Bud Abbott ACTOR
BUD ABBOTT BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
William Alexander 'Bud' Abbott, born October 2, 1895, was an American actor, producer, and comedian best known for his work with Lou Costello in the comedy team Abbott and Costello. He was born into a show business family, and dropped out of school as a child to work on Coney Island. At the age of sixteen, Abbott’s father put him in the box office at the Casino Theater in Brooklyn. He continued working in theaters around the country before becoming the manager of the Nation Theater in Detroit. He eventually also put together burlesque shows. In the 1930s, Abbott crossed paths with Lou Costello. While selling tickets at a burlesque theater, Abbott was pulled in to fill in for Costello’s ill straight man. They continued performing in shows, formally becoming a pair in 1936.
In 1938 they gained national exposure for a radio segment on the Kate Smith Hour, in which they performed their most famous sketch titled “Who’s on First?”. That led to an appearance in a Broadway play called The Streets of Paris in 1939, and soon after to a contract with Universal Pictures for the film One Night in the Tropics (1940). They were so successful that Universal kept them and had them star in additional features like Buck Privates (1941), Hold That Ghost (1941), Pardon My Sarong (1942), It Ain’t Hay (1943), and Lost in a Harem (1944). Their most notable skit, Who’s on First, was included in its entirety in The Naughty Nineties (1945).
During World War II the pair was one of the most popular and best paid entertainers in the world. From 1940 until 1956 they had made over thirty films, starred on radio specials, and made themselves known on TV as well. The team’s final movie, Dance with Me, Henry (1956), was released right before their split in 1957. Abbott tried to start a new routine with comedian Candy Codido in the 1960s, but was not successful. He had a television stint on the program General Electric Theater in an episode called The Joke’s on Me in 1961, but was finished performing after that. His final contribution was as the voice of Abbott in an animated series called Abbott and Costello (1967).
For the duration of his life, Abbott had suffered from epilepsy. In the 1960s he had a series of strokes. On top of that, in 1972 he suffered from a broken hip and was shortly after diagnosed with prostate cancer. On April 24, 1972, Abbott died at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.
In 2006, he was posthumously awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Acting from the Garden States Film Festival, and currently has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for his involvement in the motion picture industry and another for his contributions to television.
1967 Abbott and Costello
1961 G.E. True Theater
1956 Dance with Me, Henry
1955 Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops
1954 Fireman Save My Child
1953 Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
1953 Abbott and Costello Go to Mars
1952 The Abbott and Costello Show
1952 Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd
1952 Lost in Alaska
1952 Jack and the Beanstalk
1951 Comin' Round the Mountain
1951 Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man
1950 Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion
1949 Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff
1949 Africa Screams
1948 Mexican Hayride
1948 Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein
1948 The Noose Hangs High
1947 The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap
1947 Buck Privates Come Home
1946 The Time of Their Lives
1946 Little Giant
1945 Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Hollywood
1945 The Naughty Nineties
1945 Here Come the Co-eds
1944 Lost in a Harem
1944 In Society
1943 Hit the Ice
1943 It Ain't Hay
1942 Who Done It?
1942 Pardon My Sarong
1942 Rio Rita
1942 Ride 'Em Cowboy
1941 Keep 'Em Flying
1941 Hold That Ghost
1941 In the Navy
1941 Buck Privates
1940 One Night in the Tropics