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|Also Known As:||William Alexander Abbott,[Bud] Abbott||Died:||April 24, 1974|
|Born:||October 2, 1898||Cause of Death:||cancer|
|Birth Place:||Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA||Profession:||Cast ... comedian vaudevillian box office clerk sailor|
The leaner, meaner, faster-talking half of one of America's greatest comedic duos, Bud Abbott, along with his partner Lou Costello, was one of Hollywood's biggest stars throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Born into a show business family, Abbott already had years of experience as a show producer, promoter and performer by the time he teamed up with fellow vaudevillian Costello in the mid-1930s. Growing recognition on the stages of New York eventually led to a guest stint on a popular national radio program, followed by their first film as a team, "One Night in the Tropics" (1940). With the massive success of their sophomore effort, "Buck Privates" (1941), Abbott and his cohort became two of the biggest movie stars of the wartime era. More hit films like "Pardon My Sarong" (1942), "In Society" (1944) and "The Naughty Nineties" (1945), combined with popular radio appearances on their own program and others like "The Kate Smith Show" - which first broadcast their famous "Who's on First?" routine - kept them at the top of the entertainment heap, despite critics' dismissal of their oeuvre as being decidedly lowbrow. The comedy-monster mash-up "Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein" (1948) marked not only the beginning of their repetitive "Abbot and Costello Meet " phase, but of their inevitable over-exposure and consequent slump in popularity. As the team's career deteriorated, so too did Abbott's relationship with Costello. The comedy "Dance with Me, Henry" (1956) marked their final film appearance together before the team split up in 1957 and Costello died in 1959. Semi-retired and in increasingly poor health, Abbott passed away at the age of 78 in 1974. One of the best at what he did and in the underappreciated position of comic foil, Bud Abbott was openly admired by Costello, who frequently insisted, "Comics are a dime a dozen, but good straight men are hard to find."
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