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Larry Fine

Larry Fine

D.O.B.: October 5, 1902 (Philadelphia, PA)

D.O.D.: January 24, 1975 (Woodland Hills, CA)

Cause of Death: Stroke

Location: Forest Lawn Glendale; Freedom Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Liberation

Biographical Notes:

The Three Stooges middle man.

Larry had a close call in his youth. "Larry wasn't so fortunate the next time he got into trouble. It happened when Dad was testing metals to see which were gold. He used a powerful acid that when applied to base metals would turn them green or burn a hole in them. Gold, however was not affected by the acid. One day Dad had removed the stopper from the acid bottle, leaving it uncovered. A thirsty Larry stood unnoticed at his side. As he reached for the bottle of acid to raise it to his mouth and drink, Dad saw him out of the corner of his eye and smacked the bottle from his hand, splashing acid on his left arm and burning it badly."

Larry required immediate medical attention and a skin graft was done on his arm. After the surgery, doctors recommended that he be given violin lessons as a form of therapy. It was believed that the action of drawing the bow over the strings would strengthen his damaged arm muscles. Little did Larry realize that the violin would become an important tool in his career.

Morris remembers that Larry eventually became a versatile musician. "He was a natural- born performer and could play any instrument he got his hands on - piano, clarinet, saxophone and brass. He even constructed a violin out of a cigar box and a broom handle. He played its single string like a cello, holding it between his knees."

It was during a play date in Chicago, in 1925, at a night club called the Rainbow Gardens, that Larry was first asked to become a stooge. Ted Healy, Moe and Shemp Howard took in Larry's performance one evening, at which time Shemp informed Healy that he planned to leave the act. Moe suggested that perhaps Larry could replace Shemp.

 When the team left MCM in 1934, the Stooges were comprised of Moe, Larry and Curly. They went on to star in two-reel comedies for Columbia Pictures, where the team remained for 24 years.

Larry's devil-may-care personality carried over to the world of finance. He was a terrible businessman and spent his money as soon as he earned it. He would either gamble it away at the track or at high-stakes gin rummy games. In an interview, Fine even admitted that he often gave money to actors and friends who needed help and never asked to be reimbursed. Joe Besser and director Edward Bernds remember that because of his free spending, Larry was almost forced into bankruptcy when Columbia terminated the Three Stooges comedies in 1958.

Larry's favorite sport was baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers his favorite team.

Larry's favorite actors were Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable and Peter Falk, while Milton Berle, Jack Benny and Redd Foxx were his choice for comedians. 

His favorite Stooges films were Scrambled Brains (1951) and The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962). 

Appeared In:

"The Three Stooges"

 

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