The Three Stooges

comedy team

Best known as a threesome, the Stooges started as a twosome, with Moe Howard and his brother Samuel (“Shemp.”) The pair performed their shtick in vaudeville for five years before Larry Fine made the two Stooges three. As the magic of vaudeville began to wane, the Stooges took their head-knocking act to the big screen, making 200 short films between 1934 and 1958. Shemp Howard left the group in the early 1930s and Jerome “Curly” Howard signed on. When Curly suffered a stroke in 1946, Shemp returned. Joe Besser replaced Shemp when he died in 1955 and Joe De Rita replaced Besser in 1959. The Stooges made feature films, including Have Rocket Will Travel (1959) and Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961), but their current renown and status as pop icons depends on the incessant television exposure in the 1950s and '60s of their short films.

The most famous Stooges were

Moe Howard

(Moses Horwitz)
Born: 6/19/1897
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Died: 5/4/1975

Shemp Howard

(Samuel Horwitz)
Born: 3/17/1895
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Died: 11/23/1955

Larry Fine

(Laurence Feinburg)
Born: 10/5/1902
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: 1/24/1975

Curly Howard

(Jerome Horwitz)
Born: 10/22/1903
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Died: 1/18/1952