American actor and frizzy-haired Stooge (1902-1975). Real name: Louis Feinberg. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the first of four children, one of whom died prematurely. His parents owned a watch repair and jewelry shop. He had an accident-prone childhood, once falling through the glass top of a jewelry display case (he was uninjured) and later trying to drink from an acid bottle. His father caught him in time and knocked the bottle from his hand, but some of the acid splashed onto his arm, leaving the toddler badly burned. After a skin graft was done on his arm, his doctors recommended that he be taught to play the violin, hoping that the arm movements would strengthen his damaged muscles.

Larry became more interested in performing as he grew older, putting on comedy and musical shows for anyone he could. His talents as a violinist were considered very impressive, and when he was just ten years old, he performed a solo of "Humoresque," backed by a full orchestra, at a children's concert at Philadelphia's Roseland Dance Hall. He eventually learned to play piano, clarinet, saxophone, and several brass instruments. In time, Larry was able to turn his talents toward making money. He competed in local amateur night contests and was a frequent winner. When he was 15, he also sang along with movie slides at several Philadelphia theaters, earning two bucks per performance. Later, he developed an act where he played the violin while performing a Russian dance. On top of all that, he fought over 40 bouts as a lightweight boxer!

Larry met his future wife, Mabel, while he was working vaudeville in the early 1920s. They and Mabel's sister, Loretta, put their own act together called "The Haney Sisters and Fine." While they were playing Chicago, Ted Healy, Moe Howard, and Shemp Howard (long before they were called the Three Stooges) caught their show. That night, Shemp announced that he was quitting the act, and Moe suggested Larry as a replacement. Healy offered Larry $90 a week to join his act and an additional tenner if he'd get rid of the violin. Larry accepted the offer the next day. Not too much later, Curly was added to the bill, and the classic Stooge lineup was born.

Larry had a very laid-back personality (much like his onscreen persona) and had a bit of a reputation as a goof-off. Part of that may have been because of his chronic tardiness, and part may be because, compared to Moe's undying dedication to the Stooges, anyone would look like a goof-off.

Larry and Mabel loved throwing parties and held midnight suppers for all their friends every Christmas. He was also a chatterer who rarely quit talking when he was off-stage. He was also, however, an atrocious businessman who always spent his money as quickly as he could, either buying luxuries, gambling it away, or giving it away to friends or shysters. Because of his free-spending ways, his family lived in hotels in Atlantic City and Hollywood for years, and he didn't buy a home until the late 1940s. In fact, when Columbia quit making Stooge comedies in 1958, Larry was almost forced into bankruptcy.

After Curly suffered a series of strokes that forced him to retire from the group in 1946, Larry came up with the idea that he, Moe, and Shemp donate $50 of their weekly salary to help support Curly.

Besides spending money, Larry's chief hobbies included sports (he was a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers and regularly attended boxing matches) and music--he was actually a music teacher, focusing on jazz.

Larry died of a massive stroke in 1975 in Woodland Hills, California. Moe died only a few months later.

Research from http://www.stoogeworld.com/_Biographies/Larry.htm and the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)

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