Lois Laurel Hawes, the daughter of famed comedian Stan Laurel, has died, family spokesman Tyler St. Mark announced. She was 89. Hawes died Friday after a long illness at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Calfornia. No cause of death was given.
Hawes's mother was Stan Laurel's first wife, silent film actress Lois Neilson. She had a brother, her father's namesake, who died nine days after his premature birth in 1930. Hawes dedicated much of her life to preserving the legacies of both her father and his comedy partner, Oliver Hardy, whom she affectionately called “Uncle Babe." As a child, she frequently visited the both of them while they worked on set. She appeared uncredited in at least two of their films. In later years, she would provide narration for a re-release of several Laurel and Hardy films.
Hawes was married to Rand Brooks, who played Scarlett O’Hara’s first husband, Charles, in 1939's Gone with the Wind. Together, they founded a private ambulance company in Glendale, California, which serviced the community for two decades. The couple divorced in 1976. She later married former actor Tony Hawes; the two remained married until his death in 1997.
Hawes is survived by a daughter, Laurel; five grandchildren and nine great- grandchildren. Her son, Rand Brooks Jr., died last year. Family members have planned a celebration of her life in December for what would have been her 90th birthday.
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy enjoyed decades of success, appearing in more than 100 short films and features including The Finishing Touch (1928), The Music Box (1932), The Chimp (1932), and The Bohemian Girl (1936). In 1961, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his services to the comedy genre. He died in 1965.