1895 – born on the 17th of March in Brooklyn, New York. He was the third oldest of five sons of a Lithuanian Jewish immigrant couple. He was part of the Three Stooges comedy team.
1922-23 – He and his brother Moe were hired as stooges for comedian Ted Healy; known as Ted Healy and his Stooges. Since Healy liked his stooges to look as ridiculous as possible, he insisted that they each adopt an eccentric hairstyle. Shemp chose to part his hair down the middle and slick it into place with vaseline, a style he’d retain for the rest of his career.
1925-1955 – Member of the Three Stooges, it became the 3 Stooges when Larry joined in 1925.
Shemp joined the Stooges again from 1946-1955.
1925 – In September, Shemp (age 30) married Gertrude Frank (age 28) a fellow New Yorker.
They had one child.
1932 – He struck out on his own from the Three Stooges.
1940 – 1942 – He signed a contract with Universal pictures, appearing in such films as Hellzapoppin’, Pittsburgh and Arabian Nights.
1946 – While headlining his own series of Columbia 2-reelers, AKA short films. He was asked by his brother Moe and Larry Fine to rejoin their old act, which by now had gained fame as The Three Stooges. he was working for Columbia in this capacity when his brother Curly was felled by a debilitating stroke.
Shemp reluctantly replaced Curly in Columbia’s popular Stooge shorts, essentially becoming the third stooge once more knowing that Moe and Larry would be out of work if he refused. Initially, Shemp rejoined the Stooges on a temporary basis until Curly recovered, but as Curly’s condition worsened, it became apparent that Shemp’s association with the Stooges would be permanent. (Prior to replacing Curly on film, Shemp had substituted for his brother in some personal appearances in the early 1940s.)
1946 – 1955 – He remained with the Three Stooges, appearing in two-reelers, stage presentations,
TV guest spots. Shemp appeared with Moe and Larry in 73 short subjects and the feature film Gold Raiders. He suffered a mild stroke in 1952, though without noticeable effect on his remaining films with the Stooges (largely remakes of earlier films that recycled footage to reduce costs). Some fans, however, contend that in these later cheapies, Shemp looks weak.
1955 – Died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 60, even after his death, he "starred" in four
Three Stooges comedies, courtesy of stock footage from earlier films and a stand-in by the name
of Joe Palma.
2000 – In a TV-movie, Shemp was played by John Kassir.
Shemp, notoriously phobic, his fears included airplanes, automobiles, dogs and water. Shemp never obtained a driver’s license. According to Moe’s autobiography.
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