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Joe De Rita

Joe De Rita

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Also Known As: Curly, Joe Derita Died: July 3, 1993
Born: July 12, 1909 Cause of Death: pneumonia
Birth Place: Profession: comedian

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In 1959, after Jerome ('Curly') Howard, Shemp Howard, and Joe Besser had either retired or died, this hefty, bald slapstick comedian stepped in as the final "third Stooge" alongside mainstays Moe Howard and Larry Fine. DeRita, often known as 'Curly Joe', joined the Three Stooges after the group had made nearly 200 comedy shorts spanning a quarter century. The new Stooges were ready to move into a series of low-budget features arising from their newfound popularity due to the TV syndication of their shorts. DeRita was less manic than either Shemp or the original Curly and given to less face-making, but his trademark prissy fussiness was also less funny. The trio romped their aging but still comically crackpot way through a half-dozen silly if broadly amusing vehicles in which they encountered Hercules, Snow White, and Western outlaws and were sent into orbit on several occasions.

In 1959, after Jerome ('Curly') Howard, Shemp Howard, and Joe Besser had either retired or died, this hefty, bald slapstick comedian stepped in as the final "third Stooge" alongside mainstays Moe Howard and Larry Fine. DeRita, often known as 'Curly Joe', joined the Three Stooges after the group had made nearly 200 comedy shorts spanning a quarter century. The new Stooges were ready to move into a series of low-budget features arising from their newfound popularity due to the TV syndication of their shorts. DeRita was less manic than either Shemp or the original Curly and given to less face-making, but his trademark prissy fussiness was also less funny. The trio romped their aging but still comically crackpot way through a half-dozen silly if broadly amusing vehicles in which they encountered Hercules, Snow White, and Western outlaws and were sent into orbit on several occasions.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 For Love & Money (1967)
2.
 The Outlaws IS Coming (1965) The Three Stooges
4.
 The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962) Curly Joe
5.
 Have Rocket--Will Travel (1959) Curley Joe
6.
 The Bravados (1958) Simms
7.
 The Sailor Takes a Wife (1946) Waiter
8.
 High School Hero (1946) Tiny
9.
 The French Key (1946) Inspector Fox
10.
 The Doughgirls (1944) The stranger
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1944:
First notable feature film role, in a small part in "The Doughgirls"
1959:
Joined the Three Stooges, taking over for Joe Besser
1959:
First feature film as one of the Stooges, "Have Rocket, Will Travel"
1965:
Appeared in the last of the Three Stooges' feature films, "The Outlaws Is Coming!"
1966:
Supplied the voice of Curly for the animated children's TV show, "The New Three Stooges"
1991:
Moved into the Motion Picture and Television Fund convalescent home and hospital after suffering a series of strokes (date approximate)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

In 1993, DeRita's stepsons filed a lawsuit questioning the distribution of profits of and assignment of rights held by Comedy III, a company formed in 1959 by the Three Stooges. The suit was settled in their favor.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jean DeRita. Survived him.

Family close complete family listing

step-son:
Earl Benjamin. Attorney.
step-son:
Robert Benjamin. Attorney.

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