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LOIS LAUREL HAWES
It is with great sadness that we report the news of the passing
of Lois Laurel Hawes.
Over the years Lois worked hard to protect and preserve the
memory and work of Laurel and Hardy, making herself available to
fans and groups around the world. Lois was a friend to thousands
but more importantly she was a mother, a grand mother and a
great grandmother; while we all share in this loss our thoughts
are with her family at this difficult time.
Tyler St Mark who is in direct touch
with the family released this statement on their behalf:
It is with great sadness the family of Lois Laurel Hawes
announces that she passed away at 11:42 today [28th July] at
Holy Cross Hospital in Granada Hills, CA.
Our most beloved "GG" went peacefully and smiling with family at
her side after a lengthy illness.
Lois, who would have turned 90 in December, was the only
daughter of comedy legend, Stan Laurel, and was previously
married to film actor Rand Brooks and writer/actor, Tony Hawes.
Lois was born in Beverly Hills in 1927 and, like her celebrated
father, enjoyed boating and fishing. As a child, she frequently
visited the film sets of her father and his comedy partner,
"Uncle Babe" Hardy, and dedicated much of her spare time after
their passing to preserving their comedy legacy. She was often
an honored guest at the numerous celebrations by the Sons of the
Deserts, a worldwide club dedicated to the memory of Laurel &
Additionally, with her husband, Rand, Lois co-founded a private
ambulance company in Glendale, California, which served the
community for two decades.
In her last years, Lois lived happily with her adoring grand
daughter, Cassidy, and great-grandchildren, Tommy and Lucy,
greatly relishing in their numerous scholastic and artistic
She is survived by a large family, among them a daughter, five
grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
Arrangements for a Celebration of Life are pending and will
occur on the occasion of her upcoming birthday in December.
Laurel Hawes: A Personal Reflection
by Dean McKeown
One evening in 2006 I was sitting busying myself with nothing of
any importance, here in Scotland we call it 'doing hee-haw',
when the telephone rang upon answering I was greeted by Lois
Laurel Hawes. I had written Lois a letter and sent her a theatre
program and she was calling to thank me. Initially I admit
to being 'star-struck' but within minutes Lois and I were
chatting like we'd known each other for years. Over the next
several years we spoke hundreds of times and in 2010 I was lucky
enough to meet her in person at the Culver Hotel in Culver City
a few minutes walk from the site where her father and uncle Babe
made their most popular films.
Getting a call from or making a call to Lois was an absolute
delight but the topic of conversation was, at times, very
unpredictable! We didn't always speak about Stan, Ollie,
Charlie Hall or James Finlayson in fact most conversations
quickly went off on a tangent that would mostly result in lots
of laughter and by the end of the call we'd have forgotten what
we started talking about or indeed why we even called. The truth
is you don't need a reason to pick up a phone and speak to
someone and it is maybe something we should all remember because
no one knows what tomorrow will bring.
We talked about various things from 'quackless' ducks which I
said I had never heard of and Lois said 'That's because they
don't make a noise!' to a money tree that Stan made for her, he
hung dollar bills to the branches of a tree in the garden, he
done this a short while after telling her 'money doesn't
grow on trees' as most parents say to a child at some
point. She told me how she treated Wilda Hall in a nursing
home without realising at the time that it was the same Wilda
Hall she had previously known in the 1930s when Charlie Hall
visited. Lois spoke extensively about her family as most people
do, she was proud of them all and frequently mentioned Cassidy
and her great grand children. Lois told me how Stan was
colour-blind and how she had to tell him that his bright yellow
coloured stationary was outlandish and so he changed to the blue
paper with the navy blue border. I put Ken Dodd in touch
with her after he unveiled the statue of Stan and Ollie in
Ulverston and she excitedly called me afterwards to give me a
full run down of what he said. She had previously met Ken when
she and Tony went backstage at one of his shows and found him in
his dressing room watching Laurel and Hardy, she was surprised
and touched by this as he didn't know they were coming.
Sometimes it was the little one liners that raised the biggest
laugh, we were talking once in 2009 about her late husband Tony
Hawes and Larry Grayson and their work on the Generation Game
and I mentioned previous host Bruce Forsyth and what he was
doing now on TV, there was a long pause and Lois said 'Is he
still alive?' I replied 'Well I hope so I seen him dancing on
BBC1 last week! In fact I think he's a bit younger than you' in
a heart beat Lois quipped 'He must be really
The one conversation that will forever stick in my mind most
vividly came shortly before midnight one Sunday after I had just
done a thirteen hour shift at work, I arrived home at around
11pm and was sitting in the living room in silence feeling
totally exhausted when the phone rang. At this time of night
when a phone rings your heart usually ends up in your mouth as
you think something is wrong but within seconds of answering I
could tell from her voice that Lois had something hilarious to
tell me. Earlier that day she and Cassidy were googling the name
'Lois Laurel' to see what was on the internet about her. They
discovered another person who was using the name and this other
person happened to be an 'adult' entertainment star. For the
next ten minutes in between various fits of giggles Lois told me
about this woman and the contents of her website and encouraged
me to google her (which I should add I never did do). It was the
most surreal conversation I have had with anyone let alone
someone only four years younger than my own grandmother but it
lifted my spirits that night and does show how laughter and
friendship has no barriers.
It wasn't always laughter and frivolity, Lois had a serious side
and quite rightly would express opinions about a book, author,
play, personality or TV production related to Laurel and Hardy.
I never heard her being rude or disrespectful but when she seen
something she didn't agree with she, more than anyone, had a
right to express her opinion. Lois dedicated a large part of her
life to preserving and promoting the work and legacy of her
father and uncle Babe. She kept abreast of new technologies and
the way in which Laurel and Hardy was reaching their many fans,
old and new. She was very supportive of and involved with the
Sons of the Desert.
Lois was supportive and complimentary of The Nutty Nut News
Network and was always at the end of the line if I had to ask
about an image or news story, she spoke frequently about our own
Steve Wichrowski, Jr. She was delighted with my efforts with The
Charlie Hall Picture Archive. She gave me so much advice prior
to our visit to America in 2010 of places to visit and how to
get around the city of Los Angles. When Maria and I were engaged
she insisted I send images of the engagement ring and it was one
of the first things she wanted to see when we met in 2010.
