Curly Howard was born Jerome Horwitz on this day in 1903 in Brooklyn, New York.
Curly, brother of Moe and Shemp and partner of Larry Fine, was a shaven-headed butterball, a man-child who gave the atmosphere of violence and mayhem in the Three Stooges shorts a loopy tinge of surrealism. Mincing around with an exaggerated gait (designed to mask a limp picked up from a childhood shooting accident), and spouting the most preposterous sounds ("woo-woo-woo!" or "nyuk-nyuk-nyuk" were favorites) between lines of mostly happy-go-lucky moronic dialogue uttered in a Brooklynesque falsetto voice, Curly Howard was instantly appealing to children as one of their own, and the Stooge comedies in which he appeared (before suffering a stroke and being replaced by Shemp in 1947) are generally considered the best of their work. Curly died on January 18, 1952 in San Gabriel, California.
After Shemp died in 1955, the Three Stooges carried on with Joe Besser and later Curly Joe DeRita, both bald and rotund comedians who were meant to suggest Curly Howard physically but who had none of Curly's animal silliness.