skip navigation
Lou Costello

Lou Costello

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (4)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein... If you like Horror Classics, you'll love this laugh-fest with Abbott and... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

The Best Of Bud Abbott And Lou Costello:... 8 Comedy Classics!Presenting a whole new collection of eight DVD screen classics... more info $29.98was $29.98 Buy Now

Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy... Your sides just might split watching one of the funniest comedies from one of... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

The Best Of Bud Abbott And Lou Costello:... One of the most popular comedy teams of all time, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello... more info $29.98was $29.98 Buy Now

Abbott & Costello: Lost In A Harem / Abbott... Abbott and Costello are in fine form in this double feature highlighting two of... more info $9.99was $14.98 Buy Now

The Abbott And Costello Show: The Complete... Niagara Falls, Mustard, The Lemon Bit... these and all their classic routines... more info $79.98was $79.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Louis Francis Cristillo, [Lou] Costello Died: March 3, 1959
Born: March 6, 1906 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Paterson, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, producer, vaudevillian, stuntman, laborer, soda fountain clerk, newsboy, prizefighter, salesman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One-half of the popular American comedy team Abbott and Costello, Lou Costello was beloved by millions as the hapless, good-natured sap whose fireplug physique and manic energy hilariously played off Bud Abbott's fast-talking wise guy persona. Costello's career in vaudeville took off only after his pairing with Abbott, a fellow performer and talent promoter. Growing recognition on the stages of New York in the 1930s eventually led to a guest stint on a widely-heard 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), Costello and his partner 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 a popular radio program of their own, kept them at the top of the entertainment heap, despite critical 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 also of their over-exposure and consequent slump in...

One-half of the popular American comedy team Abbott and Costello, Lou Costello was beloved by millions as the hapless, good-natured sap whose fireplug physique and manic energy hilariously played off Bud Abbott's fast-talking wise guy persona. Costello's career in vaudeville took off only after his pairing with Abbott, a fellow performer and talent promoter. Growing recognition on the stages of New York in the 1930s eventually led to a guest stint on a widely-heard 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), Costello and his partner 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 a popular radio program of their own, kept them at the top of the entertainment heap, despite critical 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 also of their over-exposure and consequent slump in popularity. The comedy "Dance with Me, Henry" (1956) marked their final film appearance together before the team split in 1957 and Costello passed away two years later. As a testament to the simple genius of Abbott and Costello, their most famous comedy bit, "Who's on First?" was enshrined on video at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Entertaining the Troops (1989) Himself
2.
 The 30-Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959) Artie Pinsetter
3.
 Dance with Me, Henry (1956) Lou Henry
5.
 Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955) Freddie Franklin [Lou Costello]
7.
8.
 Jack and the Beanstalk (1952) Jack
9.
 Lost in Alaska (1952) George Bell
10.
 Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952) Oliver "Puddin' Head" Johnson
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Worked in a haberdashery, a slaughterhouse and the prize ring before he met William 'Bud' Abbott while working as a $40-a-week comic in burlesque; Abbott a last-second substitute one night for Costello's indisposed straight man
1931:
Joined with Bud Abbott in Brooklyn
1938:
First radio performance (as Abbott and Costello) on the Kate Smith program
1939:
Broadway acting debut in revue, "Streets of Paris", alonside Carmen Miranda
1940:
Film debut with Abbott in comic supporting roles, "One Night in the Tropics"
1940:
First starring roles for the duo, "Buck Privates", for Universal Studios
1941:
Abbott and Costello consistently voted among the top ten box office stars by motion picture exhibitors
1946:
Unsuccessfully attempted to work separately within the same film, "The Little Giant"
1948:
Flagging popularity revived with "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein"; film initiated a series of onscreen encounters with other monsters
:
Team appeared in 52 episodes of half-hour TV series, "The Abbott and Costello Show", reprising most of their comic routines
1955:
Ended association with Universal after "Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy"
1956:
Their most famous comic routine, "Who's on First?", placed on permanent display at the National Baseball Fall of Fame Museum in Cooperstown, NY, in the form of a gold record and a framed copy of the text
1956:
Last film with Abbott, "Dance with Me, Henry"
1957:
Ended partnership with Bud Abbott
1959:
Made one solo film appearance (also his last), "The Thirty Foot Bride of Candy Rock"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

P S 15: Paterson , New Jersey -

Notes

"The great success of Abbott and Costello was attributed by the critics to their old-fashioned knock-about style, combined with a modern toughness of talk. Abbott was the lean and hawk-eyed wise guy, the sharp-shooter who always got the last word; Costello the good-natured dimwit who always got it in the neck--except when the worm occasionally turned. The average viewer never analyzed them--he just laughed." --From his March 4, 1959 The New York Times obituary.

A gold record of Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First?" routine is displayed at The Baseball Hall of Fame.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ann Costello. Survived him.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
Pat Costello. Producer.
daughter:
Patricia Anne Costello. Author. Wrote biography of father.
daughter:
Carole Lou Costello. Died in 1987.
daughter:
Christine Costello. Author. Wrote memoir.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Abbott and Costello Book"
"Lou's on First" St. Martin's Press
"The Horror Spoofs of Abbott and Costello: A Critical Assessment of the Comedy Team's Monster Films" McFarland

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute