Curly Joe DeRita (July 12, 1909-July 3, 1993), born Joseph Wardell, was an American comedian who is best known as Curly Joe DeRita, the 'sixth' member of The Three Stooges, and the 'second' Curly. DeRita was born into a show-business family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Florenz (DeRita) and Frank Wardell, and of French-Canadian and English ancestry. He was the youngest of his 5 brothers. Wardell's father was a stage technician, his mother a professional stage dancer, and the three often acted on stage together from his early childhood. Taking his mother's maiden name, DeRita, the actor joined the burlesque circuit during the 1920s, gaining fame as a comedian.
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