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Buddy Hackett

Buddy Hackett



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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: Cast ... comedian actor voice actor producer performing waiter apprentice upholsterer


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.

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