Lois leaves the world a far richer place just for her having
been here and touching the lives of so many people. Often words
cannot express how you feel when you experience loss but
laughter can lift your spirits from bereavement and Lois left us
with a lot of laughter, love and happy memories. She will be
missed, I will always remember her and smile. Rest in
Tony and Lois Laurel Hawes
discuss L&H on TV, colourization and the police car from “Midnight
Patrol”; Brief remarks from Big Business Tent; David Oyston of the UK’s County Hospital Tent and
Graham McKenna’s of the Laughing Gravy Tent comment on the convention.
EDINBURGH FRINGE 2017
Hats Off to
Laurel and Hardy by Lucky Dog Theatre Productions.
Hotel from 11.00 to 12.00 cost £10.00/£8.00.
SATURDAY May 18th 11.00 A.M. : Doors open / registration &
Goodie bags - Hello’s at the bar (bar talks)! 12.30 P.M. :
Opening with Cocktail & Toast. 1.00 P.M.: Short movie. 1.30
P.M.: “Bar Talks”
2.00 P.M. : The weakest Link “part 1”. 2. 30 P.M. : short
movie. 3.00 P.M. : A tribute to Bill Cubin. 3.25 P.M.: Bar
Talks. 3.50 P.M. : The Weakest link “part 2”. 4.20 P.M. : One
Good Turn Deserves Another Award.. 4.40 P.M. : Wrong Again
“What went wrong movie show”. 5.00 P.M. : Bar Talks. 5:30
P.M.: Parade “towards Restaurant de watertuinen ± 10 minutes
walk”. 6:00 P.M.: Diner at the Watertuinen “here you can choose
from a lots of varieties of dishes, from Sushi, Pizza’s Steaks,
Fish, dishes from the far east , salads etc deserts, etc all you
can eat, drinks are free (beers, special beers, red or white
wine, soda’s and water). 8.15 P.M.: Return to the Kroon for
evening program, those who need to chance for the evening
program get a chance to do so at their hotel or venue. 9:15
P.M.: Short entertainment movie. 10:00P.M. : Sons entertainment
“we invite you to be part of the evening program and entertain
the Sons , we will do our best to do ! So please do too ! Be the
stand-up comedian, the musician, singer, magician, clown ,
imitator etc. Be part of the show! MIDNIGHT: Bar talks till
late, but remember the next day you have to be fit for the
SUNDAY May 19th 11:00 A.M. : Put on your lederhosen or Dirndl as
we start the Laurel & Hardy Olympics at the city park Kijk in de
Pot. We’ll pick you up at the hotel and bring you to the park (±
5 minutes walk). After this warming up it’s time to show us your
Swiss Athletics Skills! 12:30 P.M. : A 5 minutes walk brings us
back to the Kroon where we will have a lunch, Swiss Style, with
music from the Alps! 1:30 P.M. : Short movie. 2:00 P.M. : Bar
Talks. 2:30 P.M. : Hey Rosie! Warming up for Swiss Miss with
Schulplatter, Music and more! 3:30 P.M.: Swiss Miss. 5:00
P.M.: Start Swiss Style BBQ. 7:30 P.M.: Act. 8:30 P.M.:
Raffle, announcing winner L&H Olympics 2018. 9.15 P.M. : Bar
talks. 9:45 P.M.: Sing-a-Longs and acts. 10:30 P.M.: “TBA”.
11:45 P.M.: Goodbye’s but bar stays open for bar talks!
NOTE: Both days :
During bar talks there is a special film show edited by Graham
and Memorabilia sale! Those who like to sell can sign up for a
table (for free). Total price of
two days event excl hotel : € 130.
Hotel price ± 50-60 Euros p.p. (5 minutes walk to venue).
Payments can be made by Pay Pal or Bank. We will book your hotel
room, Just what you’ve got to do is send us an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
and we’ll get in touch with you for arrangements.
for further information
Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies
An important announcement to Laurel and Hardy admirers in the
UK! Until now, it has been difficult to get copies of my book,
“Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies” to you from the
USA, as the postage cost was around $75.00 USD per book, almost
as much as the book itself. Happily, you may now order the book
from Amazon UK, and the postage will cost only about £5.23, or
about 6.98 in USD. (The postage to Ireland is now about 18
Euros, previously 80!)
With this massive reduction of postage costs, I hope you might
consider purchasing a copy. Yes, it still costs a considerable
sum, but it is beautifully crafted in every way. I’m happy to
say that it has gotten many rave reviews. It is greatly revised
and expanded from the original book of 30 years ago, with double
the text, four times as many rare and previously unpublished
photos, and a wealth of new information. There are only a few
hundred copies left of the hardcover, and there will not be a
second printing. Here’s where you can order it:
You may not of heard that the UK Laurel and Hardy Convention in
2018 will be
hosted by the Saps At Sea (Oh no, not them again!). It will be
Norwich in Norfolk. It will be limited to 140 and we now have
over 60 people
who have booked in just over three weeks. All single rooms are
taken but we
do have twin and double rooms available.
Norwich is easy to get by train and there is an airport there
from some European destinations, including Amsterdam.
I have attached booking form and information, but if you would
like to have
further information please contact me. Please also pass on to
anyone that I
may have not included in the e-mail. I will be Ghent in August.
The cost is £249 if paid in full in November else £255. Details
and booking form can be found at
Laurel & Hardy: Spot
(Book & CD)
by Michael Ehret
An Audiovisual Account of Laurel and
Hardy's 1952 British Tour with CD containing a complete recording of
their sketch 'On The Spot'!
To All Laurel & Hardy Fans: Spot This!
Filled with many rare and previously unpublished full-page
photographs, Spot On! recounts Laurel and Hardy’s 1952 British stage
tour step by step using original letters, photographs, press
releases, and much, much more.
Featuring new essays written by
well-known Laurel and Hardy scholars and collectors.
