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Eugenie Besserer

Eugenie Besserer

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Also Known As: Died: March 30, 1934
Born: December 25, 1868 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: France Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Short, portly comedian whose eccentric personas often were whiny, child-like, cautious or bratty, Joe Besser is best recalled as Stinky, the "man-child" dressed in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit who caused Lou Costello much consternation, and for joining The Three Stooges for the last of their 16 two-reel shorts at Columbia after the death of Shemp Howard. A burlesque and vaudeville performer who emigrated to Hollywood at the demise of those two stage genres, he began doing bits in radio and in films, usually as weak, frightened passive characters. Besser began to attract more audience recognition as Mr. Know It All on radio's "Let Yourself Go" (from 1945 to 1949) and then in 1950, when he spent a year as a comedy performer on the CBS variety program "The Ken Murray Show." Audiences enjoyed him as the skipping, brat Oswald, a.k.a. 'Stinky', who threatened "I'll harm you" whenever he was grasped by the arm on TV's "The Abbott and Costello Show" (syndicated, 1952-54). When Shemp Howard died in 1955, Besser was tapped as his replacement in the Three Stooges, but his nervous-nellie shtick didn't really mesh with the more knockabout slapstick of Moe Howard and Larry Fine. When the Stooges ended their...

Short, portly comedian whose eccentric personas often were whiny, child-like, cautious or bratty, Joe Besser is best recalled as Stinky, the "man-child" dressed in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit who caused Lou Costello much consternation, and for joining The Three Stooges for the last of their 16 two-reel shorts at Columbia after the death of Shemp Howard. A burlesque and vaudeville performer who emigrated to Hollywood at the demise of those two stage genres, he began doing bits in radio and in films, usually as weak, frightened passive characters. Besser began to attract more audience recognition as Mr. Know It All on radio's "Let Yourself Go" (from 1945 to 1949) and then in 1950, when he spent a year as a comedy performer on the CBS variety program "The Ken Murray Show." Audiences enjoyed him as the skipping, brat Oswald, a.k.a. 'Stinky', who threatened "I'll harm you" whenever he was grasped by the arm on TV's "The Abbott and Costello Show" (syndicated, 1952-54).

When Shemp Howard died in 1955, Besser was tapped as his replacement in the Three Stooges, but his nervous-nellie shtick didn't really mesh with the more knockabout slapstick of Moe Howard and Larry Fine. When the Stooges ended their affiliation with Columbia Pictures (with whom Besser had been under contract in the 30s and 40s) in 1958, he was dropped in favor of 'Curly' Joe DeRita. For Besser, that turn of events proved favorable as he went on to a career as a character player in films and TV. He co-starred as the building superintendent Mr. Jillson on the ABC sitcom "The Joey Bishop Show" from 1962 to 1965 and made memorable guest appearances on shows like "Batman" and "Love American Style." For much of the 70s, he provided character voices for animated series, many produced by Hanna-Barbera.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Earth Sings, The (1933)
2.
 To the Last Man (1933) Granny Spelvin
3.
 6 Hours to Live (1932)
4.
 In Gay Madrid (1930) Doña Generosa
5.
 A Royal Romance (1930) Mother
6.
 Fast Company (1929) Mrs. Kane
7.
 Seven Faces (1929) Madame Vallon
8.
 Illusion (1929) Mrs. Jacob Schmittlap
9.
 Speedway (1929) Mrs. MacDonald
10.
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