Larry Fine (October 5, 1902-January 24, 1975) Larry, the middle-stooge, was born Louis Feinberg in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the oldest of four children born to Joseph Feinberg and Fanny Liebermann. Larry was an accident-prone child. One time, when showing off his dancing skills as a child, he fell through the glass top of a display case. Another time, his father was testing metals using acid to see whether any were gold. Larry, mistaking the acid for a drink, tried to take a drink of the acid. His father knocked the bottle away in time, but in doing so burned Larry's arm badly. For therapy, Larry had to take violin lessons. It was his violin-playing that would eventually lead to his being dis- covered by Moe Howard and Ted Healy. Larry became a professional violin player, playing in several theatre cir- cuits during his teens. In 1921, he landed a job in Gus Edwards' News- boy Sexette. He played the violin, danced, and told jokes in a Jewish dialect. Also on the bill with him was Mabel Haney, who later became Larry's partner and wife. Larry, Mabel Haney, and her sister Loretta, formed an act called "Haney Sisters and Fine." The Haney sisters sang and danced, while Larry played the violin and did a Russian dance to the tune of "My Old Kentucky Home." The three performed together until 1925. It was on one night in that year that Larry was asked by Ted Healy and Moe Howard to become a Stooge. Shemp Howard had decided to form an act of his own, leaving Moe and Ted in need of a replacement. Larry was offered $90 a week, if he'd ditch the violin. Larry was leery oHaney sisters sang and danced, while Larry played the violin and did a Russian dance to the tune of "My Old Kentucky Home." The three performed together until 1925. It was on one night in that year that Larry was asked by Ted Healy and Moe Howard to become a Stooge. Shemp Howard had decided to form an act of his own, leaving Moe and Ted in need of a replacement. Larry was offered $90 a week, if he Except for a brief period between 1927 and 1929, Larry remained a Stooge for the rest of his life until he retired in 1970. He left the act briefly in 1927 to marry Mabel Haney, but came back at the same time Moe rejoined the act in 1929 when the boys starred in "A Night in Venice" on Broadway. From then on Larry was always the middle stooge, always receiving the slaps and bumps while simply trying to keep peace between the other two stooges. Behind the scenes, Larry was a happy-go-lucky guy. He was a sports fanatic, and he loved to gamble. He couldn't handle his finances well, so he was constantly going broke and asking Moe to help bail him out of financial trouble. He was always surrounded by friends and was always the life of the party. He was considered a goof-off, and was always late for everything, including shooting dates at the studios. Larry had two children, Johnny, who was killed in an automobile acci- dent in 1961, and a daughter, Phyllis. His wife, Mabel, died during a Stooges Memorial Day weekend engagement in 1967. Larry left the show immediately, leaving Moe and then third-stooge Curly-Joe to finish the engagement. In 1970, during the filming of a television movie called "Kook's Tour," Larry suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. The Three Stooges career ended at that time and "Kook's Tour" was never finished. Larry died after suffering a massive stroke on January 24, 1975, at the age of 72. Larry's favorite comedians were Milton Berle, Jack Benny, and Redd Foxx. His favorite Stooge was Curly. He once said, "Personally, I thought Curly was the greatest because he was a natural comedian who had no formal training. Whatever he did he made up on the spur of the moment." His favorite sport was baseball. He loved the Los Angeles Dodgers. His favorite Stooges short was "Scrambled Brains" (1951), and his favorite Stooges feature film was "The Three Stooges Meet Hercules" (1962). Although Larry rarely delivered any funny lines, he was still very valuable to the team. Comedy always comes in threes, and I'm sure that The Three Stooges would not have made it as The Two Stooges. Larry was an excellent actor who has often been overlooked because of his low profile in the Stooges comedies. He dedicated nearly fifty years of his life to The Three Stooges, and all Stooge fans truly appreciate Larry Fine




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