Furthermore, this book reproduces, for
the very first time, all surviving script versions of their 1952
stage sketch On the Spot, including extracts from Oliver Hardy’s own
copies. These allow the reader to discover the many changes Stan
Laurel made in the course of the tour.
The icing on the cake is the world
premiere of the only known audio recording of Laurel and Hardy
performing On the Spot live, illustrated with pictures showing the
boys onstage and backstage! Needless to say that this book fills an
important gap in Laurel and Hardy history.
The book has been written, the recording
has been restored. For more information please
The BBC is to make a new film drama about
comedy legends Laurel and Hardy.
The biopic will be written by Jeff Pope, who created the TV dramas
Mrs Biggs and Appropriate Adult and co-wrote Philomena. Stan
and Ollie will chronicle the pair's 1953 tour of Britain.
Casting details, a filming schedule and a date for the film's
transmission have yet to be announced.
To read the full story
UPDATE FROM BOWLER DESSERT ONLINE
Laurel and Hardy movie to hit screens in 2018
'Inspired by actual events, Stan and Ollie is billed as an
emotional tribute to two of the funniest men in movie history,'
read a statement from Larry Harmon Pictures. Larry Harmon
Pictures has licensed the Laurel and Hardy feature film rights
to Faye Warde's Fable Pictures, Jeff Pope's Sonesta Films and
Together the trio will be producing a Stan and Ollie original
movie, based on one of the world's most loved comedy duos. The
film is slated to begin production in March this year in the UK
with an international release slated for early 2018.
Robert Hutchins (17.01.17.), Licensing.biz website
The following is a
message from Gino Dercola:
The World of
Laurel and Hardy
Around 2005, I began to send out periodic emails to Sons about
items regarding Laurel and Hardy that I thought might be of
interest to Sons. I slowly began to accumulate many names of
Sons who requested being on my L&H mailing list. On May 1,
2009, I began to send out almost-daily (weekdays) emails
regarding L&H information. I eventually labelled my group THE
WORLD OF LAUREL AND HARDY—I thought that name was so
appropriate, since I was finding SO many facts and things of
interest all over the world about L&H. Between that date and
now, I have sent out over 3100 emails to my group—I’m sure that
after these emails got to the “regular” members and they passed
it around, each of these emails get seen by probably several
hundred Sons. One of the most rewarding things I have
experienced while sending out these emails are the many thank-you’s
I got from Sons, and in doing that, I made MANY new friends in
the Sons of the Desert. For those of you who stayed in touch
with me, you have my greatest appreciation.
Now, I have decided to stop sending out my L&H emails on my “The
World of Laurel and Hardy” site. My last emails will be on
January 31st of this month. I hope to stay in touch with many
Sons in the future and I look forward to you emailing me with a
HELLO once in a while.
Any Old Port Tent– Oasis 212
Being a recipient of Gino's informative and entertaining emails,
some of which found their way onto The Nutty Nut News Network's
pages, I for one will miss them and would like to thank Gino for
all his hard work, friendship and dedication to Laurel and Hardy
and the Sons of the Desert. I am sure we all wish him well
in his future endeavours.
Irv Hyatt writes 'Thanks Nutty Nut News
Network for all of your past support. This follow-up to the "Laurel
and Hardy: The Lobby Cards" color book has just come out today. "Hal
Roach's Rascals: The Our Gang Comedies" contains lobby cards,
posters, trade ads and much more color material from this classic
series from the Hal Roach Studios.'
for further information on all of Irv's
For full information
Rick Helley a regular and
much valued contributor on The Nutty Nut News
Networks Facebook page shared the above and below
images. Rick adds that the above is a 'Vintage 1962
postcard from the Movieland Wax Museum in Buena
Park, California. Opened in 1962, the Museum closed
in 2005.' In response Randy Skretvedt stated 'I
believe the L&H figures are in another wax museum,
owned by the last folks who owned Movieland, on Pier
39 in San Francisco.' René Riva and Philip
Hutchinson note that Stan looks more like Ken Dodd
or Joe Pesci!
By Antony Mitchell-Waite, Joanne
This is a chronological scrapbook guide
to the cinema released films made between 1957 and 1974, mainly by
Robert Youngson that brought silent cinema back to the public. It
details worldwide release dates and titles, news cuttings and
reviews and details poster comparisons.
Price: £18.00 (excl. VAT) to order
Copyright: Antony Mitchell-Waite (Standard Copyright Licence)
Publisher: Midnight Patrol Books
Published: 27 June 2016
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior: Ink Black & white
Weight: 1.11 kg
Dimensions (centimetres): 18.9 wide x 24.59 tall
This is a companion piece to our mammoth
book on the cinematic revival of silent comedy between the 1950's
and 1970's, called Stanthology. This contains the best posters
collected for that book and presents them in
Price: £19.99 (excl. VAT) to order
Copyright: Antony Mitchell-Waite (Standard Copyright Licence)
Publisher: Midnight Patrol Books
Published: 27 June 2016
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink: Full colour
Weight: 0.31 kg
Dimensions (centimetres): 18.9 wide x 24.59 tall
The winners of Best Performance at
Birmingham Fest 2015, Lucky Dog Theatre Productions, return this
year with the full length version of "Hats Off To Laurel &
Hardy" at A.E. Harris (Stan's Cafe Theatre) on Sunday 24th July
at 2pm. This fantastic show is the story of the comedy legends
and a must for fans. For further details, dates and venues see:
news has reached us today via Rob Lewis at The Laurel and Hardy
Magazine that Nancy Wardell (Stan's cousin) passed
away peacefully yesterday morning after a short illness.
Robinson from the Saps at Sea Tent adds 'Nancy
Wardell, Stan's second cousin, has died. She was a lovely lady, a
good ambassador for the Sons of the Desert, proud of her family and
administered the Laurel and Hardy Charity Fund and in doing so
raised a lot of money for worthy causes....I am
sure she will be in our thoughts with our toasts to ‘absent friends’
at our Tent meetings and at the International Convention.'
Everyone here at The Nutty Nut News Network would like to extend our
sympathies to the family and friends of this wonderful woman at this
Happy Birthday Stan, born
June 16th, 1890.
