression "pictures are worth a thousand words."

Part of Roger Gordon's excellent review in the Intra-Tent Journal, issue 133, Summer 2009.

'Laurel and Hardy fans will devour and enjoy The Charlie Hall Picture Archive. It is the next best thing to having known the diminutive chap from Birmingham, England, the one who advertised himself in casting directories as "(Little) Charles Hall." He did so in order to distinguish himself from the similarly British-born art director and production designer Charles D Hall. Evidently the two men were even born the same year.

Besides the illustrations in Dean McKeown's book, and Charlie Hall's own captions for them, I enjoyed the text. I learned some things I did not know, giving a better sense of who this man really was.

And right when so many of us believe there are no more Laurel and Hardy still photos yet to be unearthed, more surface. It seems there are always more to discover - a good thing!'

Richard Bann on the Official Laurel and Hardy Website.

Thank you very much for dedicating all this time and energy in one of the most popular colleagues of the Boys.

Peter van Rooij

This is a lovely book, well presented and beautiful photographs of Charlie and his family, as you go through this book, you get to feel the love and hard work that went into producing this wonderful 'Diary' of Charlie's life, because that's what it's like, a Diary in Charlie's own words ! Also, the research that Dean has put into this work, (for example) finding a copy of the passenger manifest going through Ellis Island ! Couldn't have been easy! All these little extras help to form a wonderful compilation of Charlie's early life in America, and becoming a great 'Foil' for the 'Boys'. Thank you Dean, We are Indebted to you for this long overdue account of one of the great co-stars of L. & H.

John Bogie

Many thanks for letting us share a truly remarkable piece of history- and a thoroughly good read.

Bill Crouch

Despite a list of acting credits as long as your arm, Charlie Hall is not a name that is instantly recognisable to any but the most ardent classic film fans. Born in Birmingham, England in 1899, Hall emigrated to America in his twentieth year. As a trained carpenter he found work behind the scene in New York film studios before eventually finding himself in front of the camera. Today he is best remembered for his appearances as a foil to the ever popular Laurel and Hardy during their heyday at the Hal Roach film studios in the 1930s.

It is to Laurel and Hardy fan Dean McKeownís credit that, when he purchased a batch of photographs from the person collection of 1930s character actor and comedian Charlie Hall, he felt no desire to horde historic artefacts to himself. Instead he immediately set to work assembling this book as a means of sharing the images with interested parties world wide. Hundreds of photos are presented uncropped in this 170-page, large format soft-back book and are given context by Deanís well researched text.

Beyond simply collecting film stills (although there are many fine examples of these), The Charlie Hall Picture Archive delves into the actors personal snaps. Many of the photographs were taken during a visit from his mother, who still lived in England. Mother Hall was given a full tour of her sonís new home and fans of classic Hollywood film making are bound to pleased with the visual record of the city that has been preserved in these informal snaps. The fact that Hall kept such a detailed record of her visit perhaps hints to the fact that he regretted not seeing her more during his adult life and the book is all the more worthwhile for this kind of insight.

Andrew Smith

I must say The Charlie Hall Picture Archive is very professionally put together. The photos are astounding, especially those of Charlie by his dressing room, in Stan's garden and so many others - and to see his comments in his own writing - stunning. It is a remarkable and attractive book. What a treasure of information this book is. I always wondered about co-stars like Charlie and what their lives were like and you have created the definitive source for just that. You really put your heart and soul into this.

Mike David

WOW, let's have a book like yours about every Laurel and Hardy co-star!!! Congratulations, I haven't read it completely yet but of course I've seen every single page and photo! The photo on page 135 is from the 1933 short comedy 'In the Dough' with Dougie Wakefield and Billy Nelson. The photo on page 145 is from the 1932 short 'The Soilers' directed by George Marshall.


Harry Hoppe