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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Clearing Up A Decades Old Mystery

A Touring Company Circa 1931, Which Cassara Covers Thoroughly

Nobody's Stooge Tells The Ted Healy Story

Ted Healy is a favorite at Greenbriar. A couple weeks ago saw him here in thought-lost Hello, Pop!, a resurface that sent Three Stooge fans into jubilee. But how many came to laud Healy? He died in 1937 and would be forgotten, but for bad impression that he had mistreated the Stooges, and a death myth netting Wallace Beery (his assassin?), Albert Broccoli (future James Bond producer with his own license to kill?), plus unnamed collegiates who'd off Healy for being a loud drunk. A real thicket this, but author Bill Cassara in his new Healy bio, Nobody's Stooge, has dug deep and found what I'm satisfied is truth. He sifts through rumor like a vacuum cleaner, addressing all of tall tales propogated by others. Among queries addressed: Was Beery barbarism a clean-up job for Metro fixers? Did Broccoli and mobster pals put Healy behind an eight ball? Cassara got quotes from many who remembered, each with opinion, accurate or no, on Ted's passing. Here was an incident biz insiders would not forget, even as most chose to keep silent on it. That mystery consumes a second half of page-turning, the first devoted to Healy career gone before. His vaudeville years are colorfully recounted, Ted performing among to-be legends like Milton Berle, Bob Hope, and, of course, those Three Stooges he'd create. Extensive research has been done, the author trained by police work and not one to leave stones unturned. Nobody's Stooge is show-world history that segues to detective non-fiction, and holds a grip from beginning to last. The book sets a lot straight, and I highly recommend it.

3 Comments:

Blogger Randy said...

An interesting book, and one of the better that I've read from Bear Manor. That company gets points for tackling a lot of subjects no other publisher would touch, especially in this day when much of the world thinks everything you need to know is on Wikipedia. The quality of their output has been uneven, though, and the lack of services of a professional editor sometimes shows badly, even at a minimal level of checking for typographical errors. Still and all, Bear Manor fills a void, offering a diverse catalog of books on various pop culture subjects at very affordable prices.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Kevin K. said...

Rats -- too late to go under the Christmas tree!

4:55 PM  
Blogger Reg Hartt said...

Ordered it. Thank you. Ted Healy pops up in Karl Freund's MAD LOVE. The murderer Ed Brophy plays is the same character we see him playing in Tod Browning's FREAKS. That is a little nugget I don't think anyone else has noticed.

9:17 AM  

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