Rand Brooks, Jr.
A message from Tracy Tolzmann via Gino Dercola
The internet spreads news so fast! Block-Heads' Grand
Sheik Emeritus Dick Bann forwarded the following message: "From
Rob Word comes sad news that Rand Brooks, Jr., only son of Lois
Laurel and only grandson of Stan Laurel, was killed on his
motorcycle Saturday night by a drunken, hit and run driver, now
apprehended. Condolences to the family. RIP Rand Brooks,
Everyone here at The Nutty Nut News Network would like to pass
on our heartfelt condolences to Lois and her wider family at
this tragic time.
Thanks to Chris
Coffey for forwarding us the above information.
Behind the Movies
by Randy Skretvedt
Author Randy Skretvedt
has been in touch with the following:
Fellow Laurel and Hardy
admirers, I hope you won't mind my indulging in some
shameless self-promotion here. Back in 1987 my book,
"Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies"
was first published. It ran to 464 pages in a 6x9
format. In 1994 and again in 1996 we brought out a
second edition, with 32 more pages.
Now, an almost entirely revised and greatly expanded
edition is about to be published. The new version is
8.5x11, 632 pages, has twice the text and four times
as many photographs as the original edition -- over
1,000. There are more quotes from producer Hal
Roach, directors George Marshall and George Stevens,
actresses Anita Garvin and Dorothy Granger, musical
director Marvin Hatley, special effects expert Roy
Seawright, film editors Richard Currier and Bert
Jordan, and many more of the team's associates --
more than 60 in all. Excerpts from original scripts
provide hilarious scenes which were never included
in the films. The photographs show the team at work
on the set and on location with the crew, and also
provide a glimpse into scenes which were filmed but
not released. More information about the book can be
found here. It has been beautifully designed and I
know you will be delighted with it.
for ordering details.
Please know that you are not making a donation – you
will get a book and other extras in return, you’re
just paying for the book before it is published. (If
the video starts playing, click on the "KS" logo at
the bottom right corner of the screen.)
To listen to Randy's
1989 interview for the Nutty Nut News Network
in the interview Randy talks with roving reporter Steve Wichrowski. Randy discusses how he worked on his very popular book
"Laurel and Hardy - The Magic Behind the Movies" and reveals the
contents of a letter he received from Exhausted Ruler Jack McCabe.
You can also hear about some of the interviews Randy conducted for
his book including one which he found fascinating and provided much
to hear a
2009 interview with Randy.
This presentation bySteve Wichrowski
is filled with background
information on how Randy interviewed scores of Laurel and Hardy
related celebrities for his very popular book "Laurel and Hardy: The
Magic Behind the Movies".
We hear how he
began doing interviews in the early 1970s and in particular about
his successful encounters with studio boss Hal Roach. Randy also
reveals which celebrity he was the closest to and with whom he
produced a record album. (Randy gives details on how to order a CD
copy of this.) The commentary on the 20th Century Fox DVD release of
"The Big Noise" is discussed and Randy reappraises his evaluation of
This interview is
loaded with behind the scenes information and fascinating details
concerning a number of Laurel and Hardy co-stars, including Bob
Bailey ("Jitterbugs", "The Dancing Masters"). In addition, Randy
tells us how he came to acquire personal snapshots and written
material belonging to Babe Hardy.
And finally, we
hear from Randy about some new projects including an upcoming
revised and expanded version of his book. This 20 minute plus
interview is accompanied with a photo of Randy holding the sizeable
Hardy scrapbook album.
Dale E. Walter
Mike David writes: Dale and Dennis
attended many events and used their talents and charm to bring
enjoyment to so many. We are saddened by Dale's passing and
hope that Dennis will be inspired by his memories of Dale and
continue to perform.
Our sympathies go out to all of Dale's
family and friends.
We report the sad news that child actress
and Our Gang member Jean Darling sadly passed away on September 4th,
2015 after a short illness. Everyone here at The Nutty Nut
News Network would like to pass our condolences to Jean's family and
friends. Rest in Peace.
An interview with Jean Darling (Babe's in Toyland).
In this fascinating interview with Jean Darling she recounts her
interesting and amusing experiences during the filming of the 1928
Our Gang film "Barnum and Ringling, Inc." She also describes antics
on the set of "Babes In Toyland" (1934) including an amicable
disagreement between Stan and Babe concerning her dress. Jean
reveals the cast member on whom she had a crush and fondly remembers
actress Marie Wilson.
Jean Darling holding Steve's tape recorder.
Stan Laurel's Glasgow
Stan at The Clutha
Recently The Clutha bar in Glasgow added an artwork mural on the
outside walls showing the history of the pub including some of
the people who drank and played there. The artwork by
Glasgow-based Art Pistol forms part of the work to re-open the
Clutha following the tragic Police Scotland helicopter crash on
November 29, 2013, that resulted in ten people sadly dying.
Just to the side of the main door our very own Stan Laurel
at The Panopticon
Shortly before last nights meeting of the Call of the Cuckoo
Tent meeting at The Panopticon several of us were invited onto
the newly restored stage. Work was started earlier this
year as part of the ongoing project to preserve and restore the
building to its former glory. Below is The Nutty Nut News
Networks very own Dean McKeown standing on 'Stan's Stage'.
Pictures by Dean
and Maria McKeown, July 1st, 2015.
It is with great sadness and a heavy
heart that we report that Bart Williams has passed away.
Tyler St. Mark writes this beautiful
'It is with profound sadness
that I inform you that our very beloved friend, actor,
filmmaker, and show business colleague, Bart Williams, has
passed away quietly today at his home in Bullhead City, Arizona.
Bart had courageously battled
lung and liver cancer for almost a year and it was his desire to
bid farewell to family and intimate friends without fuss during
these last few weeks and then to make his transition with simple
grace and the utmost dignity. This last role Bart performed as
impeccably as he did with all of his endeavors both in and
outside the entertainment industry.
