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The last words of Stan Laurel

The last words of Stan Laurel

Stanley Arthur Jefferson Laurel (1890 – 1965), known as Stan Laurel, was an English comic actor, writer and film director. He was, of course, half of one of the best loved of all comedy double acts, Laurel and Hardy.

His last words were:

I'd rather be skiing.

Source: Stan: The Life of Stan Laurel, Fred Guiles, 1980.

Background to Stan Laurel's last words

Laurel began his career in the British music hall and was famous for his screen persona as an amiable idiot. Off screen, Laurel was the driving force of the partnership and took the major workload in shaping the duo's career, writing scripts and directing. He made his first film in 1917 and his last in 1951.

Laurel was a heavy smoker throughout his life. He died in Santa Monica, California on 23 February 1965, aged 74, after suffering a heart attack.

Just before he died, Laurel told his nurse he would like to go skiing. The nurse said "Are you a skier, Mr Laurel?". He replied, "I'm not, but I'd rather be doing that than having these needles stuck in me". A few minutes later he died.

At his funeral, Buster Keaton said "Chaplin wasn't the funniest, I wasn't the funniest, this man was the funniest."