DEAD: ON THIS DATE
-American comedian and actor
Samuel Horwitz (March 11, 1895 – November 22, 1955), known professionally as Shemp Howard, was an American actor and comedian. He was called “Shemp” because “Sam” came out that way in his mother’s thick Litvak accent. He is best known today for his role as the third stooge in the Three Stooges, a role he first portrayed at the beginning of the act in the early 1920s (1923–1932) while the act was still associated with Ted Healy and known as “Ted Healy and his Stooges”, and again from 1946 until his death in 1955. Between his times with the Stooges, Shemp had a successful film career as a solo comedian.
DEATH: On November 22, 1955, Shemp went out with his friends Al Winston and Bobby Silverman to a boxing match (one of Shemp’s favorite pastimes), at the old Hollywood Legion Stadium (at North El Centro Avenue & Selma Avenue), located just one block above the Hollywood Palladium. While returning home in a taxicab that evening, he died of a sudden massive heart attack, at the age of 60. He was leaning back and lighting a cigar after telling a joke, when he suddenly slumped over on his friend Al Winston’s lap, accidentally burning Al with the cigar. Al thought Shemp was playing a joke, since Shemp was laughing moments earlier, but realized he was actually dead.