Bart spent most of his
sixty-six years passionately dedicated to the performing arts;
theatre, radio, film, and television. He was a veteran actor
whose film credits included "The Doomsday Clock," "Short Circuit
2," "Hello Dolly," and "An Enemy of the People." His TV credits
included "MAD-TV," "Weird Science," "Jerry Seinfeld," "Totally
Hidden Video," and "General Hospital."
Bart also appeared in countless
Equity musical productions nationwide; often in major character
roles he performed repeatedly over the years and become
particularly celebrated for such as Cap'n Andy in "Show Boat,"
Major General Stanley in "The Pirates of the Penzance," and The
Wizard in "The Wizard of Oz." The latter would be Bart's final
acting role which he brilliantly performed to stellar reviews
and sold-out audiences at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in St.
Bart also was a successful
writer, director, and producer, having garnered numerous
festival awards recently for his film documentary, "The Last
First Comic," which chronicles the history of burlesque comedy
through the life and career of the only surviving burlesque
As many of you know, Bart's
production accomplishments were only exceeded by his love and
devotion for over a half century to the history of show
business. His vast knowledge of and insights into theatre,
radio, film, television, and the people who personified these
industries was nearly matchless. Among his close friends were
many Hollywood luminaries spanning the last century – too many
to name here.
Most importantly, Bart was an
extraordinary friend; caring, compassionate, considerate,
comical, and more often than not, delightfully naughty. Many of
you have known and loved Bart since his childhood, and that kind
of mileage says much about a person. I adored Bart Williams and
so many of you did too!
At an early age, Bart would
read all about his favorite entertainers and then set out to
meet them. One of them was his childhood idol, Buster Keaton.
Eleanor Keaton, Buster's wife, often told of the day she
answered the door and a young boy of nine or ten was standing
there. "May I help you?"Mrs. Keaton asked. The boy looked at her
nervously for a moment before replying, "Can Buster come out and
play?" That boy was Bart Williams who did indeed, for a time,
became a playmate of The Great Stone Face and, later in life, a
cherished friend and confidant to Buster's widow.
A celebration of the life and
career of "The Wonderful Wizard of Ahhhs" is already in the
planning stage and further information will be posted in the
future on Bart William's Facebook page.
It was Barty's last request
that I advise his cherished friends and colleagues to hold
precious every hour, try something different and daring each
day, and to remember that he will be watching us all from the
Bart was a very special man, Maria and I
spent a day with him and Tyler St. Mark in 2010 and I am still
laughing at the fond memories. He
was so funny, warm and delightful. My heart goes out to his
family and friends. Rest in Peace my
As a present there are reports that the Second reel of
Laurel and Hardy’s The Battle of the Century has been recovered
for further information.
From Soup to Nuts Tent at
1983 Night Owls Picnic
Mike David writes: I recently found
in our Nutty Nut News Network archive a short super 8mm film I made
in 1983 as part of an inter-tent communications project. Several
Sons of the Desert tents around the globe exchanged 8mm films of
their activities. Without the internet as we know it today, this was
the only compatible visual method for us to share.
The film covers our "trip" to the annual
picnic of the Night Owls of the Connecticut Valley and includes rare
appearances on sound film of two Grand Sheiks: Guido Cipriani,
creator of the Nutty Nut News Network, and the popular and renowned
Interspersed among the footage is the
usual "nuttiness" from some of the "lower elements" for which we can
make no excuse.
Our trip and the scenes at the Night
Owls' picnic, which have not been seen in over 30 years, will give
you an idea of what our tents were like back in the day.
It is with great sadness that we report
the passing of Dick Jones who appeared in some of the Our Gang films
at Hal Roach Studios and was well known as the voice of Pinocchio.
Everyone here at The Nutty Nut News Network would like to pass on
our sympathy to Dick's family and friends.
Our Gang star Dick Jones
squeezed in a few minutes to sit down with Mike David and roving
reporter Steve Wichrowski at the recent Williamsburg Film Festival
in March 2009. In this interview you'll hear him talk about a
specific scene in the Our Gang short "The Pigskin Palooka" which was
filmed from September 18 - 25, 1937. He also tells us about going to
school with the other Our Gang members at the Roach Studio.
The timing of this new interview was significant since it occurred
during the week when Walt Disney released the 70th Anniversary DVD
edition of the 1940 classic "Pinocchio", and it was a youthful Dick
Jones who provided the voice for the title character.
NEWS NETWORK EXCLUSIVE
Benedict and Frank Coghlan, Jr
to listen to our very own roving reporter Steve Wichrowski, Jr.
conduct entertaining and informative interviews with Billy Benedict
who appeared with Stan and Ollie in Great Guns and prolific
actor Frank Coghlan, Jr. who starred in some of the early Our Gang
Mike David writes: We recently
found in our archives a two part celebrity audio interview not
available for over 20 years. It involves two character actors from
the classic film era of the '30s and '40s.
The first audio is a brief talk with
William "Billy" Benedict, best remembered for his juvenile roles in
the Little Tough Guys Series and the Bowery Boys films. He also
appeared briefly with the Boys in "Great Guns".
The second interview is an extensive and
fascinating discussion with Frank "Junior Coghlan" who appeared in 3
early Our Gang films. He recounts his appearance in the renowned
"Public Enemy" (1931) as a youthful James Cagney and also recalls
his work with a young Shirley Temple.
Billy is best remembered as Billy Batson
("Shazam!") in "The Adventures of Captain Marvel" (1941) and he
describes one of the scenes from that film.
These exclusive interviews were recorded
by our Roving Reporter Steve Wichrowski, Jr., at the 1990 Way Out
West Annual Banquet in Los Angeles.
Sad news. Diosa Costello who starred as "Conchita"
in 1945s "The Bullfighters" has passed away.
She gave an energetic and humorous audio interview to The Nutty Nut
News Network back in 1992 when she spoke about her dancing in that
film and how she witnessed the working and improvisational methods
used by Stan and Babe.
Costello Interview 1992
Diosa Costello, a Laurel and Hardy
co-star in 1945s "The Bullfighters", gives a lively and humorous audio
interview recorded in 1992 at the Sons 8th International Convention in Las
After talking about how she got her start in show business, Diosa
explains what she witnessed as the working and improvisational methods
used by Stan and Babe during the film's production.
