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Bud Abbott

From Academic Kids

William Alexander Abbott aka Bud Abbott (October 2, 1895April 24, 1974) is a legendary American actor, producer and comedian from Asbury Park, New Jersey. He is best known as the straight man of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, with Lou Costello.

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Bud Abbott (top) & Lou Costello

Abbott, whose mother was a bareback rider for the Ringling Brothers Circus, dropped out of school as a child in 1909 and began working in carnivals. Abbott later started working in theaters around the country, eventually becoming the manager for the Nation Theater in Detroit. While at the National Theater, Abbott began performing on stage as straight man to vaudeville performers like Harry Steepe and Harry Evanson.

Abbott met Costello in 1931 while working as a cashier at the Brooklyn Theater, when he was asked to fill in for Costello's straight man who was ill. Throughout the 1930s, Abbott and Costello began performing together in burlesque shows, minstrel shows, vaudeville, and movie houses.

At Costello's request, all profits earned from the act were split 60/40, favoring Abbott, because, according to Costello, "Comics are a dime a dozen. Good straight men are hard to find."

In 1938 they received national exposure for the first time by performing on the Kate Smith Hour radio show, which led to the duo signing with Universal the following year. Abbott and Costello appeared in their first film in 1940, a movie entitled One Night in the Tropics. Although Abbott and Costello were only filling supporting roles, they stole the film with their classic routine "Who's On First?" (Abbott and Costello are the only two non-baseball players honored in the Baseball Hall of Fame museum in Cooperstown, New York, because of their legendary "Who's On First?" routine.)

During World War II, Abbott was elected Mayor of Sherman Oaks, California.

Within a couple of years, the comedy team also had their own television and radio shows.

Abbott and Costello split up in 1957, after troubles with the Internal Revenue Service had left both men broke.

Abbott attempted to begin performing again in the 1960s, with a new partner, Candy Candido, but their efforts were not successful. On screen, he performed in a dramatic episode of General Electric Theater in 1961 and later provided his own voice for the animated series Abbott and Costello.

Bud Abbott has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: the radio star is located on 6333 Hollywood Blvd., motion pictures star is located on 1611 Vine St., and the TV star is located on 6740 Hollywood Blvd.

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