Stan Laurel wins an Honorary Oscar, 1961

1961-6

The following is my second of two entries for The 1961 Blogathon, being hosted by little ol’ me at this blog on April 27-29, 2018 in honor of my 57th birthday. Click on the above banner, and read bloggers’ tributes to a variety of movies released in or related to the year of 1961!

1

On Apr. 8, 1961 — 19 days before I was born, as it happens — in a letter to a friend, Stan Laurel wrote:

“You will be pleased I know to hear that I have been awarded an ‘Oscar’ – Danny Kaye will accept it for me on the Academy Awards show April 17th (TV.) needless to tell you I’m very thrilled – so unexpected.”

Sure enough, nine days later, Laurel was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Honorary Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for “his creative pioneering in the field of cinema comedy.” Jerry Lewis, a distant friend of Laurel’s and a huge fan of his movies, had lobbied for Laurel to be awarded the Oscar. Comedian Danny Kaye accepted the Oscar on behalf of Laurel, who was too ill to attend the ceremony.

At this blog, I have previously written about how sad it was that Laurel and several other movie comedy legends were awarded only Honorary Oscars in the twilight of their lives, rather than “legitimate” Oscars at the time when they were doing their best movie work. That said, since comedy was regarded as a lower kind of movie by the Motion Picture Academy (at least until Woody Allen’s Annie Hall swept the Oscars in 1977), we should be grateful that our comedy heroes were acknowledged at all.

Here’s Danny Kaye accepting the award:

Letter source: Letters From Stan.com. http://www.lettersfromstan.com/stan-1961-04.html

(If you enjoyed reading this, click here to read my first blogathon entry, about the Bugs Bunny-Wile E. Coyote cartoon Compressed Hare.)

 

 

Advertisements

5 responses to “Stan Laurel wins an Honorary Oscar, 1961

  1. Laurel & Hardy actually did win a “legitimate” Oscar — or, at least, their movie THE MUSIC BOX did — in 1932 for Live Action Short Film. Like Chaplin and Keaton, they were geniuses at what they did, and the world would be a poorer place without the legacy they left.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always felt honorary Oscars were a bit of a rip-off because, as you pointed out, they’re not usually awarded when the recipient is doing their best work. But, I guess an honorary Oscar is better than none at all, and Stan Laurel certainly deserved it.

    Beautiful tribute by Danny Kaye.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s