She also discusses the story behind her exaggerated accent and how
she had to be careful with her fiery dance moves.
This is an interesting talk with a fascinating entertainer,
wonderfully conducted by L&H author and Boston Brats Grand Sheik Scott
Another fine mess?
Unravelling Laurel and Hardy's Scottish links
to read an article from the BBC examining Stan and Ollie's Scottish
This project aims to show you the
shooting locations of many of the films on the Hal Roach lot, using
a numbered-labelled grid to correspond with the screenshot. So, if
you have ever wondered which building Stan and Ollie were standing
in front of when they are attacked by Blanche Payson in "Below
Zero", or which street corner Stan paints Dorothy Coburn's bum in
"The Second Hundred Years" - all this and much, much more will all
be revealed. Through over 700 stills from dozens of Roach-produced
films, this two-year project from Jim and Robert will throw up a few
surprises, and maybe just a few familiar-looking buildings?
To take the tour
Stan Laurel's Valet - The
Jimmy Murphy Story
I. Joseph Hyatt has informed us of his
new book "Stan Laurel's Valet - The Jimmy Murphy Story". To
order the book
'Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are classic icons
of film comedy. Jimmy Murphy was Stan Laurel's valet and close
friend. With meticulous research, miles of traveling tour routes and
places from Murphy's childhood and conversations with the man
himself, his life is now finally documented in "Stan Laurel's Valet
- The Jimmy Murphy Story" Having worked for Morton Downey, Tom Mix,
Al Steele (Joan Crawford's husband), Burt Wheeler (of Wheeler and
Woolsey) and Stan Laurel, Jimmy's life reads like a Hollywood
publicity tale. His friends included President Ronald Reagan and
King Edward VIII, and many other politicians, royalty, and stars.
Photos from archives and other private collections, including
Jimmy's own, are used throughout the book. Special attention has
been paid to the two American theater tours of Laurel and Hardy. For
the first time, all the dates and locations visited are complete.
Included are interviews with cast, crewmembers, and Jimmy Murphy
himself, who accompanied the team. Jimmy Murphy considered his
relationship with Stan Laurel as the best time of his life'
Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition
(April 20, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
Interview Ulverston 1984
Here we present a very brief but revealing audio
interview with Jimmy Murphy, Stan Laurel's valet. Jimmy recalls his time
with actress Joan Crawford and reveals the "gift" she received from her
then husband Alfred Steele.
Thanks to Roger Westerbeek for sharing
this wonderful picture of Stan and Eda Laurel.
This rare signed image is currently
for sale at auction in the UK. Estimate £200-£300, why not visit
our Gallery of the month to see a larger version?
Willie McIntyre informs us
that Bill Crouch has been researching Stan Laurel's
early days and has made some intriguing discoveries
Stan Laurel could not have
lived at Craigmillar Road, Glasgow, in 1906 nor in early
No records have survived for 1905-1908 for Stonelaw High
School. There is no record of Stan in the Queens Park
School Term Report Book 1901-1910.
Mystery also surrounds the schooling in Glasgow of
Teddy, Stan's younger brother.
In 1905 the Jeffersons lived at 57 (not 42) Buchanan
185 Stonelaw Road, Rutherglen remains an enigma.
To read the full article
please visit Bowler Dessert Online by clicking below
2012 SONS OF THE
With over thirty images
to read Mike David's memories
and experiences of the recent
Sons of the Desert International Convention.
Oliver Hardy Festival
Dennis Moriarty and Mike David
(wearing a tie and behaving, which is rare!)
The Nutty Nut News Networks very own
Mike David writes: I had a wonderful talk with Dennis Moriarty at
the recent international convention. Dennis is a pleasant,
talented fellow with a keen resemblance to Stan. He asked me to
let everyone know that the annual Oliver Hardy Festival will be
held on Saturday, October 6, 2012, and he will be there with his
Look-A-Likes Ollie partner, Dale Walter, Sr. I saw Dennis out of
costume before I left and he said: "I look different out of my
clothes, don't I?"
to read Gino Dercola's 2012 Oliver Hardy Festival memories
On Location with Laurel and
Hardy, March 1928
The above footage recently appeared on
Youtube with the following description 'On location with Stan
Laurel and Oliver Hardy during the making of "Should Married Men
Go Home." George Mann of the comedic dance act Barto and Mann shot
the film or handed his camera to someone else to shoot.'
UNEDITED 1928 FOOTAGE
Jacquie Lyn, the child co-star with L&H in
1932's, "Pack Up Your Troubles", talks with Laurel and Hardy author Scott
MacGillivray at the Sons 1992 Las Vegas Convention. This is one of
our favorite audio interviews because of the very charming story that
Jacquie tells about what Stan Laurel did for her on the set of the Boys'
second feature film.
Jacquie discusses her connection with Lois
Laurel. She also explains how she gradually lost her English accent, about
her work in a couple Our Gang films and about why they had to use
glycerine tears for her crying scene in "Pack Up Your Troubles".
Finally, Jacquie gives her reaction to the
"craziness" and "high spiritedness" of the Sons convention.
by Steve Wichrowski, Jr.
Renowned Grand Sheik and founder of
the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Ulverston, England, Bill Cubin,
talks with Nutty Nut News Network reporter, Steve Wichrowski, Jr.
This interview begins with a
hilarious gaffe by Steve who is gently corrected by Bill. (It's
an outtake which we purposely left in.)
Bill explains why he missed the
previous Sons convention in 1988 and also tells about how he
contacted Frank Hall, Charlie Hall's younger brother.
The then current mayor of Harlem,
Georgia, James Lewis, talks briefly about his involvement in
organizing a celebration earlier that year for Oliver Hardy's
Recorded at the Sons 7th
International Convention held at Clearwater, Florida.
Actress Trudy Marshall, the leading
lady in Laurel and Hardy's 1943 effort, "The Dancing Masters",
talks with Laurel and Hardy author Scott MacGillivray about how
she got her start in films and how her work as a photographic
model led to film roles.
