( United States: Moe: 1897-1975; Larry: 1902-1975; Curly: 1903-1952)
The Three Stooges, Moe Howard (Harry Moses Horowitz), Curly Howard (Jerome Horowitz), and Larry Fine (Louis Feinberg), united as a team to make their first two-reeler for Columbia Pictures, Woman Haters, in 1934. The date is significant in that this film and the two immediately following, Punch Drunks ( 1934) and Men in Black ( 1934), nominated for an Academy Award, established their individual comic personalities and gave the trio an identity that remained a trademark until their last film as the original Stooges, Half-Wits Holiday ( 1947).
The first Stooges were the two brothers, Moe and Shemp Howard (Samuel Horowitz, 1905-1955), who, after teaming up with vaudevillian Ted Healy in 1923, became known as "Ted Healy and His Stooges." Larry Fine joined the act in 1928. The trio and Healy were a commercial success in several Broadway reviews and appeared in a Hollywood movie, Soup to Nuts ( 1930), written by Rube Goldberg. However, in 1933 Shemp, frustrated at constantly having to follow Healy's lead, left the act, and his younger brother, Curly, replaced him; but by 1934 Moe, Larry, and Curly also made a complete break with Healy, and the three began making two-reelers (twenty-minute shorts), or curtain raisers, for Columbia. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s the Stooges achieved fame, and their shorts, always simple in plot, consistently made audiences laugh. The act became so popular with movie audiences that when Columbia surveyed theater managers nationally regarding audience response to the two-reelers, it