Jerome Lester Horwitz was born on 22 October 1903, in Brooklyn, New York City USA, of Jewish and Lithuanian descent. Curly was a vaudevillian actor and comedian, best known for being part of the comedy team, the Three Stooges, noted for his vocal expressions and high-pitched voice. All of his efforts put his net worth to where it was prior to his passing.
How rich was Curly Howard? As of early-2017, sources estimate a net worth that was at $10 million, earned through a successful career in comedy. He appeared in several films and was also known for his physical comedy. He stayed with the Three Stooges until 1946 when a stroke ended his career in show business. All of these achievements ensured the position of his wealth.
Curly Howard Net Worth $10 million
At a young age, Curly excelled in basketball and was part of his high school team. However, he did not matriculate, and would go on to work in various odd jobs. He also did singing and ballroom dancing during his youth. When he was 12 years old, he accidentally shot himself in the ankle while cleaning a rifle, and this caused a limp that he never sought to fix, and led to his famous exaggerated walk on screen. Interested in both comedy and music, he would join his brothers to perform as the stooges as a vaudeville act, but initially stayed back stage and didn’t participate in the actual performance.
Howard got his first on-stage break in 1928 as a comedy musical conductor. His brothers would start to become popular as the Stooges and began appearing in films. When Shemp left the stooges, Curly was asked to fill the role of the third stooge, and to change his look to fit a more comedic role. The Three Stooges would eventually sign with Columbia Pictures for two-reel comedy shorts, and to become the most popular short-subject attraction of the company, increasing their net worth significantly. Howard would become a hit with audiences and was well known for his numerous physical acts, with a lot of his popular scenes were unscripted thanks to his great improvisational techniques. They made many classics, including “We Want Our Mummy”, “Cactus Makes Perfect”, “An Ache in Every Stake”, and “A Plumbing We Will Go”. He developed a set of expressions that would become very popular, which included “Oh Look!”, “Huff Huff Huff!”, and “Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk”.
During the mid-1940s, Curly’s energy started to lessen; it was noted that his actions seemed slower, and many believed that he suffered strokes around this period, and he was admitted to hospital several times, and was diagnosed with obesity as well as hypertension which forced him to rest, mainly because of a grueling schedule that took a toll on his body. His last performance would be in “Half-Wits Holiday” when he suffered a stroke during filming, so a lot of his scenes were replaced. He made a cameo in 1947’s “Hold That Lion!”, but due to difficulties recovering, he eventually decided to retire. He suffered another stroke in 1950 which led to partial paralysis. The following year, he suffered another stroke and eventually he passed away in 1952.
For his personal life, Curly married Julia Rosenthal in 1930 but it was annulled the following year. His next marriage was to Elaine Ackerman in 1937 and they had a child but divorced in 1940. His third marriage was to Marion Buxbaum in 1945 but their marriage only lasted for a year. His final marriage was to Valerie Newman in 1947, and it lasted until his death.
Impressively, Curly never had any formal training in acting or comedy. In fact, many of his most famous lines and moments came out of improvisation. Both Moe Howard and Larry Fine admitted that they considered Curly the key to the success of the Stooges, saying that his natural comedic genius took their act to an entirely different level.
Was well known for being irresistible to women. Older brother Moe Howard once said that Curly was always "in demand socially" and had no trouble having any woman he wanted. This proved to be more of a problem than anything else in his life, as it led to many failed marriages and relationships. However, despite the problems, Curly remained a notorious ladies' man all of his life.
Was very athletic as a teenager and a star player on his high school basketball team.
Older brother Moe Howard taught him how to play the ukulele.
Was in an automobile accident at age 21 when the car he was driving collided with a streetcar; the accident left him with a scar on his left cheek.
Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street.
After his stroke in 1947, he was left half paralyzed and unable to work, with expensive medical bills. Brothers Moe Howard and Shemp Howard, and fellow Stooge Larry Fine, set aside percentages of their weekly paychecks to help him.
Once went to the doctor about an ear infection, and the doctor removed a cherry pip from his ear.
Once while in Atlantic City, New Jersey, he was cracked over the head with a cane by a young boy who thought Curly's head was as tough as it appeared to be in The Three Stooges shorts.
During the Long Beach earthquake of 1933, he thought the house shaking was the result of a trick Ted Healy was playing on them, and was found by his brother Moe Howard pounding on Healy's door shouting at him to stop whatever that was he was doing.
Got his first job when he was 25 years old, performing as a burlesque conductor for the Orville Knapp Orchestra.
Ted Healy, who originated the idea of The Three Stooges' brutal style of comedy, was not originally interested in hiring Curly to replace Shemp Howard, the original Stooge, after Shemp left the group. Curly had wavy chestnut-brown hair and a waxed mustache. When he went out and completely shaved his head and (eventually) his mustache, Healy hired him on the spot.
Despite his shy nature, the success and celebrity of The Three Stooges triggered his lifelong indulgences in drinking too much, overeating and womanizing. He was also a compulsive spender. Brother Moe Howard, the business manager of the group, tried to curtail Curly's spending habits but was unable to. Despite several hospitalizations for health problems due to his lifestyle, Curly stubbornly refused to change it.
In 1984, he was immortalized in the song "The Curly Shuffle" by the country group Jump 'N the Saddle, which was accompanied by a music video containing clips from several of The Three Stooges shorts featuring him.
Never made a public or on-camera appearance out of character.
The accident he had as a child, which gave him his limp, was a gun accident. One morning he was playing in the backyard with his pistol, which had a hair trigger. He accidentally shot his foot, and was so frightened of surgery, that he never got it fixed. Brother Moe Howard was the one who found him. To mask it on screen, he developed his famous exaggerated walk.
Was an avid dog lover and often brought stray dogs home with him from traveling.
Unlike his character, he was very shy and withdrawn when not on camera.
During a visit to the Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara in January 1945, he was diagnosed as having extreme hypertension, a retinal hemorrhage and obesity thus explaining his ragged appearance in all of the shorts released in 1946-1947, his last year with the group.
Some of the animators at Disney had seen him as "Curly" in The Three Stooges shorts. His movements inspired some of the choreography in the mushroom dance in Fantasia (1940).
He shaved his head for his "Curly" character but did not like it because he felt it reduced his appeal to ladies.
The original use of "woo-woo-woo" was an ad lib. It was actually written into the later scripts.
Shared the same nickname, "Babe", as another contemporary rotund slapstick comic, Oliver Hardy, although it was a coincidence. Curly was the youngest of the three Howard brothers--the others being Moe Howard and Shemp Howard--and his mother always called him "My Baby". His brothers shortened it to "Babe" and used it to constantly tease him. The nickname stuck to him all his life.
Had two older brothers: Jack Horwitz and Irving Horwitz.
According to one of his ex-wives, Curly was extremely musical. He could take almost anything lying around and make music with it. She said when they went to nightclubs, he would take two spoons and play along with the club's band, or tear the table cloth to music. Of course, they would find the cost of the table cloth added to the bill.
Following his untimely death, he was interred at Home of Peace Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California, in the Western Jewish Institute Section.