Curly Joe DeRita
- Category : 1909-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Small (1,6,13,25,44,55)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Cycles 1
American actor and comedian, best known for his stint as a member of the Three Stooges in the persona of "Curly Joe." DeRita was the last surviving Stooge and the only Stooge who was not Jewish.
DeRita was born into a show-business family. Taking his mother's maiden name, DeRita, the actor joined the burlesque circuit during the 1920s, gaining fame as a comedian. During World War II, DeRita joined the USO, performing through Britain and France with such celebrities as Bing Crosby and Randolph Scott.
He first joined the Three Stooges in 1958. They embarked on a new series of six theatrical Three Stooges films, including Have Rocket, Will Travel (1959), DeRita's on-screen debut with the Stooges, and Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961). Through the 1960s, DeRita remained a member of the team, participating in The New Three Stooges animated cartoons series (with live-action introductions).
On 30 August 1983, the Three Stooges received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On 3 July 1993, Joe DeRita died of pneumonia nine days before his 84th birthday at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.