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Bud Abbott ACTOR


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

Matinee Classics - Africa Screams starring Abbott and Costello - Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Hillary Brooke, Max Baer, Clyde Beatty, Frank Buck and Shemp Howard
Matinee Classics - Abbott and Costello go to Mars with Mari Blanchard
Matinee Classics - Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd
Matinee Classics - Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein with Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi and Glenn Strange
Matinee Classics - Ride 'Em Cowboy starring Abbott and Costello - Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Dick Foran, Anne Gwynne, Johnny Mack Brown and Judd McMichael
Matinee Classics - Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion with Patricia Medina
Matinee Classics - Abbott and Costello in Hollywood with Frances Rafferty and Robert Stanton
Matinee Classics - Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with Boris Karloff
Matinee Classics - Abbott and Costello - Who's on First?
Matinee Classics - Jack and the Beanstalk starring Abbott and Costello

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