Category Archives: Stooge Bios Stories

larry-bio-photo-Larry Fine was born Louis Fienberg on October 5, 1902 on the south side of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father, Joseph Fienberg, and mother Fanny Lieberman, owned a watch repair and jewelry shop. Larry had two brothers, Morris, a younger brother Phillip who died prematurely, and a sister, Lila, who became a school teacher.

As a child, Larry’s left arm was badly burned from acid used by his father in the jewelry business. Larry required immediate attention, and a skin graft was done on his arm. Larry’s doctors recommended that he be given violin lessons as a form of therapy. Playing the violin was supposed to strengthen his damaged arm muscles. Larry’s skill as a violinist became so impressive that eventually he began to play professionally. Larry played in local theater amateur nights usually taking top prize.

Interestingly enough, along with being a violin player he also was a boxer. Larry earned money as a light weight fighter. Later on he would develop an act in which he would do a Russian dance while playing the violin. It was this act that caught the attention of Ted Healy. After Shemp decided to leave Ted Healy’s act, Moe suggested that perhaps Larry could replace Shemp. The trio, Moe, Larry, and Shemp first appeared on Broadway in A Night in Venice. Larry also appeared in The Stooges first full length motion picture, “Soup to Nuts,” in 1930 for 20th Century Fox. Of course, Larry went on with Moe and Curly to form The Three Stooges, who appeared in the Columbia shorts beginning in 1934.

Larry and his wife, Mable, lived in hotels, first in the President Hotel in Atlantic City, where his daughter Phyllis was raised, then the Knickerbocker Hotel in Hollywood. Later Larry bought an old Mediterranean style house in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. Larry had two children. His son, Johnny died in a tragic automobile accident on November 17, 1961 at age 24. Larry also had a daughter, Phyllis. Larry’s wife, Mabel, died on May 30, 1967. Larry has five grandchildren, Christy Lynn Clark, John Fine, Jr., Phyllis Miller, Kris Cutler, and Eric Lamond.

After 1958, Larry, Moe, and Curly Joe performed before live audiences all across the country, appeared in six full length motion pictures, appeared on numerous television shows, and performed in other productions until Larry Fine suffered a stroke during the filming of “Kook’s Tour” in 1970. After his stroke Larry never performed again. Larry Fine passed away on January 24, 1975.

moe-bio-photo-Moe Howard was born on June 19, 1897, in Bensonhurst, New York, a small Jewish community on the outskirts of Brooklyn. Moe’s real name was Moses Horwitz. Moe’s mother’s name was Jennie Horwitz, and his father was clothing cutter Solomon Horwitz. Moe was the fourth eldest of five Howard brothers. Two of Moe’s brothers, Jerome (Curly), and Shemp performed with him as members of The Three Stooges. Moe’s other two brothers, Jack and Irving, never entered show business.

Moe graduated from P.S. 163 in Brooklyn. He attended Erasmus High School for only two months and never completed his high school education. To please his parents he took a class in electric shop at the Baron DeHirsch Trade School in New York. Moe’s true love, however, was the theater. In 1909 at the Vitagraph Studios in Brooklyn he earned his entry into film making by running errands for the performers. His persistence paid off, and he soon appeared in films with such stars of the time as John Bunny, Flora Finch, Earle William, Herbert Rawlinson, and Walter Johnson.
It was also in 1909 that Moe met Ted Healy. They became close friends, and in the summer of 1912 joined Annette Kellerman’s aquatic act as diving “girls”. This job only lasted through the summer. After a separation, Moe renewed his acquaintance with Ted Healy in 1922 and together with brother Shemp formed a partnership, which would last, with a few short breaks, for almost 10 years. On June 7, 1925, Moe married Helen Schonberger, who was a cousin of the late Harry Houdini.

After a short stint outside of show business, Moe rejoined Ted Healy. Larry Fine joined the act in 1925. Healy with his Stooges appeared in a string of vaudeville shows including A Night in Venice. Ted Healy and his Stooges made their first screen appearance in the classic 1930′s comedy feature “Soup to Nuts” for 20th Century Fox. This film was followed by a series of comedies for Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

In 1934, Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Jerome Curly Howard, signed on with Columbia Studios as The Three Stooges to make the comedy shorts that are still viewed on television today. In 1958, Moe and Larry joined Joe DeRita to continue The Three Stooges act until Larry suffered a stroke during the filming of “Kook’s Tour” in 1970. As Larry was unable to perform, Moe and Curly Joe considered re-placing him with Emil Sitka, but The Three Stooges never performed together again. Moe has two children, Joan and Paul. Moe passed away on May 4, 1975 at the age of 77.

curly-bio-photo-Curly Howard’s real name was Jerome Lester Horwitz. He was born to Jenny and Solomon Horwitz on October 22, 1903 in Bath Beach, a summer resort in a section of Brooklyn. He was the fifth and youngest of the five Horwitz brothers. Curly’s interest in show business grew as he watched his brothers, Shemp and Moe perform as stooges in Ted Healy’s act. After Shemp left the Healy act, Moe suggested to Healy that his kid brother Jerome was available and would make an excellent replacement for Shemp.

Curly at the time was known as “Babe.” When Babe showed up to talk to Healy to join the act he had long wavy brown hair and a mustache. In order to join the act Babe agreed to shave off his mustache and shave his head. Now referred to as Curly, he joined the team and played with the Stooges in vaudeville acts and comedy shorts for MGM. Later, in 1934, Curly along with Larry and Moe performed in many of the shorts that were produced for Columbia Pictures.

After Curly’s first marriage was annulled, he married three more times. On June 7, 1937 he married Elaine Ackerman. In 1938, Elaine gave birth to Curly’s first child, a daughter, Marilyn. Elaine and Curly divorced on July 11, 1940 after only 3 years of marriage. On October 17, 1945, Curly married Marion Buxbaum. After a miserable three months of arguments and accusations, Marion and Curly separated on January 14, 1946, and Curly sued for divorce. This divorce was quite scandalous and notices were carried in all the local papers.
It was after his separation from Marion that Curly’s health started its rapid decline. On May 6, 1946, he suffered a stroke during the filming of his 97th Three Stooges comedy, “Half-Wits’ Holiday” (1947). A year later Curly met Valerie Newman, whom he married on July 31, 1947. Valerie was Curly’s fourth wife, and she nursed him through those last, awful years. Valerie gave birth to a daughter, Janie.

Finally, in 1949, Curly’s health took a severe turn for the worse when he suffered his second in a series of strokes and was rushed to Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Hollywood. Curly died on January 18, 1952. He was 48 years old.