Finally, Scott amusingly describes
his surprise first meeting with Miss Marshall.
Recorded at the Sons 1990
International Convention in Clearwater, Florida.
the Wicked Witch of the West Met the Sons of the Desert
By Mike David
In May 1982, famous character actress
Margaret Hamilton spoke at a Sons of the Desert meeting in
Connecticut. The program was organized by the Night Owls Tent of
the Connecticut Valley under the direction of the very popular
Grand Sheik, Hal Stanton. They had previously invited a number
of film celebrities to their meetings including Mae Questel,
Rosina Lawrence, and some of the Our Gang cast.
This was a very special event so I
decided to film a bit of it with my Super 8 sound movie camera.
At the time I could only afford one reel of film and, this being
a home movie, some of the footage is a bit dark and grainy. But
it does give us a good sense of what it was like to experience
this memorable gathering. Sons convened from all over the
region to hear Miss Hamilton talk about her famous role as the
Wicked of the West in 1939's "The Wizard of Oz". Members of the
Night Owls Tent collected 16mm film clips from many of her
movies and they were shown to the audience.
Meanwhile, Miss Hamilton spent much
of the time generously signing autographs. She was a very kind
and gentle woman, nothing like many of the film characters she
portrayed for so many years. While she was signing an autograph
for me, I was telling her about the article in the book I had
brought for her to sign. And she gently put her hand on mine and
said: "Michael, dear, you may not want to talk to me while I'm
writing because I may end up writing down what you're saying to
me." And we both laughed. Then, as she signed a photo to give to
my young niece, she said to be certain to tell her that Margaret
Hamilton is actually a nice grandmother and not really a wicked
witch. Later that evening, she charmed the audience with her
recollections of the Oz film, some of which I managed to briefly
capture in my home movie.
This footage hasn't been seen in over
25 years and after having it transferred to digital video, I
wanted to make it available for everyone to see. It brings back
the memories we have of attending those wonderful Night Owls
meetings and is evidence that the Sons of the Desert
organization has a long history of honoring classic films and
the celebrities associated with them.
Dorothy DeBorba 1990
Our gang star
Dorothy DeBorba talks with L&H author and Boston Brats Grand
Sheik Scott MacGillivray at the 1990 Sons of the Desert
In this interview
she explains about her early start in films and mentions some of
the famous movie stars with whom she worked.
discusses her connection with California's Way Out West Tent and
her reaction when the Our Gang comedies were first shown on TV
in the 1950's.
HALL PICTURE ARCHIVE
LOWEST PRICE EVER Only £8.49 *
*excluding postage if
FREE or REDUCED postage rates.
Free UK postage. Europe £13 including
reduced postage (Airmail Printed Paper), Rest of world £17.50
including reduced postage
(Airmail Printed Paper).
The book is softback, slightly
smaller than A4 (292x205mm), has 178 pages in total, close to 17,000 words and
features over two hundred and ten images, many of which have never before been
published. The book was written by Dean McKeown and edited by Maria Cairney, the
foreword was written by Willie McIntyre.
the banner below for further information.
THE NUTTY NUT NEWS NETWORKPROUDLY PRESENTS THREE NEW
Rosina Lawrence 1983
Interview. In the very first
interview done for the Nutty Nut News Network, Hal Stanton, Grand
Sheik of the Night Owls Tent of the Connecticut Valley, briefly
chats with Laurel and Hardy co-star Rosina Lawrence. They discuss
her appearance in the Charley Chase short "On the Wrong Trek" and
her career as a dancer. Finally, Rosina talks about her falsetto
singing for Stan in the 1937 classic "Way Out West".
Lawrence 1984 Interview with Steve Wichrowski, Jr. In a brief
interview recorded at the Sons 1984 International Convention in the UK,
Rosina describes what she has enjoyed most about that convention.
Graham McKenna, Grand Sheik of the UK's
Laughing Gravy Tent, conducts a noisy but interesting interview
with Henry Brandon who relates an anecdote about Stan Laurel's
input and direction on the set of 1934's "Babes in Toyland".
This interview was conducted at the 1984 Sons International
Convention held in the UK.
The above interviews were all painstakingly digitally restored
by Mike David.
Gary Gold wrote on the
Laurel and Hardy Archive Facebook group ‘I like to
think of it as Stan and Babes core philosophy; no
matter what problems or calamities lie ahead; never
lose your optimism; determination and sense of humor!
Stan Laurel’s Favorite Book
On Comedy Found!
-by Tyler St. Mark
Following on from his successful Laurel
and Hardy: The Hat Facts parts one and two, Tyler St. Mark has
written a piece about Stan Laurel’s favourite book, Clowns and
Pantomimes, which he personally signed in 1930 and presented to
his favorite cameraman, fellow sportsman, and close friend, George
Stevens (1904-1975). This book and hence tale has been 'lost'
for years until it found its way to Tyler who through his fathers
friendship with George Stevens knew of this books existence. In
the article he writes:
"I have said before that we do not so
much find these memorabilia treasures as they find us. It may take
days, months, or years until we have gained the knowledge and
insights necessary to recognize these extraordinary items when they
may finally cross our path."
to read Tyler's article. Once again
everyone here at The Nutty Nut News Network would like to thank
Tyler for his outstanding work, effort and research which he
provides freely for our enjoyment.
“I didn’t know that comedy could be
graceful and beautiful until I met Laurel & Hardy, I didn’t
know comedy was humane. I looked at these two men and I realized
that these guys understood human nature. By some artistic instinct
they had this wonderful business of being in touch with the human
LAUREL & HARDY: THE HAT FACTS
By Tyler St. Mark
for the second part of Tyler St. Mark's
Stan and Ollie’s iconic headwear.
for part one of Tyler St. Mark's
excellent paper concerning
Stan and Ollie’s iconic headwear.
Laurel and Hardy in New York
enduring appeal of Laurel and Hardy
March and April of this year Scotland on Sunday reporter Peter
Ross interviewed several Sons in Scotland including Willie
McIntyre Grand Sheik of the Call of the Cuckoo Tent and the
Nutty Nut News Networks very own Dean McKeown about the
continued popularity of Stan and Ollie.
to read the article.
