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Shemp Howard

Shemp Howard

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Also Known As: Samuel Horwitz Died: November 23, 1955
Born: March 17, 1895 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: comedian, actor, comedy writer, nightclub owner, pin setter at a bowling alley, newspaper delivery boy, plumber

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Once described as "The Ugliest Man in Hollywood" as part of a publicity stunt concocted by his agent, comic actor Shemp Howard was an integral member of The Three Stooges for more than 70 films. Receiving his start on the vaudeville circuit, Shemp performed with his brother Moe and violinist Larry Fine alongside popular comedian Ted Healy on Broadway and in the two-reel short "Soup to Nuts" (1930) prior to venturing on to a solo career. Over the 15 years that followed, Shemp established himself as a film comedian opposite players like W.C. Fields and Abbott & Costello until the failing health of his younger brother Curly brought him back into the Stooges fold with the comedy "Fright Night" (1947). Less hyper-kinetic and childlike than Curly, Shemp's shameless mugging and trademark utterance of "Bee-bee-bee-bee!" - in addition to his willingness to take a mallet to the head or a pair of fingers to eyes - easily made him a welcome addition to the line-up. After appearing in dozens of shorts that included "I'm a Monkey's Uncle" (1948) and "Corny Casanovas" (1952), he died of a heart attack in 1955. And while replaced onscreen, the stringy-haired funny man would never be supplanted in the hearts of...

Once described as "The Ugliest Man in Hollywood" as part of a publicity stunt concocted by his agent, comic actor Shemp Howard was an integral member of The Three Stooges for more than 70 films. Receiving his start on the vaudeville circuit, Shemp performed with his brother Moe and violinist Larry Fine alongside popular comedian Ted Healy on Broadway and in the two-reel short "Soup to Nuts" (1930) prior to venturing on to a solo career. Over the 15 years that followed, Shemp established himself as a film comedian opposite players like W.C. Fields and Abbott & Costello until the failing health of his younger brother Curly brought him back into the Stooges fold with the comedy "Fright Night" (1947). Less hyper-kinetic and childlike than Curly, Shemp's shameless mugging and trademark utterance of "Bee-bee-bee-bee!" - in addition to his willingness to take a mallet to the head or a pair of fingers to eyes - easily made him a welcome addition to the line-up. After appearing in dozens of shorts that included "I'm a Monkey's Uncle" (1948) and "Corny Casanovas" (1952), he died of a heart attack in 1955. And while replaced onscreen, the stringy-haired funny man would never be supplanted in the hearts of Stooge fans who truly appreciated what Shemp Howard and his fellow Stooges gave to the world of comedy, even if the critics did not.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Gold Raiders (1951)
2.
 Africa Screams (1949) Gunner
3.
 The Gentleman Misbehaves (1946) Marty
4.
 Dangerous Business (1946) Monk
5.
 Blondie Knows Best (1946) Jim Gray
6.
 One Exciting Week (1946) Marvin Lewis
7.
 Trouble Chasers (1945) Shemp Howard
8.
 Strange Affair (1944) Laundry truck driver
9.
 Moonlight and Cactus (1944) Punchy
10.
 Crazy Knights (1944) Shemp Howard
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Performed at various dance halls and in amateur theater shows
:
Drafted into the U.S. Army; later discharged
1917:
Played vaudeville circuit and showboats in blackface comedy act with brother Moe Howard on the RKO circuit and performed without makeup on the Loew's circuit
1922:
Joined with Ted Healy and brother Moe Howard in sketch comedy act later to evolve into The Three Stooges
1925:
Left act for several years after his marriage
1929:
Appeared on stage in "A Night in Spain" and "A Night in Venice"
1930:
Rejoined brother Moe, Healy and Larry Fine to appear in feature film "Soup to Nuts"
1931:
Without Healy, Fine and the Howard brothers performed as Three Lost Souls
1932:
Reteamed with Healy for the Broadway production "The Passing Show of 1932," produced by J J Shubert
1932:
Began solo career when Healy, Moe Howard and Larry Fine left "Passing Show" over a contract dispute with Shubert
:
Performed in Vitaphone shorts and on vaudeville circuits
1936:
Replaced Jimmy Durante as promoter Knobby Walsh in "Joe Palooka" film series
1937:
Signed by Columbia to appear in a series of comedy shorts
1937:
In partnership with Wally Vernon, opened nightclub Stage One
1940:
Co-starred in "The Bank Dick"
1941:
Landed featured role in comedy feature "Hellzapoppin!"
1947:
Replaced brother Curly as member of Three Stooges beginning with the short "Fright Night"; made total of 77 two-reelers with the Stooges
1951:
Co-starred, along with Moe and Fine, opposite George O'Brien in the Western feature "Gold Raiders"
1952:
Suffered a mild stroke; continued making shorts with the Stooges
1956:
Final film appearance, "Columbia Laff Hour"; released posthumously
2000:
Portrayed by John Kassir in the ABC TV-movie "The Three Stooges"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

New Utrecht High School: Brooklyn , New York -
P S 163: Brooklyn , New York -
Baron DeHirsch Trade School: New York , New York - 1911 - 1912

Notes

Howard had numerous phobias. He was afraid of heights, of driving or being driven in a car, and also had a fear of water.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Gertrude Frank. Married in 1925.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Solomon Horwitz.
mother:
Jennie Horwitz.
brother:
Irving Horwitz.
brother:
Moses Horwitz. Comedian, actor. Born in 1897; died in 1975.
brother:
Jack Horwitz.
brother:
Jerome Lester Horwitz. Comedian, actor. Born in 1903; died in 1952.
son:
Morton Howard. Born in 1927; died of cancer on January 13, 1972.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Contributions

Shemp ( 2008-08-27 )

Source: not available

The bio states that after Shemp Howard moved to Hollywood, he... "replaced Jimmy Durante as the fight promoter Knobby Walsh in the "Joe Palooka" series." Not exactly. Durante played 'Knobby Walsh' in an independent Hollywood feature made in 1934, released thru UA. Shemp Howard played 'Knobby' in 7 short subjects produced at WB's Vitaphone in Brooklyn, 1936 - 1937. The two PALOOKA productions were exclusive of each other, at different studios, with different casts.

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