Laughing is good for you, something of which it never hurts to be reminded. (Truly, laughter does help: if you don’t believe it, ask the Mayo Clinic.) With that spirit in mind we present this collection of notable figures in history enjoying a few hearty chuckles and/or guffaws.

There’s all kinds of laughter here, in situations expected and unexpected. In one photo Bob Hope cracks up a few of his fellow entertainers, and himself, as he tries out material before hosting the Academy Awards. But you also see general Douglas MacArthur cackling with glee the day after the successful invasion of Inchon. Whatever prompted MacArthur’s laughter in that moment, the relief following the previous day’s assault had to have been a factor.

Humphrey Bogart laughs more gleefully in a photo from the set of The African Queen than he was known to do when playing any of his memorably hard-bitten characters. Frank Sinatra, while hanging out with friends in a Miami hotel room, laughs so hard at a joke told by his pal and opening act Joe E. Lewis that the singer was literally rolling on floor laughing.

One of the more frequent celebrity laughers in the LIFE archives is Sophia Loren, represented here with three photos. No small part of the icon’s appeal is that, among her other virtues, she seemed to enjoy where life had taken her.

Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Bob Hope and David Niven laughed at a Cold War-era Russian joke from Hope during a break from rehearsals for Academy Awards show at the RKO Pantages theater, 1958.

Leonard McCombe/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Singer Billy Eckstine (right) having some backstage laughs with his ex-boss, orchestra leader Earl Hines (center) and trumpeter Louis Armstrong backstage, 1949.

Martha Holmes/Life Picture Collection/Shuttetstock

Warren Beatty with Natalie Wood at the 1962 Academy Awards ceremony at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

Warren Beatty with Natalie Wood at the 1962 Academy Awards ceremony at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

Allan Grant The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Broadway producer Kermit Bloomgarden with Marilyn Monroe in her Manhattan apartment, 1958.

Robert W. Kelley/LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Humphrey Bogart laughed while on location for the filming of The African Queen along the Ruki River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1951.

Eliot Elisofon/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

(left to right) George Jessel, Dean Martin, and Jack Benny at a Friars Club dinner for Dean Martin, 1958.

Leonard McCombe/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Elton John (right) sharing a laugh with his mother Shelia (left) and stepfather Fred Fairebrother (center) in their apartment, 1971.

John Olson/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Lyndon B. Johnson (left) and running mate Hubert Humphrey enjoying a laugh at Johnson’s ranch after their landslide victory in the 1964 presidential election.

John Dominis/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

General Douglas MacArthur (center), slapped Vice Admiral Struble (left) on the knee while laughing gleefully the day after the invasion of Inchon, 1950.

Carl Mydans/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy played with their children, April 30, 1957.

Paul Schutzer/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Sophia Loren with her husband Carlo Ponti on a boating trip off of Naples, 1961.

Sophia Loren with her husband Carlo Ponti on a boating trip off of Naples, 1961.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Sophia Loren laughing while exchanging jokes during lunch break on a movie set.

Sophia Loren laughing while exchanging jokes during lunch break on a movie set, 1961.

Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Sophia Loren laughed about her guitar-playing ability with her secretary Ines Bruscia beside her, 1964.

Alfred Eisenstaedt/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Dick Clark on his TV show the "American Bandstand" in 1958.

Dick Clark on his TV show the “American Bandstand” in 1958.

Paul Schutzer/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

American generals George S. Patton (left) and Omar Bradley (center) and British general Bernard Law Montgomery (right) laughed while discussing strategy and the progress of the campaign in France, July 7, 1944.

Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Sammy Davis Jr. laughs over dinner with his then-wife, Swedish actress May Britt.

Sammy Davis Jr. laughed over dinner with his wife, Swedish actress May Britt.

Leonard McCombe/The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Rolling Stone band members Mick Jagger (left) and Keith Richards shared a laugh.

DMI

Nancy Reagan and her husband, then California Governor Ronald Reagan, walked behind Dean Martin and Phyllis Diller, California, 1970.

Ralph Crane/Life Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A rare laugh from somber Kim greets joke by Otto Preminger who visits Kim while she is in New York. She has great fondness and respect for Preminger, who directed her in United Artists' Man With the Golden Arm and put her genuinely at ease.

A rare laugh from somber Kim Novak greeted a joke by Otto Preminger, who visited Kim while she was in New York. She had great fondness and respect for Preminger, who directed her in The Man With the Golden Arm and put her genuinely at ease.

Leonard McCombe The LIFE Images Collection/Shutterstock

In an image that captures the at-once easy and intense bond among the Mercury 7, Shepard laughs with fellow astronauts Gus Grissom (right) and Deke Slayton upon his arrival at Grand Bahama Island, shortly after his successful flight and splashdown, May 1961.

Alan Shepard laughs with fellow astronauts Gus Grissom (right) and Deke Slayton upon his arrival at Grand Bahama Island, shortly after his successful flight and splashdown, May 1961.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Harry Belafonte laughed during Bop City nightclub’s opening night, 1949.

Martha Holmes/The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

In a Miami hotel room Frank Sinatra fell off his chair howling at a joke told by his opening act and longtime friend, comedian Joe E. Lewis, 1965.

John Dominis The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

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