DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Curly Howard (aged 48)
American comedian (Three Stooges)
Jerome Lester Horwitz (October 22, 1903 – January 18, 1952), known professionally as Curly Howard, was an American vaudevillian actor and comedian. He was best known as a member of the American farce comedy team the Three Stooges, which also featured his elder brothers Moe and Shemp Howardand actor Larry Fine. Curly Howard 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 the 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).
DEATH: In December 1951, the North Hollywood Hospital and Sanitarium supervisor advised the Howard family that he was becoming a problem to the nursing staff at the facility because of his mental deterioration. They admitted they could no longer care for him and suggested he be placed in a mental hospital. Moe refused and relocated him to the Baldy View Sanitarium in San Gabriel, California.
On January 7, 1952, Moe was contacted on the Columbia set while filming He Cooked His Goose to help move Curly for what would be the last time. Eleven days later, Curly Howard died. He lived the shortest life of the Stooges, dying at the age of 48. He was given a Jewish funeral and laid to rest at the Western Jewish Institute section of Home of Peace Cemetery in East Los Angeles. His older brothers, Benjamin and Shemp, and parents Jennie and Solomon are all interred there, as well.