Roach, Hal(Harold Eugene Roach, Sr.), 1892–1992, American move producer and director, b. Elmira, N.Y. He entered (1912) the motion-picture industry as an extra, and by 1914 had founded a production company, making comedies that featured Harold LloydLloyd, Harold,
1893–1971, American movie actor. Born in tiny Burchard, Kans., he came to California in 1912. Lloyd became famous for his comic portrayals of a wistful innocent with horn-rimmed glasses who blunders in and out of hair-raising situations, e.g.
..... Click the link for more information. . In 1919 he opened Hal Roach Studios in Culver City, Calif., and during the 1920s and 30s turned out a string of successful comedy shorts starring the likes of Laurel and HardyLaurel and Hardy,
American film comedy team. The duo consisted of Stan Laurel, 1890–1965, b. Ulverson, England, whose real name was Arthur Stanley Jefferson; and Oliver Hardy, 1892–1957, b. Atlanta, Ga.
..... Click the link for more information. , "Our Gang," and Will RogersRogers, Will
(William Penn Adair Rogers), 1879–1935, American humorist, b. Oolagah, Indian Territory (now in Oklahoma). In his youth he worked as a cowboy in Oklahoma, and after traveling over the world, he returned to the United States and worked in vaudeville as a cowboy
..... Click the link for more information. . He released his first feature, Laurel and Hardy's Pardon Us, in 1931, and soon turned to full-length dramas, such as Topper (1937) and Of Mice and Men (1939). In the late 1940s he switched to television series, leasing his facilities for show production and producing his own sitcoms, e.g., My Little Margie (1952–55).
See W. K. Everson, Films of Hal Roach (1971) and R. L. Ward, A History of the Hal Roach Studios (2005).
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Roach, Hal(1892–1992) film producer, director, screenwriter; born in Elmira, N.Y. After a life as a muleskinner and gold prospector in Alaska, he became a stunt man and extra in the movies in 1911. In 1915 he began producing short comedy films featuring Harold Lloyd. An expert in the mechanics of screen humor and slapstick, he fostered the careers of Will Rogers and Laurel and Hardy, as well as creating the "Our Gang" comedies. He won Oscars for two shorts, The Music Box (1932) and Bored of Education (1936), as well as a special Academy Award in 1983.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.