Bud Abbott

D.O.B: Oct 02, 1895 |  Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA

26Credit Score

Long acknowledged as one of the best straight men in the business, Bud Abbott was born William Alexander Abbott in Asbury Park, New Jersey, to Rae (Fisher) and Harry Abbott, who had both worked for the Barnum and Bailey Circus. He himself worked in carnivals while still a child and dropped out of school in 1909.

Biography

Long acknowledged as one of the best straight men in the business, Bud Abbott was born William Alexander Abbott in Asbury Park, New Jersey, to Rae (Fisher) and Harry Abbott, who had both worked for the Barnum and Bailey Circus. He himself worked in carnivals while still a child and dropped out of school in 1909. He worked as assistant treasurer for the Casino Theater in Brooklyn, then as treasurer and/or manager of various theaters around the country. He worked as the straight man to such vaudeville and burlesque comics as Harry Steepe and Harry Evanson while managing the National Theater in Detroit. In 1931 while cashiering at the Brooklyn theater, he substituted for comic Lou Costellos ill straight-man. The two clicked almost immediately and formed their famous comedy team. Throughout the 1930s they worked burlesque, minstrel shows, vaudeville and movie houses. In 1938 they got national exposure through the Kate Smith radio show The Kate Smith Hour, and signed with Universal Pictures the next year. They made their film debut in One Night in the Tropics (1940), and, while the team wasnt the films stars, it made money for Universal and they got good enough notices to convince Universal to give them their own picture. Their first starring film, Buck Privates (1941), with The Andrews Sisters, grossed what was then a company-record $10 million (on a $180,000 budget) and they were on their way to stardom and a long run as the most popular comedy team in America. In 1942 they topped a poll of Hollywood stars. They had their own radio show (ABC, 1941-6, NBC, 1946-9) and TV show (The Abbott and Costello Show (1952)).