Jerome Lester Horwitz (October 22, 1903 – January 18, 1952), better known by his stage name Curly Howard, was an American comedian and vaudevillian actor. He was best known as a member of the American farce comedy team the Three Stooges, which also featured his older brothers Moe and Shemp Howard and actor Larry Fine. Curly was generally considered the most popular and recognizable of the Stooges. He was well known for his high-pitched voice and vocal expressions ("nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!", "woob-woob-woob!", "soitenly!" (certainly), and barking like a dog) as well as his physical comedy (e.g., falling on ground and pivoting on his shoulder as he "walked" in circular motion), improvisations, and athleticism. An untrained actor, Curly borrowed (and significantly exaggerated) the "woob woob" from "nervous" and soft-spoken comedian Hugh Herbert. Curly's unique version of "woob-woob-woob" was firmly established by the time of the Stooges' second Columbia film, Punch Drunks (1934).
Curly was forced to leave the Three Stooges act in 1946 when a massive stroke ended his showbusiness career. He suffered through serious health problems and several more strokes until his death in 1952 at age 48.
Curly has always been my personal favorite of The Three Stooges. He's always made me laugh and kept me entertained. For me, the Stooges ended after Curly had died.
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The Stooges run a tailor shop that is about to be repossessed by the Skin and Flint Finance Corporation. When the Boys hear about a big reward for fugitive bank robber 'Terry "Slippery Fingers" Hargan' (Harold Brauer), they think that catching him might end their financial woes. Hargan conveniently ducks into their shop as the officer enters and leaves a suit with a safe combination in its pocket. After his girlfriend (Virginia Hunter) fails to retrieve the combination, Hargan returns with his henchmen, and a wild mêlée follows. The Stooges miss out on the reward but wind up with the crook's bankroll to pay off their debts.