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Ted Healy Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (3) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (9)

Overview (5)

Born in Kaufman, Texas, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (acute toxic nephritis)
Birth NameErnest Lee Nash
Nickname Lee
Height 5' 10½" (1.79 m)

Mini Bio (3)

US vaudevillian who in 1923 founded a stage act known as "Ted Healy & His Stooges," the latter comprising one Moe Howard and his brother, Shemp Howard, whose roles were to act as foils, or stooges, for Healy's jokes. Joined later by Larry Fine, the Howards later went off on their own, eventually to call themselves "The Three Stooges." Over the years there would be six stooges in all. When Shemp left the act to try a solo career, he was replaced by a third Howard brother, the shy, bumbling Jerome "Curly" Howard. Later, when Curly Howard suffered a debilitating stroke, Shemp would return to replace him. Later still, after Shemp's death in 1955, Joe Besser, a short, heavyset, effeminate-acting veteran of stage and screen comedy, would join the act in Shemp's place. Besser, however, unwilling to tolerate the sort of violent, physical slapstick that was the Stooges' trademark, left the act in 1958, to be replaced by the sixth and final Stooge, Joe DeRita, who was given the moniker "Curly-Joe."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Takacs <kinephile@aol.com>

Ted Healy was was born Charles Lee Nash and grew up a very good friend with Moses "Moe" and Samuel "Shemp" Horwitz (later Moe and Shemp Howard). In the twenties he changed his name to Ted Healy and got Moe, Shemp, and a violinist Larry Feinberg (later Larry Fine) to do vaudeville acts with him as his stooges. As the 1930's started Ted was becoming addicted to alcohol. Shemp left the act and Moe replaced him with Curly Jerome Howard. those three also left the act because Ted Healy underpaid them and kept getting drunk. He spent the rest of his life doing feature films, most notably "Operator 13," before he was murdered in 1937 by three men at the bar because Ted was drunk and tried to pick a fight with them.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: NPG Drew Christiansen

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 immediate fame as "Ted and Betty Healy: The Flapper and the Philosopher." Moe Howard and Shemp Howard, the first of Healy's famous stooges, were incorporated into the act by 1924, followed shortly by a third stooge, Kenneth Lackey (replaced by Larry Fine in 1925). In 1926 Ted and Betty Healy were signed by Hal Roach to produce a series of short comedies, only one of which was made, sans Betty, entitled Wise Guys Prefer Brunettes (1926), directed by Stan Laurel. In various combinations Ted, Betty and the stooges appeared on Broadway and continued to tour vaudeville until 1928, when Betty departed the act (the Healys were officially divorced in 1932). Ted and his stooges made their feature film debut in 1930's Soup to Nuts (1930), after which Shemp Howard departed and was replaced by his younger brother Curly Howard. In 1933 Ted and his stooges were signed by MGM and were featured in a variety of shorts and features, with Healy more and more frequently appearing alone in character roles. The act finally dissolved in 1934 when Howard, Fine and Howard accepted an offer from Columbia Pictures and found fame as The Three Stooges. At MGM Healy was featured with ever-increasing prominence in both dramas (San Francisco (1936), Death on the Diamond (1934)) and light comedies (It's in the Air (1935)), and was also teamed with burly second-banana 'Nat Pendleton' (qwv). In late 1936 Ted Healy signed a lucrative contract with Warner Brothers and received co-starring roles (with 'Dick Powell') in two major Busby Berkeley musicals, Varsity Show (1937) and Hollywood Hotel (1937).

Healy married UCLA co-ed Betty Hickman in 1936 and on December 17, 1937, their son, John Jacob Nash, was born. Healy reportedly left the hospital to celebrate, first at the Brown Derby, then at the Trocadero. Intoxicated, he became involved in a fight with one or more people that left him seriously injured and nearly unconscious. He was found by friends, delirious and bleeding on the sidewalk in front of the Trocadero, and was taken to a doctor. He never regained full consciousness. He died at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, December 21, 1937, at his home in Beverly Hills. The cause of death was determined, in time, as kidney failure due to both the beating and years of alcohol abuse. He was survived by his wife, his child and his sister, Marcia Healy.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: neathery@periscopemm.com (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (2)

Betty Hickman (15 May 1936 - 21 December 1937) (his death) (1 child)
Betty Brown (1922 - 1932) (divorced)

Trivia (9)

Following his untimely death, he was interred at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
Befriended and worked with Moe Howard years before their "stooge" act in a water comedy show that featured swimmer Annette Kellerman in 1912. The act dissolved after a tragic accident in which a young female swimmer misjudged a dive and broke her neck.
When Shemp Howard left the act, Moe Howard wanted his younger brother Jerome to take his place. However, Ted disliked Jerome and would not hire him. Some sources say Moe threatened to quit unless he hired Jerome. Whatever the reason, Ted finally agreed to hire him on the condition that he shaved his head, and went by the name of Curly. Healy figured that Jerome would not want to shave his head so he would not have to take him into the act, but Jerome did indeed agree to the terms, and thus became Curly Howard, the most popular of all The Three Stooges.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 210-211. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Attended high school at De La Salle Institute in Manhattan, New York City. He initially intended to follow his father's footsteps and pursue a career in business, but eventually decided on the stage.
In the early 1930s, Healy was the highest paid comic in the country, making $30,000 per week. Despite the small fortune he got, he paid his Three Stooges, Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Shemp Howard and, after Shemp left, Curly Howard--$100 per week, split three ways.
His son - John Jacob Nash but who changed his name to Theodore John Healy - who was born four days before Ted's untimely death, graduated from Annapolis in 1963.
Brother of Marcia Healy.
Had English and Irish ancestry.

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