Posted in Movies on 10. Aug, 2012
The Three Stooges is a 2012 slapstick comedy film based on the early to mid-20th century shorts by the comedic trio The Three Stooges. The movie was produced, written and directed by the Farrelly brothers and co-written by Mike Cerrone, and stars Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes, and Will Sasso, recreating theeponymous characters played by Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard. The film’s story places the Stooges in a modern setting.
WHO ARE THE THREE STOOGES?
Born: June 19, 1897 in Bensonhurst, New York
Died: May 4, 1975 at the age of 77
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 Finejoined 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.
Born: October 5, 1902 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: January 24, 1975 at the age of 72
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, Moesuggested that perhaps Larry could replace Shemp. The trio, Moe, Larry, andShemp 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.
Born: July 12, 1909 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: July 3, 1993 at the age of 83
Joe DeRita’s real name was Joseph Wardell. He was born July 12, 1909 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Joe was the only one of the Stooges to come from a show biz family. His mother, Florenz DeRita, was a dancer and his father, Frank Wardell, was a stage technician. Joe was in show business from the age of seven. Joe’s roles included the title role in the stage version of “Peck’s Bad Boy” with his mother and father.
In 1921 Joe went into burlesque because vaudeville was just about gone. Joe’s film debut was in “The Doughgirls” in 1944 with Ann Sheridan for Warner Brothers. During the war, Joe worked with the USO and traveled extensively overseas with many Hollywood stars including his friend, Randolph Scott. He made several tours with Bing Crosby to entertain servicemen in England and France. After the war, Joe made guest appearances on radio shows including Burns & Allen and guest appearances in films and television shows such as The Desilu Playhouse, This is Alice, and Bachelor Father.
Joe appeared in Columbia shorts such as “Slappily Married” and “The Good Bad Egg,” these shorts featured some of the same supporting actors who were in the Stooge Shorts. In 1958 the Columbia short subjects department was disbanded, and The Three Stooges no longer had a contract with Columbia. Joe Besser did not want to travel with the act so Moe and Larry needed a third stooge. Joe DeRita was asked to join the act, and at this time the Stooges formed Comedy III Productions, Inc., a company which still holds The Three Stooges rights and manages their affairs.
In 1958 Columbia released the old Three Stooges shorts to television and there was an immediate resurgence of popularity of the Stooges. The Stooges withCurly Joe as the third Stooge made numerous personal appearances all around the country and made six full length feature motion pictures. This period of time from 1958 and throughout the 60’s was described by Larry Fine as the Stooges’ golden years. While filming “Kook’s Tour” in 1970 Larry suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed on the left side of his body. There was some talk of replacingLarry with Emil Sitka, but The Three Stooges never performed together again.
Curly Joe formed an act called The New Three Stooges with Mousie Garner and Frank Mitchell, but the act only made a few appearances. Joe was just too old to do the Stooge shtick anymore. Curly-Joe married Jean DeRita in 1966 and they were married 25 years until his death. Joe DeRita died on July 3, 1993 at the Motion Picture Hospital in Los Angeles. He was the last stooge.