James Finlayson

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James Finlayson
"Mr. Double Take"


James Henderson Finlayson is best remembered for his work with Laurel & Hardy. But those films represent only a fraction of his prolific acting career. Finlayson appeared in nearly 200 films, working for legendary producers such as Hal Roach and Mack Sennett. He found work with the likes of Charley Chase and the Our Gang kids, as well as Stan Laurel and Babe Hardy, before and while they were a team.

Finlayson's work with Laurel and Hardy is clearly among his best. He refused to buy a Christmas tree from "the Boys" in BIG BUSINESS, which resulted in an all-out battle. In WAY OUT WEST, he tried to swindle them out of a gold mine. Whether he was a bystander or a villain, Finlayson's performance was always pivotal to the film. No other actor could have come close to taking his place.

Jimmy Finlayson is best known for his "double take and fade away." This is how he described his trademark routine, in which he performed an exaggerated double take followed by a one-eyed stare, in response to doubt or disbelief.

This site contains a biography of Mr. Finlayson, his filmography, various facts, and photos. Please use the menu to the left to navigate around this site. The "home" link will always take you back to this page and the "Way Out West Home Page" link will take you to our parent site.



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Finlayson graphic by Larry Byrd.