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Jack Frost: Remastered Deluxe Edition... Famed actor Buddy Hackett stars in "Jack Frost" (1979) as a narrating groundhog... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

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Also Known As: Leonard Hacker Died: June 30, 2003
Born: August 31, 1924 Cause of Death: natural causes
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: comedian, actor, voice actor, producer, performing waiter, apprentice upholsterer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Best known for his raunchy Las Vegas routine, Buddy Hackett has also enjoyed substantial Broadway, film and TV success throughout the years. A short round kid with a smart mouth, he had every intention of going into the family upholstering business, despite having made his professional debut on the 'Borscht Circuit' at the age of 15, but upon returning to New York after World War II service, he began performing at clubs like the Pink Palace in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Headlining at comedy clubs led to a starring role in the hit road production of "Call Me Mister" (1946) and his first foray into TV on the DuMont Network's "School House" (1948-49). Hackett first cracked features in "Walking My Baby Back Home" (1953) and took Broadway by storm in the revival of "Lunatics and Lovers", winning the 1955 Donaldson Award for Best Debut Performance--Male. He then returned to TV in a live situation comedy, starring opposite Carol Burnett and Paul Lynde as "Stanley" (NBC, 1956-57), the outgoing proprietor of a newsstand in a fancy New York hotel. Hackett's shtick featured a wide range of facial expressions and a distinctive voice often delivered out of the side of his mouth, but in "God's Little Acre" (1958),...

Best known for his raunchy Las Vegas routine, Buddy Hackett has also enjoyed substantial Broadway, film and TV success throughout the years. A short round kid with a smart mouth, he had every intention of going into the family upholstering business, despite having made his professional debut on the 'Borscht Circuit' at the age of 15, but upon returning to New York after World War II service, he began performing at clubs like the Pink Palace in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Headlining at comedy clubs led to a starring role in the hit road production of "Call Me Mister" (1946) and his first foray into TV on the DuMont Network's "School House" (1948-49). Hackett first cracked features in "Walking My Baby Back Home" (1953) and took Broadway by storm in the revival of "Lunatics and Lovers", winning the 1955 Donaldson Award for Best Debut Performance--Male. He then returned to TV in a live situation comedy, starring opposite Carol Burnett and Paul Lynde as "Stanley" (NBC, 1956-57), the outgoing proprietor of a newsstand in a fancy New York hotel. Hackett's shtick featured a wide range of facial expressions and a distinctive voice often delivered out of the side of his mouth, but in "God's Little Acre" (1958), Anthony Mann's adaptation of the Erskine Caldwell novel, he brought a real depth to his role as the whimsical, ridiculed Pluto. A regular on CBS' "The Jackie Gleason Show" during the 1958-59 season, he also started simultaneously contributing to "The Tonight Show", starring Jack Paar, where he remained a regular until 1962. Hackett was back at his zaniest as a Chickisaw Indian sailor who mates a turkey with a pelican in the lightweight "All Hands on Deck" and remained a simple seaman for the equally slight "Everything's Ducky" (both 1961), this time sharing a series of juvenile misadventures with Mickey Rooney and a talking duck. He followed with the popular screen version of the hit musical "The Music Man" (1963), restraining himself for the sake of the story in his role as Marcellus Washburn, and then pulled out all the stops for Stanley Kramer's madcap blockbuster "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" (1963), scoring mightily in his runaway aircraft sequence with Rooney.

