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Film

Oliver Hardy was just the beginning: Famous comedians in film

Stan & Ollie, Louis de Funès, Mr. Bean or Loriot - they are all masters of comedy. On what would have been Oliver Hardy's 125th birthday, we take a look at world-famous comedians in cinema.

Oliver Norvell Hardy was born in Harlem, Georgia, on January 18, 1892. Nicknamed Babe, he had an interest in playacting and the theater at an early age. Hardy started running a movie theater in 1910 - and just three years later, he stood in front of a movie camera for the first time in "Outwitting Dad."

Several silent movies followed. In 1926, producer Hal Roach teamed him up with Stan Laurel, setting the stage for the most successful comedian duo in US film history: Laurel and Hardy.

Of the roughly 200 movies the two filmed together, the silent movies from the 1920s are often singled out as the best: "Duck Soup" (1927), "The Battle of the Century" (1928), "Two Tars" (1928) and "Big Business" (1929). Hardy reliably acted the role of the pompous father figure while Laurel played the uncomprehending child quick to break into tears.

Unlike many of their colleagues from the silent film era, the world-famous double act, also known as Stan and Ollie, continued their career when sound film emerged. Oliver Hardy died of a stroke on August 7, 1957 in Hollywood at the age of 65. His sidekick and best friend Stan Laurel died eight years later.

Click through the above picture gallery for more international film comedians - and why they tickle our funny bone. 

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