Moe Howard Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (43)  | Personal Quotes (2)  | Salary (3)

Overview (4)

Born in Brooklyn [now in New York City], New York, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth NameMoses Horwitz
Height 5' 3½" (1.61 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 (43)

Original member of The Three Stooges.
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. He was soon appearing in dramas with Costello and comedies with John Bunny and Flora Finch. At first, he did not 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 July 2, 1910.
Following his death, he was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.
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.
Had 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 Horwitz.
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 younger brother Curly Howard, who was in reality quite shy and not known to stand up for himself.
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).
Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
Quit vaudeville after getting married and joined his mother's real estate business. He would hire friends as subcontractors to build houses, but unfortunately they built houses that were too expensive for the neighborhood they were in, and he went broke in real estate. His mother, Jennie Horwitz, maintained a successful real estate business for over 40 years but also went bankrupt during the Great Depression; so Moe had to convince her to move from New York to California to be with them.
In contrast to his rough exterior Stooge persona he played, who was always bullying and assaulting Curly Howard, in real life he was very protective of Curly, taught him how to play the ukulele, and in letters home to his younger brother always signed them "Your loving brother Moe".
At the time their mother, Jennie Horwitz, died in 1936, he and brother Shemp Howard had been keeping secret from her that her son, Irving Horwitz, whom she doted on the most, had died three weeks before she did.
He died five days before Chris Diamantopoulos, who plays 'Moe' in The Three Stooges (2012), was born.
His great-granddaughter Caroline has a small role in The Three Stooges (2012).
Moe never wore a wig, even in his senior years, when he allowed his trademark "soup bowl" haircut to turn gray. In a 1973 appearance on the "'Mike Douglas (I)' Show" Moe claimed he had it styled by the same barber (on Vine Street in Hollywood) for almost 40 years. And he demonstrated how he simply combed it straight back when he wasn't working.
With their Columbia contract cancelled and Joe DeRita replacing Joe Besser they filmed 'The Three Stooges Scrapbook. 'this was a combination of live action and animation filmed in colour. It played as a featurette in cinemas for a short while then disappeared. Pieces of it were used in their feature The Three Stooges in Orbit.
Their final film Kooks Tour has an odd history. Conceived in 1970 as a series of comedy travelogues showing the now retired Stooges hitting the road the production was halted by Larry having a stroke. The unfinished pilot was padded out to sixty minutes with beauty shots of Yellowstone Park then shelved for nearly 10 years. It was finally released for home use on Super 8 but few people were willing to spend $200 to see it.
For his Three Stooges character, he sported a "soup bowl" haircut. Off camera his hair was combed back so that it looked like any normal respectable gentleman's haircut.
As the leader, he was the shortest, at 5' 3 ½", of the six men who became members of The Three Stooges. Larry, Joe Besser and Joe DeRita ("Curly Joe") were all 5'4". Brothers Jerome ("Curly") was 5'5" and Shemp was a towering 5'7".
In the early 50's Larry, Moe and Shemp put together a pilot consisting of a hodgepodge of routines from previous two - reelers but sponsors and networks passed on it. Comments included ' it was fun to see them in a free-wheeling situation but it was ineptly directed', 'it was impossible to tell what was going on' and 'alot of the time the camera was on the wrong Stooge'.
As a teenager, he attended a trade school to learn to be an electrician. His older brother Samuel ("Shemp") also went to the trade school to become a plumber.
At the time he succumb to cancer, he and his wife, Helen, were a little over a month away from celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Personal Quotes (2)

[to complaints about The Three Stooges' violent slapstick 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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