Cy Schindell

Seymour "Cy" Schindell (March 4, 1907 – August 24, 1948) was an American actor who appeared in 37 Three Stooges short subjects,[1] mostly as a heavy.

Cy Schindell
Schindell in The Three Stooges film Calling All Curs (1939)
Born
Seymour Schindel

(1907-03-04)March 4, 1907
DiedAugust 24, 1948(1948-08-24) (aged 41)
Years active1933-1948

Career

Brooklyn-born Schindell was born Seymour Schindel in 1907. He was a former middleweight boxer with 19 fights from 1926–1928.[2] He was later bitten by the acting bug, and found work as an extra at Columbia Studios, most notably appearing with comedy team the Three Stooges. A skilled stuntman, Schindell performed many pratfalls himself. His ability to deliver straight, tough dialogue ("youse mugs") made him a natural for parts as heavies.[3] Shorts like Calling All Curs, Nutty But Nice and Fright Night gave Schindell a chance to bully the Stooges around to great effect. In Matri-Phony and Fright Night the ex-pugilist was knocked cold by the trio, only to have the Stooges (concealed behind a curtain) maneuver the unconscious Schindell like a puppet (when Fright Night was remade in 1955 as Fling in the Ring, this footage was reused). Schindell also memorably played Chizzilini, a parody of Benito Mussolini, in the short I'll Never Heil Again.

In addition to his work in Three Stooges shorts, Schindell also appeared briefly in It's a Wonderful Life as the bouncer at Nick's, and made numerous film appearances playing mainly blue collar roles such as a truck driver, a butcher and a policeman.[3]

Military service and illness

Schindell enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during the 1920s[4] and returned to active service for World War II. While on Guadalcanal, he developed a severe case of jungle rot, which eventually developed into terminal cancer. Knowing he was dying, Schindell worked constantly during his illness to assure his family would be financially secure after his death.[3]

Schindell died on August 24, 1948 at age 41, and was buried at Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, California. His final film appearance was in 1948's Three Stooges film Crime on Their Hands; heavy makeup was used to mask Schindell's cancer-ridden face.

Selected filmography

References

  1. ThreeStooges.net: The Three Stooges Online Filmography
  2. Cy Schindel
  3. Okuda, Ted; Watz, Edward (1986). The Columbia Comedy Shorts. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 232. ISBN 0-89950-181-8.
  4. The Leatherneck, Volume 11 Marine Corps Institute, 1928
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