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Stan's wives
#1
[Image: 29424946_122021589509.jpg]

Stan and Ruth Rogers - two marriages, three weddings and a divorce.

Judge Foozle writes:
Near the end of his life, Stan Laurel said: "I only had one hobby, and I married them all."  Certainly that seemed to be his intention, but it didn't always work.
There have been so many (differing) accounts of Stan's love-life and this is an attempt to bring them to a definitive conclusion, with the contemporary background for context.
The boyhood liaisons with the opposite sex of Stan's portly colleague Babe Hardy, are well known, but there's almost no information about Stan's schoolboy girlfriends or romances. He certainly made up for that in his adult life.

Mae Charlotte Cuthbert (Dahlberg)
Unknown to each other, Stan Laurel and Mae Charlotte Cuthbert left their homelands for the USA in 1913, both seeking a career in the movies.
Stan and Mae met in 1916, and soon formed a close romantic liaison. They could not be married because Mae had a husband and son in Australia and a divorce was not in prospect. She retained her maiden name Dahlberg but after Stan changed from Jefferson to Laurel, she unofficially became Mae Laurel. In addition to being unofficial spouses, they appeared together in numerous movies but Mae was paid off by Joe Rock and returned to her native Australia.

Lois Nielsen
In 1919 Stan appeared in a movie called Do You Love Your Wife? alongside an aspiring actress from California, Lois Nielsen. By 1925 Stan and Lois were an established couple and they married in 1926. During their marriage Lois Jr. was born, and so was a baby boy, who sadly only lived a few days. After 9 years they decided to separate and divorce proceedings started in 1934.

Now things get complicated.

Virginia Ruth Rogers (Part 1)
Assuming he was divorced from Lois, Stan married Virginia ("Ruth") Rogers in 1934. However the divorce from Lois was held up for some reason and so the new marriage was invalid, if not illegal. The original divorce  from Lois was then formalised in 1935 and Stan married Ruth for the second time, in a legal wedding.
It was perhaps the most turbulent time of Stan's life. He and Roach had almost come to parting of the ways over Babes in Toyland (March of the Wooden Soldiers) and even the success of the movie didn't shorten the healing time. The divorce from Lois was by no means simple and faltered, before reaching its conclusion in 1935. At the studio, Stan was busy making Bonnie Scotland and creating Way Out West...and as if all that wasn't enough, Mae returned from Australia demanding massive financial recompense from Stan, claiming that she had been his legitimate "common law wife". She conveniently overlooked the facts that she was already a married woman, and that California had abolished common-law marriage in 1895. This tenacious and feisty female added potency to an already inflamed situation for Stan, who was also nearing the end of his current contract with Roach. A man with much on his mind in 1935.
The marriage to Ruth Rogers ended two years later, in 1937, when Stan was in calmer waters and found other tasty fish in the sea.

Vera (Ileana) Shuvalova
Stan married the Russian dancer Ileana Shuvalova on January 1st 1938.
They married again a month later, fearing that the first marriage may not have been
legal, and again in April, with a Russian Orthodox ceremony to please Ileana.
This was another short marriage, ending in 1940. This marriage is regarded as
turbulent at best and violently hostile at worst. It also lasted for only two years, and
Stan decided to return to pastures where he knew the grazing was much safer.

Virginian Ruth Rogers (Part 2)
Stan re-married Ruth Rogers in 1941, a marriage which would last 5 years.
Stan and Ruth went through divorce proceedings again in 1946.

Ida Kitaeva
Once the divorce was finalised, Stan married another Russian beauty Ida Kitaeva in 1946.  Lois  Jr. and Ida immediately struck up a good relationship, but in 1948 Lois married Rand Brooks, leaving Stan and Ida as an "empty nest" couple. They stayed happily married until Stan died in 1965.

Chronology
1918 - 25  Mae Charlotte Dahlberg (unofficial, no marriage).
1926 - 35  Lois Nielsen
1935 - 37 Virginia Ruth Rogers
1938 - 40 Vera Ileana Shuvalova
1941 - 46 Virginia Ruth Rogers
1946 - 65 Ida Kitaeva

Pointers
4 official wives
5 official marriages
4 divorces
8 wedding ceremonies
 
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#2
He was a busy man! He can be accused of being pro Russian? Smile)
 
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