There are probably few people in the history of comedy who have had such worldwide influence as he and his British-born partner, Stan Laurel. This rotund man in the frumpy suit with the derby hat was born in 1892 in Harlem, Ga., where his father was an attorney. Hardy began making silent movies in 1913, and first appeared in the same film as Laurel, The Lucky Dog, in 1921. They were not reunited on screen until five years later. That led to many classic movies including Babes in Toyland. Hardy and his partner are remembered each year by the Oliver Hardy Festival that draws fans from around the world to his hometown. The marker on his Valhalla Memorial Park grave in North Hollywood, Calif., says it all: "A Genius of Comedy. His talent brought joy and laughter to all the world."