FILM PRESERVATION – ANOTHER FINE MESS
“Why don’t you do something to help me?”
By Richard W. Bann
In 1914 Hal Roach began his career as an independent producer,
specializing in comedy. Memorable series were built around star
names Harold Lloyd, Our Gang, Charley Chase, Will Rogers, Thelma
Todd, Harry Langdon, and Laurel & Hardy. Anyone who has seen
their work is likely to agree on the importance of preserving
these threatened movies for future generations to discover,
study and enjoy.
Threatened? How could movies like these, so widely seen for so
long, be at risk of disappearing forever in first-class quality
copies? Because they were too popular. Too many prints and
negatives wore out, is the simple answer. Also, unfortunately,
the surviving original nitrate elements have suffered decades of
to continue reading this essay and
learn, among other things, about the last sighting of HATS OFF,
and why it will never be found on 16mm; what happened when the
fire department came to Stan Laurel's house; who really
conceived and orchestrated the whole Buster Keaton revival; what
Richard Currier had to do with saving the Laurel & Hardy films;
who "The Master Duper" is; and why all the Hal Roach Studios
camera negatives were quietly parked by the side of the road in
the Nevada dessert.
Frustrated fans who know and care about saving and sharing the
films have long asked how they can aid in this effort to restore
and preserve the battered remaining nitrate, recently deposited
at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Now there is a way
everyone can get involved, by donating funds, at any level of
Here is the link to UCLA’s new website which explains how you
can be involved in the grassroots international fundraising
NEW UCLA LAUREL AND HARDY
'One of the ironies of film preservation
is that it's often the most popular titles that are most in need of
restoration, and this is certainly true of the work of the
universally beloved comic duo, Laurel & Hardy, whose films have been
used, reused and overused to the point of severe attrition.
UCLA Film & Television Archive is kicking off a major preservation
effort to restore all of its surviving negatives of Laurel & Hardy.
Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Jeff Joseph, a major lead gift has
already been pledged for the project.
Often our preservation efforts are funded by public agencies and
charitable foundations, but we thought we'd try something different
with Laurel & Hardy, allowing the general public to contribute
directly to the restoration of the Boys' timeless classics......and
know that you are contributing to the preservation of their work for
generations to come.'
THE NUTTY NUT NEWS
We have good
news for all our regular visitors after some requests we have
created a Nutty Nut News Network group on the popular social
networking site Facebook. By joining the group you will be
alerted to any new audio material or major news added to the
site, you can also use the group to leave messages or Laurel and
Hardy/Tent related news of your own. To find us log into
Facebook and simply type The Nutty Nut News Network into your
We have to
stress that you should not directly link to any file on this
website. All Nutty Nut News Network Show audios and interviews
are the exclusive right of The Nutty Nut News Network and must not
be used, copied, or duplicated in any manner without prior
All archive material presented
here on a non-profit basis is presented as originally compiled. All interviews
are copyright Mike David. Additional material is either believed to be public
domain or used under the terms of copyright fair use. If you believe your
copyright has been violated by this website please get in touch with the
webmasters and we will be happy to discuss your concerns.
NUTTY NEWS BYTES
The Nutty Nut News
The Nutty Nut News Network brings to
you the best of YouTube.
Film comedy legend Stan
Laurel's daughter joins fight to save Midland
to read the full story.
The Nutty Nut News
Networks own Dean McKeown recently helped STV
Productions with some material for a programme they
produce for the BBC. The new series of
Antiques Road Trip will mention Laurel and Hardy and
their stay at The Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow.
The above prices include
postage and packaging costs
for further details.
LAUREL AND HARDY
BRAND NEW, RARE BOOK, RRP £8.99
The above prices include
postage and packaging costs
for further details.
Frank Muni has been in
touch to tell us about his new website, Frank's
World of Laurel and Hardy. To visit the site
Nutty Nut News regular
John Bogie has been in touch with the following two
items of interest to Laurel and Hardy fans:
'Thursday 11th August on BBC 4 at 10PM "Paul
Merton's Weird and Wonderful World of Early Cinema"
about the early days of comedy in Silent Cinema.
Also next Friday 19th August in "My Favourite Joke"
on BBC 1 at 11.05PM features The Boys 1932 short
Our friend and fellow Son
Bob Duncan has been in touch with the following:
Just wanted to let you know there’s an updated
Martha Sleeper bio posted on “SilentHollywood.com”.
The link is below. Hope you find it interesting.
LAUREL AND HARDY
Stan Taffel writes:
Help - Any Sons with information about the employees at the Hal
I am in touch with an individual who tells me his grandfather was
the head of the film lab. Does anybody know of a listing of
employees at the studio to verify this?
Please help me confirm. His name was Charles (Charlie) Levin.
Thanks in advance.
To contact Stan
Due to popular demand we have now added
the 1959 interview
The Life and Times of Stan Laurelby Tony Thomas to the Audio section of this site
Richard Bann Reviews
The Charlie Hall Picture Archive
'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 read the whole
Nemesis Charlie Hall
The Nutty Nut News
Networks own Dean McKeown (author of The Charlie Hall Picture
Archive) has founded a Facebook group dedicated to Charlie Hall.
The group can be found but entering 'The Little Nemesis Charlie
Hall' into the search bar on Facebook.
to read how you can help
the departed people we
love on screen not be forgotten in life
to learn what the public laughs at and get in tune
with it," he said in an interview. "A young comic
has to know the repertory very well, change parts,
assume several roles. You can get a lot of ideas
studying the reactions of different audiences. Some
people will laugh at a scene and others won't. When
you understand why, you've earned your diploma."
Recently on ebay a seller (ID
grey_accountant) listed giant aerial pictures of Hal
Roach Studios. If you see these listed in the future
then do not bid. The Nutty Nut News Networks Dean
McKeown, won one of these auctions and the seller
refused to sell the image informing Dean and ebay that
he sold it offline. The real reason might be something
to do with the picture only reaching the sum of 99p.
The seller has been reported and Ebay are
currently investigating him for potential breaches to their
rules and regulations.