Charlie Hall (actor)
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19 August 1899|
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
|Died||7 December 1959
North Hollywood, California, U.S.
Dolly Gray (?–1937) (her death)
Charlie Hall (19 August 1899 – 7 December 1959) was an English film actor. He is best known as the "Little Nemesis" of Laurel and Hardy and appeared in nearly 50 films with them, so that Hall was the most frequent supporting actor of their films.
Life and career
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Hall was born in Birmingham, West Midlands and learned carpentry as a trade, but as a teenager, he became a member of the Fred Karno troupe of stage comedians. In his late teens, he visited his sister in New York and stayed there, finding employment as a stagehand. While working behind the scenes, he met the comic actor Bobby Dunn and they became friends; Dunn convinced Hall to take a stab again at acting, which he did. By the mid-1920s, Hall was working for Hal Roach. Stan Laurel, one of Roach's comedy stars, was also a graduate of the Karno troupe.
As an actor, Hall worked with such comedians as Buster Keaton and Charley Chase, but is best remembered as a comic foil for Laurel and Hardy. He appeared in nearly 50 of their films, sometimes in bit parts, but often as a mean landlord or opponent in many of their memorable tit-for-tat sequences. Unlike the usual villains in Laurel and Hardy films, who were big and burly, Charlie Hall (billed as "Charley" Hall in the Roach comedies) was of short stature, standing 5 ft 5 in tall. His height and slight English accent allowed him to be convincingly cast as a college student, despite being 40 years old, in Laurel and Hardy's A Chump at Oxford.
Hall almost never played starring roles; the exception was in 1941, when he was teamed with character comedian Frank Faylen by Monogram Pictures. Hall continued to play bits and supporting roles in short subjects and features through the 1940s and 1950s, occasionally on TV.
In 1956 he played a small but important part in the TV show Cheyenne, season 1, episode 11, "Quicksand", starring Clint Walker, with Dennis Hopper, John Alderson, Wright King and Peggy Webber. His last role was in a Joe McDoakes short film starring George O'Hanlon, So You Want to Play the Piano, in 1956.
Death and legacy
- McKeown, Dean (2009). The Charlie Hall Picture Archive. The Nutty Nut News Network Press.
- Charlie Hall on Internet Movie Database
- The Charlie Hall Picture Archive
- Charlie Hall at The Laurel and Hardy Forum
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