Moses Harry Horwitz, better known by his stage name Moe Howard, was born on the 19th June 1897 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA and he passed away on the 4th May 1975 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He was a comedian and actor, best known for being the de facto leader of the Three Stooges, a comedy team, and he appeared in over 240 TV and film titles, such as “Dancing Lady” (1933), “The New 3 Stooges” (1965), etc. His career was active from 1909 to 1975.
So, have you ever wondered how rich Moe Howard was? According to authoritative sources, it was estimated that the total size of Moe’s net worth was over $10 million, accumulated through his successful career in the entertainment industry as a comedian and actor. In addition to this, he also appeared in a number of TV shows, which also increased a lot his overall wealth.
Moe Howard Net Worth $10 Million
Moe Howard spent his childhood in a small Jewish community of Brooklyn; the son of Solomon Horwitz, who was a clothing cutter, and Jennie Horwitz. He was raised with four brothers – two of them – Shemp and Jerome (Curly) were also the members of his comedy group. After finished P.S. 163 School, he enrolled at Erasmus High School, where he spent only two months, after which he decided to drop out of education and began to work. Initially, he worked in a small electric shop at the Baron DeHirsch Trade School in New York, and in no time he became a member of the Vitagraph Studios in Midwood, Brooklyn, where he continued pursuing his acting career, as he already was involved into the world of acting.
Moe’s career began when he was 12 years old, in 1909, in the short video “We Must Do Our Best”. However, he became more focused on acting during the 1930s, and since then he had stayed in the entertainment industry until his death in 1975. During his career, which spanned more than 50 years Moe appeared in over 240 film and TV titles, in the role for which he is still remembered, Moe “The Boss Stooge” in the comedy act “The Three Stooges” (1928-1970), consisting of his brothers Curly Howard and Shemp Howard, and Larry Fine. Apart from appearing live, “The Three Stooges” also had numerous television shows, films, and animated series, all of which increased the overall size of Moe’s net worth.
Some of the 240 titles included “The Three Stooges Meet Hercules” (1962), “Fugitive Lovers” (1934), “Dancing Lady” (1933), “The New 3 Stooges” (1965), “Danny Thomas Meets The Comics” (1965), “The Outlaws Is Coming” (1965), and “4 For Texas” (1963), among many others, all of which contributed a lot to his net worth.
Thanks to his skills, Moe received several prestigious awards, such as Golden Laurel in 1951, and he received the star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, although posthumously, in 1983, along with Curly Howard and Larry Fine.
When it comes to speak about his personal life, Moe Howard was married to Helen Schonberger, a cousin of magician Harry Houdini, from 1925 to 1975. They were the parents of two children, and lived in Los Angeles, California, until his age of 77, when he passed away from lung cancer. Posthumously, his autobiographical book was published under the name “Moe Howard And The Three Stooges” (1977).
At the time their mother, Jennie Horwitz, died in 1936, he and brother Shemp Howard had been keeping secret from her that her son, Irving Horwitz, whom she doted on the most, had died three weeks before she did.
In contrast to his rough exterior Stooge persona he played, who was always bullying and assaulting Curly Howard, in real life he was very protective of Curly, taught him how to play the ukulele, and in letters home to his younger brother always signed them "Your loving brother Moe".
Quit vaudeville after getting married and joined his mother's real estate business. He would hire friends as subcontractors to build houses, but unfortunately they built houses that were too expensive for the neighborhood they were in, and he went broke in real estate. His mother, Jennie Horwitz, maintained a successful real estate business for over 40 years but also went bankrupt during the Great Depression; so Moe had to convince her to move from New York to California to be with them.
Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
During the production of Pardon My Scotch (1935), he accidentally broke three ribs when the table he was standing on, which was rigged to split in half on cue, split incorrectly. The take that caused the injuries remains in the film, and was later reused in the short Dizzy Detectives (1943).
In the 23 years The Three Stooges worked for Columbia Pictures, they were never completely aware of how popular or how financially successful they were. It was only after the group stopped making shorts that Moe discovered how much more money the act could have earned.
Right after The Three Stooges' breakup with Ted Healy, Moe signed a contract with Columbia Pictures. Unknown to him, Larry Fine had signed with Carl Laemmle at Universal Pictures. The next morning, Moe asked to see Columbia boss Harry Cohn and explained the situation to him. Cohn called up his legal department, which called up Universal's legal department to check the date and time of the contract signing. According to Moe, Cohn hung up the phone and said, "You boys belong to Columbia.".
In addition to himself, Moe also supplied the voices for other characters on the animated series The New 3 Stooges (1965). For example, in "A Flycycle Built for Two", he also was the voice of Orville Wright.
