Moe Howard

Moe Howard

(See Ted Healy.)

According to Moe, in sixty years, he never missed a performance.

Brother of actors Curly Howard, Shemp Howard.

Daughter: Joan Howard.

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. Soon, he was appearing in dramas with Costello and comedies with John Bunny and Flora Finch. At first, he didn't 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 2 July 1910.

Father-in-law of Norman Maurer, with whom he was partnered in Normandie Productions.

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.

Grandfather of Jeffrey Scott and Michael Maurer.

Has two older brothers, Jack Horwitz and Irving Horwitz.

He was very protective of his brother Curly Howard, who was in reality quite shy and not known to stand up for himself.

He, Emil Sitka and Joe DeRita ("Curly Joe") were slated to appear in the R-rated film comedy "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 De Rita.

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.

His wife, Helen Schonberger, was a cousin of Harry Houdini.

In addition to himself, Moe also supplied the voices for other characters in "The New 3 Stooges" (1965) cartoon series. For example, in "A Flycycle Built for Two" he also was the voice of Orville Wright.

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.

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.

Interred at Hillside Memorial Park, Culver City, California, USA.

Is portrayed by Paul Ben-Victor in The Three Stooges (2000) (TV)

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).

Moe of The Three Stooges.