Curly Howard was the youngest of the three Howard brothers. His real name was Jerome Lester Horwitz, but it was as Curly that he captured the hearts of America, becoming the best loved of the Three Stooges. His performance was notable for its physicality, even in the days of vaudeville, when comedy was more physical in general – one of his recurring set pieces was breaking things over his head.
Curly, more than the other Stooges, was also famous for his catchphrases, suck as his trademark ‘nyuk nyuk nyuk’ laugh or his exaggerated Brooklyn accent on words like certainly (‘soitenly’) and circumstance (‘soicumstance’). Unfortunately, his health was never good, and he died aged only 48 in January of 1952.
Born Moses Harry Horwitz, Moe Howard and his brother, Shemp Howard, were two of the original Three Stooges, one of the most successful acts of the vaudeville era, and also one of the few to make the jump to cinema. Moe would come to be seen as the leader of the Stooges over the years, being the longest standing member of the lineup and frequently playing that role in their appearances.
Moe was one of the only two members of the Stooges to be in every lineup (Harry was the other, and a total of four other actors filled the third slot at various points). He was also the longest lived of the original Stooges, surviving until 1975.
Born Samuel Horwitz, Shemp Howard and his brother, Moe Howard, were two of the original Three Stooges, one of the most successful acts of the vaudeville era, and also one of the few to make the jump to cinema. Shemp would come and go from the Stooges over the years, being replaced by his and Moe’s brother Curly in the lineup. In between times, Shemp was a fairly successful stand up comedian.
His stage name was derived from how his nickname, Sam, sounded when pronounced by his mother, who had a thick Litvak accent. Shemp was famous for his ability to improvise, and his quick wits belied the foolish image of the Stooges. In his solo years, he also performed in a few dramatic roles, showing a range that few would have suspected.