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Friday, 26 May, 2000, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Sculptor's tribute to Laurel and Hardy
Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel
Laurel and Hardy: A classic comedy partnership
A statue of Laurel and Hardy is to be created in British-born Stan Laurel's home town by the sculptor who designed the popular tribute to Eric Morecambe.

Fans of the comedy duo based in Laurel's hometown of Ulverston in Furness, Cumbria, contacted sculptor Graham Ibbeson after the Queen unveiled the Eric Morecambe statue last July.

The Morecambe statue features the much-loved comedian, who died in 1984, in his classic Bring Me Sunshine song pose which always ended his shows with partner Ernie Wise.

Marion Graves, who runs the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Ulverston said: "The committee wanted a sculptor who is recognised and whose work is known.


The Queen unveiling a statue to Eric Morecambe
The Queen unveiled the Eric Morecambe statue
"We wanted someone who can really represent Laurel and Hardy - a 3D photo - and not just an impression and he's up to the job."

The project was the brainchild of Ms Graves' late father Bill Cubin, the museum's founder.

A design has already been chosen of Laurel and Hardy leaning against a lamp-post and a site in the town has been earmarked.

Stan Laurel was born in Ulverston in Furness in 1890 and made his stage debut as a 16-year-old at Pickard's Museum in Glasgow.

Shortly afterwards he joined Fred Karno's vaudeville company and travelled to America for the first time.

Changing tastes

By 1916 he was permanently based in the US and in 1919 made his first short film with Oliver Hardy.

Their formula of naive, innocent Laurel looking up to his more street-wise pal Hardy saw the pair become hugely popular during the 20s and 30s.

But tastes changed during the war years and they made their last film, Atoll K, in 1950.

The five-times married Laurel was presented with a special Oscar in 1960 for "his creative pioneering in the field of cinema comedy". He died in 1965.

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27 Sep 99 | UK
Thanks for the sunshine
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