Who Created the Three Stooges???
Earnest Lea Nash born on October 1, 1896, in Kaufman, Texas. Nash made his first foray into show business in 1912, at the age of 15. He and his childhood friend Moses Horwitz (later known as Moe Howard) joined the Annette Kellerman Diving Girls, a vaudeville act that included four males. The work ended quickly after an accident on stage, and Nash and Howard went their separate ways.
Nash developed a vaudeville act and adopted the stage name Ted Healy.
Ted Healy was a master showman and performer. In the 1920s, he was the highest-paid performer in vaudeville, making $9000 a week.
$9,000 in 1920 is equal to $110,935 in 2018
Healy and his first wife toured when some of his acrobats quit in late 1923, Moe Howard answered the advertisement for replacements. But Howard was not an acrobat, so Healy cast his old friend as a stooge (a employee who poses as a memeber of the audience, and pre-picked at random, to come onstage).
Both Moe and his older brother Shemp worked as stooges for healy, but Shemp did not like the work, so he quit several times, mainly due to money.
Moe persuaded Shemp to come back and work with him because they had picked up new-comer, Larry Fine, in Atlantic City, which meant the same pay but less workload. Larry Fine was the last and final addition to the Healy regulars.
Laryy and his wife waiting for the birth of his daughter at the time.
Ted came up with the idea to spotlight his stooges in a new act with the emphasis on comedy and slapstick humor. He created the act that was to become “The Three Stoodges” but at the time they were known as Ted Healy and his Southern Gentleman.
Fox Films hired Healy to costar in the 1930 film Soup to Nuts (filmed in July 1930), and Ted brought along Moe, Shemp, Larry and Fred Sanborn with him, as extras. But there were problems and in late August 1930, the Stooges and Healy parted ways over a contract dispute.
Moe wanted to continue as a trio without Healy as the lead, but they could not use the name “The Southern Gentleman” so he changed their name to “The Three Lost Soles” and “Howard, Fine, and Howard”, often incorporating material from previous shows with Healy.
Healy attempted to sue the Stooges for using his material, but the copyright was held by the Shubert Theatre Corporation, for which the routines had been produced, and the Stooges had the Shuberts’ permission to use it.
Moe, Larry and Shemp rejoined Healy’s act one last time in late July 1932, but Shemp left on August 19 to pursue a solo career and was replaced by his younger brother Jerry Howard (renamed Curly Howard), only eight days after Shemp departed.
In March 1934, Fine and the Howard’s permanently parted professional ways with Ted Healy, and began working independently at Columbia Studios as “The Three Stooges.”
Healy continued to work but less and less frequently while his lascivious spending stayed the same, Healy was a prolific spender; despite a weekly salary of $1,700 (equivalent to $28,939 in 2017), he died in debt when everything came to a head one night at the Trocadero Club.
The circumstances surrounding Healy’s death remain a matter of controversy.
Healy’s friend, and writer Henry Taylor, told Moe Howard that the fight was preceded by an argument between Healy and three men whom he identified as “college students.
The younger men allegedly knocked Healy to the ground and kicked him in the head, ribs, and abdomen. He also had a cut over his right eye and a “discolored” left eye.
The wrestler Mountain Man Dean reported that he was standing in front of the Plaza Hotel in Hollywood at 2:30 am when Healy emerged, bleeding, from a taxi. He said he was attacked at the Trocadero, but could not identify his assailants.
Dean contacted a physician, Sydney Weinberg, who treated Healy at the hotel. Another friend, Joe Frisco, then drove him to his home.
Wyantt LaMont, Healy’s personal physician, was summoned to the home the following morning when Healy began experiencing convulsions. Despite the efforts of LaMont and a cardiologist, John Ruddock, Healy died later that day.
Officially Healy died on December 21, 1937, at the age of 41, after an evening of celebration at the Trocadero nightclub on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. He was reportedly celebrating the birth of his son.
Because of the circumstances, and conflicting reports of an altercation at the Trocadero, LaMont refused to sign Healy’s death certificate.
Betty his second wife, was left responsible for a multitude of liabilities, including hospital bills related to the birth of her son and Healy’s medical care. She remained hospitalized for some time after Healy died, leaving their house unattended; as a result, it was burglarized with everything of value.
A fundraiser was also held, including a $10-per-plate dinner (about $170 in 2017) and an auction of the Hollywood Hotel’s ledger with hundreds of famous signatures, but Betty later asserted that she had never received any proceeds from the fundraiser.