Born Jerome Howard in 1903, Curly was the youngest of the Stooges.
Because he was the youngest, his brothers called him “Babe” to tease him, a nickname that stayed with him all his life. When Ted Healy’s act lost Shemp, Moe recommended Jerome, who had a gig as a comedy musical conductor in 1928 for the Orville Knapp Band. With his long hair and handlebar mustache, Healy thought he was too handsome to be a stooge, so Jerome walked out, shaved his head and came back. Healy quipped, “Boy, don’t you look girlie?” which Moe heard as, “Curly” and that name stuck. Healy hired him and a legend was born. When the Stooges broke from Healy, the group went on to make almost 200 shorts for Columbia.
Here are some clips with some of Curly’s highlights: