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Shemp Howard

From Academic Kids

Samuel "Shemp" Howard (March 17, 1895November 22, 1955) was part of the Three Stooges comedy team. He was the older brother of Moe Howard and third stooge in the early years of the act and later, after Curly's stroke in 1946.

The first major film he was in was "Soup to Nuts" (1930) as a fireman, the only film in which he plays one of Ted Healy's stooges.

Shemp left Healy's act in 1932 to pursue a solo career in film. This turned out to be very successful, performing with such comic greats as Fatty Arbuckle, W.C. Fields, and the comedy team Abbott and Costello. He also attempted, unsuccessfully, to create his own group of "stooges." In 1946, he replaced Curly as the third stooge.

Shemp is often compared to Curly, but he had his own comedic style, which worked out well, some fans even prefer his comic style over Curly's. He starred in seventy-seven Three Stooges shorts and appeared with Moe and Larry in the film "Gold Raiders" (1951). Shemp suffered a minor stroke in 1952, which appeared to have only a minor effect in some of his last films with the Stooges. Shemp died of a massive stroke while traveling back from a boxing match on November 22, 1955. Several Three Stooges films were in production at the time of his death; in order to complete them, a lookalike actor was hired and filmed mostly from the back. This form of cinematic trickery came to be known as "shemping". The term "fake shemp" has been adopted later in cinematography to refer to or credit someone who appears in a film under heavy make-up, filmed from the back, or perhaps only showing an arm or a foot.

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