Though Vegas began demanding most of his time, Hackett surfaced periodically during the late 60s and 70s, perhaps most notably as Dean Jones' balmy-but-sensible sidekick in Disney's hit "carmedy", "The Love Bug" (1968), but he also delivered an emotionally affecting portrayal of Lou Costello in the NBC biopic "Bud and Lou" (1978). 1980 found him filling Groucho's old shoes as host of a new, syndicated "You Bet Your Life", and he began exploring a new career as the voice of Pardon Me Pete and the Storyteller for that year's animated "Jack Frost" (NBC). Hackett unveiled his Vegas act for TV in "Buddy Hackett--Live and Uncensored" (HBO, 1983) and "Buddy Hackett II--On Stage at Caesar's Atlantic City" (HBO, 1986), executive producing both specials, and hit feature pay dirt again, first in his bit as Scrooge for the Bill Murray vehicle "Scrooged" (1988) and later as the voice of Scuttle the seagull in Disney's animated "The Little Mermaid" (1989) and its straight-to-video sequel in 2000. Stage fright forced him to retire his live act in 1996, but he played a small role as a pawnbroker in "Paulie" (1998) and then returned to series TV in the recurring role of Jay Mohr's favorite uncle and chauffeur in Fox's "Action" (1999), a controversial look at the life of a Hollywood executive that earned critical praise but failed to attract an audience. Mohr next tapped Hackett to serve as a talent judge on his hit stand-up comedy reality series "Last Comic Standing" (2003), while other contemporary members of the Industry embraced Hackett's old school yet ageless charm, and the comic appeared on several series, including "Just Shoot Me" and "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" and a recurring bit called "Tuesdays With Buddy" on "The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn" before his death in 2003.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, The (2000) Voice Of Scuttle
2.
 Paulie (1998) Artie
3.
 Little Mermaid, The (1989) Voice Of Scuttle
4.
 Jack Frost (1988) Narration
5.
 Scrooged (1988) Scrooge
6.
 Hey Babe! (1984) Sammy Cohen
7.
 Loose Shoes (1981) Himself
8.
 Bud and Lou (1978) Lou Costello
9.
 The Love Bug (1969) Tennessee Steinmetz
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1939:
Made professional debut at the age of 15 at a small hotel in the Catskills (date approximate)
:
Served in the Army during World War II
:
Returned to NYC and began playing clubs like the Pink Palace in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn
:
Became a popular headliner in comedy clubs across the country, which led to a starring role in the hit road production of "Call Me Mister" (1946) and eventually a Hollywood contract
1948:
Appeared as part of the constantly changing cast of the DuMont network's comedy-variety issue "School House", based on Gus Edwards' old "School Days" vaudeville routine which had featured such stars-to-be as Georgie Jessel, Groucho Marx and Ray Bolger, among others
1953:
Feature film debut, "Walking My Baby Back Home"
:
Appeared on Broadway in "Lunatics and Lovers"; received the Donaldson Award for Best Debut Performance--Male
:
Starred as the title character in the NBC sitcom "Stanley", aired live from NYC
1958:
Appeared in the film "God's Little Acre"
:
Was a regular on CBS' "The Jackie Gleason Show"
:
Contributed regularly to "The Tonight Show" (NBC), starring Jack Paar
1962:
Co-starred in the screen version of the hit Broadway musical "The Music Man"
1963:
Had featured role in the big screen comedy "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"
1964:
Returned to Broadway in "I Had a Ball"
1969:
Co-starred in the Disney comedy "The Love Bug"
1978:
Portrayed comedian Lou Costello in the NBC TV biography "Bud and Lou", opposite Harvey Korman
1980:
Hosted the syndicated version of "You Bet Your Life"
1983:
Headlined own HBO special "Buddy Hackett--Live and Uncensored"; also executive produced
1986:
Starred in second HBO comedy special "Buddy Hackett II--On Stage at Caesar's Atlantic City", again executive producing
1988:
Played Scrooge in the Bill Murray vehicle "Scrooged", a contemporary spin on Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"
1989:
Provided voice of Scuttle, the silly seagull, in the Disney animated feature "The Little Mermaid"
1992:
Voiced Crabby on the short-lived animated TV series "Fish Police" (CBS)
1996:
Stepped back from live shows when for the first time in his life he experienced stage fright in the form of a sudden dizziness and sense he could not breathe; condition immediately followed gum surgery, which the entertainer believes had something to do with the situation
1998:
Lost out to Jay Mohr in competition to voice "Paulie", the talking parrot; ended up playing smaller role of Artie the pawnbroker
1998:
Honored with the 2,106th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
1999:
Co-starred as Mohr's uncle and chaffeur on the Fox series "Action"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Hackett serves as one of the Proctors (along with Billy Crystal) of the Friars Club

"He's a legend. Where other guys were just buying jokes, he was telling stories about things that really happened to him. He was off-color [in the early '60s] when people weren't really doing that. He wasn't up there saying, 'Take my wife, please'; he just went up there and told the truth. He was a torchbearer." --Jay Mohr on co-star Hackett, quoted in TV GUIDE, October 23, 1999

On his working in the series "Action": "I'm not here for the money. I'm here because I need to have somewhere to go." --Hackett quoted in TV GUIDE, October 23, 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Sherry Cohen. Married on June 12, 1955.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Philip Hacker. Upholsterer.
mother:
Anna Hacker.
daughter:
Sandy Zade Hackett.
daughter:
Ivy Julie Hackett.
daughter:
Lisa Jean Hackett.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Truth about Golf, and Other Lies" Doubleday
"The Naked Mind of Buddy Hackett Nash Publishing

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