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Moe Howard Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (32) | Personal Quotes (2) | Salary (3)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 19 June 1897Brooklyn, New York, USA
Date of Death 4 May 1975Los Angeles, California, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth NameMoses Horwitz
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Moe Howard, the "Boss Stooge" and brother of Stooges Curly Howard and Shemp Howard, began his acting career in 1909 by playing bit roles in silent Vitagraph films. At 17 he joined a troupe working on a showboat and also appeared in several two-reel comedy shorts. In 1922 he, brother Shemp and Larry Fine joined roughhouse vaudeville comic Ted Healy, forming the act that would become The Three Stooges. Howard toured vaudeville and appeared in films with Healy for ten years before the Stooges left to pursue a separate career. Moe appeared in more than 250 films during his 66-year career, including 190 Three Stooges shorts. Over the act's 50-year history, the Stooges went through several personnel changes; when Moe died, the act ended.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Michael J. Bauman <mbauman@acsu.buffalo.edu>

Spouse (1)

Helen Howard (7 June 1925 - 4 May 1975) (his death) (2 children)

Trade Mark (2)

He always played the "Boss Stooge", ordering around the others, insulting them and slapping them around and worse when they goofed up, which was often.
Bowl haircut, scarred nose and angry scowl

Trivia (32)

Interred at Hillside Memorial Park, Culver City, California, USA.
Determined to get into movies, Moe (then going by his middle name, Harry) went to the Brooklyn-based American Vitagraph studios in May 1909, and volunteered to run errands for the stars and crews without charging for the service. This impressed Maurice Costello, who brought Moe inside and introduced him to the company. Soon, he was appearing in dramas with Costello and comedies with John Bunny and Flora Finch. At first, he didn't tell his family about his movie work. But, when they thought he was losing his mind because he was acting like his characters at home, he told them about his extracurricular activities. Most of his films from this period were lost when the Vitagraph film library burned on 2 July 1910.
Original member of The Three Stooges.
(See Ted Healy.)
Moe had a legal agreement with his fellow Stooges stating that he reserved the right to choose Stooge replacements (Curly Howard was replaced by Shemp Howard; Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser; Joe was replaced by Joe DeRita).
His wife, Helen Schonberger, was a cousin of Harry Houdini.
Father of Joan Howard and Paul Howard.
He, Emil Sitka and Joe DeRita ("Curly Joe") were slated to appear in the R-rated comedy film "The Jet Set" (eventually retitled Blazing Stewardesses (1975)). However, because he was suffering from lung cancer, Moe was forced to drop out of the film. The Ritz Brothers replaced Moe, Sitka and DeRita.
Brother of actors Curly Howard and Shemp Howard.
Was working on his autobiography when he died. Its working title was "I Stooge to Conquer"; it was published posthumously as "Moe Howard and the Three Stooges".
Father-in-law of Norman Maurer, with whom he was partnered in Normandie Productions.
Grandfather of Jeffrey Scott and Michael Maurer.
In contrast to his roughneck public persona, Moe was, in private life, a quiet, dedicated family man, whose hobbies included reading, playing bridge and making hooked rugs. The only one of the Stooges who really understood the value of a dollar, investments during his salad days left him a wealthy man at the time of his death.
When The Three Stooges shorts began to appear on local children's shows in the late 1950s, there was a wave of kids poking each other in the eyes. When Moe heard about this, it was the Stooges who came to the rescue. They went on many local television shows, as well as national television, and showed how the eye-pokes were done in a way that nobody got hurt. To the kids watching, it was like learning a magic trick.
Has two older brothers, Jack Horwitz and Irving Horwitz.
Moe was the business-minded one of the group. He knew that Curly liked to spend his money on partying and women, and Larry liked to spend his at the racetrack. So, he drew up an agreement where Larry and Curly turned over a certain percentage of their salaries to him. He, in turn, invested it for them. The result was that, while Larry and Curly were not as wealthy as Moe was (he invested far more of his own money and was quite well off), he ensured that their spendthrift habits did not result in their being broke when their careers ended.
Son of Sol Horowitz.
According to Moe, in sixty years, he never missed a performance.
His famous "bowl" haircut came by accident. As a child, his mother always wanted a girl, and with Moe being the youngest at the time, she would play dress-up with him, putting him in dresses and bologna curling his long hair. One day, after being picked on for months in school, he and some friends hid in the shed, and he chopped all of the hair off, using a bowl as a guide. After doing so, he was so afraid to face his mother, he hid for hours. Finally coming out, after seeing his hair, she cried out that she was so happy he did so, simply because she couldn't bring herself to. His hair stuck with him all his life.
He was very protective of his brother Curly Howard, who was in reality quite shy and not known to stand up for himself.
Is portrayed by Paul Ben-Victor in The Three Stooges (2000)
Skinned his nose in a fall down the stairs of his home as a child. His nose was rebuilt by a doctor, but when the doctor turned out to be a phony, he had to have his nose rebuilt all over again by another doctor, whom his mother paid by giving him some of her old copper pots.
Most of his investments were in real estate.
The Stooges' contract with Columbia gave the studio the right to use their likenesses in perpetuity. This means that no one else can legally use the Stooges' likenesses in any form of media without the studio's permission.
When he and brother Shemp Howard put on shows for families and friends as children, they used younger brother Curly Howard in female roles. Curly, at seven, had trouble remembering his lines so Moe made cue cards on adhesive tape and stuck them to his forehead for Curly to read.
Sold frogs in saloons when he was a child to pay for his fares when he skipped school and instead went to the theater.
Got the idea for the notorious Stooge gag of eye-gouging one day when, during a game of bridge, Shemp Howard leaned over and poked Larry Fine in the eyes for not playing well. The result: Larry cried, Shemp apologized, Moe laughed until he fell out of his chair and walked through a glass door. He considered the eye-gouge the funniest thing he'd ever seen and decided to use it in their act.
In addition to himself, Moe also supplied the voices for other characters on the animated series The New 3 Stooges (1965). For example, in "A Flycycle Built for Two", he also was the voice of Orville Wright.
Right after The Three Stooges' breakup with Ted Healy, Moe signed a contract with Columbia Pictures. Unknown to him, Larry Fine had signed with Carl Laemmle at Universal Pictures. The next morning, Moe asked to see Columbia boss Harry Cohn and explained the situation to him. Cohn called up his legal department, which called up Universal's legal department to check the date and time of the contract signing. According to Moe, Cohn hung up the phone and said, "You boys belong to Columbia.".
In the 23 years The Three Stooges worked for Columbia Pictures, they were never completely aware of how popular or how financially successful they were. It was only after the group stopped making shorts that Moe discovered how much more money the act could have earned.
During the production of Pardon My Scotch (1935), he accidentally broke three ribs when the table he was standing on, which was rigged to split in half on cue, split incorrectly. The take that caused the injuries remains in the film, and was later reused in the short Dizzy Detectives (1943).
He was posthumously awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street in Hollywood, California on August 30, 1983.

Personal Quotes (2)

[to complaints about The Three Stooges' "violent" comedy] We're not nearly as violent as the westerns.
[on his former boss, mentor and friend, actor/comedian Ted Healy, who died under mysterious circumstances (according to one theory, after a drunken argument) while in his early 40s] When sober, Ted was the essence of refinement; when under the influence, he became a foul-mouthed, vicious character. Liquor had killed his father and uncle and destroyed his sister's life. When Ted was young I remember that he made a pledge never to touch liquor, after having seen the consequences of its effects on his family. The strain of his life in show business got him started, and once he started drinking he was never able to stop.

Salary (3)

Woman Haters (1934) $1,000 (split with Curly Howard and Larry Fine)
Have Rocket -- Will Travel (1959) $30,000 +25% of profits (split with Larry Fine and Joe Da Rita)
The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962) $50,000 +50% of profits (split with Larry Fine and Joe Da Rita)

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