Got the idea for the notorious Stooge gag of eye-gouging one day when, during a game of bridge, Shemp Howard leaned over and poked Larry Fine in the eyes for not playing well. The result: Larry cried, Shemp apologized, Moe laughed until he fell out of his chair and walked through a glass door. He considered the eye-gouge the funniest thing he'd ever seen and decided to use it in their act.
Sold frogs in saloons when he was a child to pay for his fares when he skipped school and instead went to the theater.
When he and brother Shemp Howard put on shows for families and friends as children, they used younger brother Curly Howard in female roles. Curly, at seven, had trouble remembering his lines so Moe made cue cards on adhesive tape and stuck them to his forehead for Curly to read.
The Stooges' contract with Columbia gave the studio the right to use their likenesses in perpetuity. This means that no one else can legally use the Stooges' likenesses in any form of media without the studio's permission.
Most of his investments were in real estate.
Skinned his nose in a fall down the stairs of his home as a child. His nose was rebuilt by a doctor, but when the doctor turned out to be a phony, he had to have his nose rebuilt all over again by another doctor, whom his mother paid by giving him some of her old copper pots.
He was very protective of his younger brother Curly Howard, who was in reality quite shy and not known to stand up for himself.
His famous "bowl" haircut came by accident. As a child, his mother always wanted a girl, and with Moe being the youngest at the time, she would play dress-up with him, putting him in dresses and bologna curling his long hair. One day, after being picked on for months in school, he and some friends hid in the shed, and he chopped all of the hair off, using a bowl as a guide. After doing so, he was so afraid to face his mother, he hid for hours. Finally coming out, after seeing his hair, she cried out that she was so happy he did so, simply because she couldn't bring herself to. His hair stuck with him all his life.
According to Moe, in sixty years, he never missed a performance.
Moe was the business-minded one of the group. He knew that Curly liked to spend his money on partying and women, and Larry liked to spend his at the racetrack. So, he drew up an agreement where Larry and Curly turned over a certain percentage of their salaries to him. He, in turn, invested it for them. The result was that, while Larry and Curly were not as wealthy as Moe was (he invested far more of his own money and was quite well off), he ensured that their spendthrift habits did not result in their being broke when their careers ended.
Had two older brothers: Jack Horwitz and Irving Horwitz.
When The Three Stooges shorts began to appear on local children's shows in the late 1950s, there was a wave of kids poking each other in the eyes. When Moe heard about this, it was the Stooges who came to the rescue. They went on many local television shows, as well as national television, and showed how the eye-pokes were done in a way that nobody got hurt. To the kids watching, it was like learning a magic trick.
In contrast to his roughneck public persona, Moe was, in private life, a quiet, dedicated family man, whose hobbies included reading, playing bridge and making hooked rugs. The only one of the Stooges who really understood the value of a dollar, investments during his salad days left him a wealthy man at the time of his death.
He, Emil Sitka and Joe DeRita ("Curly Joe") were slated to appear in the R-rated comedy film "The Jet Set" (eventually retitled Blazing Stewardesses (1975)). However, because he was suffering from lung cancer, Moe was forced to drop out of the film. The Ritz Brothers replaced Moe, Sitka and DeRita.
Moe had a legal agreement with his fellow Stooges stating that he reserved the right to choose Stooge replacements (Curly Howard was replaced by Shemp Howard; Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser; Joe was replaced by Joe DeRita).
Following his death, he was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Determined to get into movies, Moe (then going by his middle name, Harry) went to the Brooklyn-based American Vitagraph studios in May 1909, and volunteered to run errands for the stars and crews without charging for the service. This impressed Maurice Costello, who brought Moe inside and introduced him to the company. He was soon appearing in dramas with Costello and comedies with John Bunny and Flora Finch. At first, he did not tell his family about his movie work. But when they thought he was losing his mind because he was acting like his characters at home, he told them about his extracurricular activities. Most of his films from this period were lost when the Vitagraph film library burned on July 2, 1910.
He always played the "Boss Stooge", ordering around the others, insulting them and slapping them around and worse when they goofed up, which was often.
[on his former boss, mentor and friend, actor/comedian Ted Healy, who died under mysterious circumstances (according to one theory, after a drunken argument) while in his early 40s] When sober, Ted was the essence of refinement; when under the influence, he became a foul-mouthed, vicious character. Liquor had killed his father and uncle and destroyed his sister's life. When Ted was young, I remember that he made a pledge never to touch liquor, after having seen the consequences of its effects on his family. The strain of his life in show business got him started, and once he started drinking, he was never able to stop.
[to complaints about The Three Stooges' violent slapstick comedy] We're not nearly as violent as the Westerns.