3 April 1905
23 August 1986 (aged 81)
Thomas Marvin Hatley (April 3, 1905 – August 23, 1986), professionally known simply as Marvin Hatley, was an American film composer and musical director, best known for his work for the Hal Roach studio from 1929 until 1940.
Hatley wrote many of the musical cues appearing in the Our Gang, Laurel and Hardy, and Charley Chase films. His most memorable composition is "The Cookoo Song" (also known as "Ku-Ku", or "Dance of the Cookoos"), which serves as Laurel and Hardy's theme song. His work in Laurel and Hardy's 1937 film Way Out West earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Score.
In 1939, Hatley was fired from the Roach studio, although he returned, at Stan Laurel's insistence, to score one final Laurel & Hardy film, Saps at Sea (1940). Hatley went on to become a lounge pianist, and often remarked that he made more money in that career than during his days at the Roach studio.
Marvin Hatley was a native of Reed, Oklahoma. He died on August 23, 1986 in Hollywood, California.
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