The Curse of the Three Stooges

Many of the actors and actresses who appeared in The Three Stooges shorts and feature films lead suprisingly sad lives that ended tragically. Here is a list of some of them, by no means complete.
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Curly Howard
Jerome "Curly" Howard, the rotund, bald Stooge with the high voice was the most popular member of The Three Stooges. His first stage experience was as a comedic conductor for the Orville Knapp Band in 1928. Curly joined The Three Stooges in 1932, replacing his brother Shemp Howard. He made more than...
“ Curly Howard's physical and mental health deteriorated severely in the final years of his life, after suffering from several strokes. He eventually died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage in 1952. ” - jcaraway3
Shemp Howard
Shemp Howard was born Samuel Horwitz in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He was also the brother of fellow stooges Moe Howard and Curly Howard. Larry Fine was not related to any of the other stooges. When not working with The Three Stooges, Shemp made a lot of feature film appearances, such as The Bank Dick with W.C. Fields...
“ Shemp Howard died of a heart attack at the age of 60. ” - jcaraway3
Ted Healy
Ted Healy was born Clarence Lee Nash in Kaufman, Texas, on October 1, 1896. Around 1919, after years of flirtation with show business, rejected a career as a businessman and entered vaudeville as Ted Healy. In 1922 his solo act was expanded to include his wife, Elizabeth Braun. The act found almost...
“ Ted Healy, the original "Boss Stooge" was known for his crass, drunken behavior off set. He picked a fight in a bar and was beaten to death by persons unknown in 1937. He was 41. ” - jcaraway3
Marjorie White
Actress, Woman Haters
Canadian comedienne, a former vaudevillian, Majorie White appeared in a few films but died before making a real mark. Born in Winnipeg, Canada, in 1904 (according to her birth certificate), she was the daughter of a railroad worker. She entered show business at the age of 4 as one of the Winnipeg Kiddies...
“ The first leading lady in a Stooges Columbia short, Marjorie died in a car crash at the age of 31. ” - jcaraway3
“ Known for playing the drill instructer in the classic stooge short "Boobs in Arms" Fiske was killed in France while fighting in WWII. He was 28. ” - jcaraway3
“ Bud was known for playing the comic "Straight man" in stooge shorts from 1934 to 1944. He suffered from diabetes, and died after going into diabetic shock in 1944. He was a Christian Scientist, and refused treatment. ” - jcaraway3
Larry Fine
Larry began performing as a violinist at a young age. During his teenage years, he earned his living as a singer and boxer. At 18, Larry began working vaudeville with "The Haney Sisters and Fine" and in 1925, he joined Ted Healy and Moe Howard in the act that would eventually become The Three Stooges. Fine made more than 200 films before a stroke forced him to retire in 1970.
“ Larry lived to the age of 72, but his son died in a car accident in 1961, his wife died of a heart attack in 1967, and his daughter died of cancer in 1989. ” - jcaraway3
Vernon Dent
Familiar to many as the frustrated cop, businessman or landlord in countless two-reel comedies by The Three Stooges, Vernon Dent got his start in show business as a member of a singing troupe traveling in Southern California in the early 1920s. He was befriended by comedian Hank Mann, a member of the famed Keystone Kops...
“ Vernon often played the villain of straight man in Stooges Shorts for nearly 20 years. He also suffered from diabetes, and spent the remaining years of his life blind. He died of a heart attack in 1963. ” - jcaraway3
Duke York
Duke York Jr. has a long resume as one of Hollywood's best stunt men. He is still often seen on TV today although audiences may not recognize him. He is most often seen today as the various "monsters" that confronted The Three Stooges during the 1940s, and as King Kala (wearing a bald cap) in the first Flash Gordon serial.
“ Duke played the giant hulking monsters in several stooges shorts in the 40s. He committed suicide by a gunshot to the head in 1952, aged 43. ” - jcaraway3
“ She appeared in three Three Stooges shorts, most notably the bitter landlady in "Gents in a Jam." She committed suicide in 1954. ” - jcaraway3
“ He often played the comical villain role in the Shemp and Joe Besser era shorts. He committed suicide by an overdose of sleeping pills in 1958, after losing his money to gambling debts. ” - jcaraway3
“ He played the villainous tough guy/ sidekick in many Curly and Shemp era shorts. He got jungle rot while serving in WWII, which developed into terminal cancer. In later shorts, he is seen with heavy makeup on his face to cover his tumors. He died in 1948, at the age of 41. ” - jcaraway3
Clyde Bruckman
Writer, The General
Had been out of work and was pretty much broke when he killed himself. He borrowed Buster Keaton's gun and after eating a meal that he could not pay for, shot himself. There are two stories; One says it was in the restroom of the cafe on Santa Monica Blvd, and the other story states he did it in the phone booth...
“ Wrote many Three Stooges shorts in the 30s and 40s, Clyde became depressed about the television killing the film shorts department, and committed suicide in 1955. ” - jcaraway3
“ Wesley Bly played the genie "Amos" in the short "Three Arabian Nuts". He was stabbed to death in 1959 during a confrontation with a woman in a bar. ” - jcaraway3
“ He appeared in several Curly shorts. He was obese and died of a heart attack at the age of 46. ” - jcaraway3
“ Eddie played various roles in many Stooge shorts. He died of pneumonia in 1948. ” - jcaraway3
Harry Cohn
He was crude, uneducated, foul and, even on his best behavior, abrasive. No major studio executive of the so-called "Golden Age" was more loathed (although at times the dictatorial Samuel Goldwyn and the hard-nosed Jack L. Warner came close) than Harry Cohn. Born in the middle of 5 children to Joseph Cohn...
“ The head honcho of Columbia pictures, Harry was responsible for the success The Three Stooges found in the short subject department. He died of a sudden heart attack at 66. ” - jcaraway3
“ Known for playing the toupee wearing court clerk in "Disorder in the Court", Morton died of a sudden heart attack at 58. ” - jcaraway3
Symona Boniface
Actress, Micro-Phonies
An American actress most frequently seen in bit parts in comedy shorts, mostly at Columbia Pictures, particularly those of The Three Stooges, Symona Boniface entered the theatre as a playwright and actress, and produced plays as well. After the stock market crash of 1929 she began taking bit parts in films...
“ Symona oftentimes played snotty, upperclass women who would have unfortunate run ins with the Stooges. She died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56. ” - jcaraway3
“ She appeared in several Shemp era shorts, (and one Besser short)as the "French" girl in the various trios of girls the stooges would run into. She died bronchopneumonia in 1956. ” - jcaraway3