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Lou Costello

Biography

Acting professional and comedian who also played an over weight, foolhardy character within the burlesque humor display, Abbot and Costello. He and his humor partner Bud Abbot are most widely known for his or her immortal ‘Who’s On First?’ regular, which they 1st performed within the 1940 film One Night time WITHIN THE Tropics. He journeyed to Hollywood in 1927 to be popular, and worked like a stuntman, a supplementary, along with a laborer until he became discouraged and made a decision to hitchhike house. He fulfilled Bud Abbot in Saint Joseph, Missouri while hitchhiking house through the Great Depressive disorder. They became the official group in 1936 and produced 36 movies between 1940 and 1956, getting probably one of the most well-known and highest-paid entertainers on the planet during World Battle II. He wedded Anne Battler in January 1934 and his youngest child, Chris, published his biography, Lou’s On First, in 1981. His child Carole was wedded to Dean Martin’s child Craig. Laverne Andrews and her sisters experienced functions in his breakout film Buck Privates, in 1941.

Quick Facts


Full Name Lou Costello
Date Of Birth March 6, 1906
Died March 3, 1959, Beverly Hills, California, United States
Place Of Birth Paterson, NJ
Height 1.65 m
Profession Comedian
Nationality American
Spouse Anne Battler
Children Chris Costello, Carole Costello, Patricia Costello, Lou Costello Jr.
Parents Sebastiano Cristillo, Helen Rege
Siblings Pat Costello, Marie Katherine Cristillo
Partner Bud Abbott
Movies Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Buck Privates, Hold That Ghost, Africa Screams, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Noose Hangs High, Who Done It?, The Time of Their Lives, The Naughty Nineties, Abbott and Costello Go to Mars, Jack and the Beanstalk, Abbott and Costello in Hollywood, Dance with Me, Henry, It Ain't Hay, Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion, In Society, One Night in the Tropics, Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd, Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff, Hit the Ice, Here Come the Co-Eds, Lost in a Harem, Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops, Little Giant, Rio Rita, Keep 'Em Flying, Lost in Alaska, Pardon My Sarong, Buck Privates Come Home, Ride 'Em Cowboy, The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap, Mexican Hayride, Comin' Round the Mountain, The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, In the Navy, The World of Abbott and Costello, Circus Rookies, Best of Abbott and Costello, 10,000 Kids and a Cop, A Wave, a WAC and a Marine, Classic TV Comedians
TV Shows The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Abbott and Costello Show
Star Sign Pisces

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1He and Bud Abbott are known in France as "Les Deux Nigauds" ("The Two Simpletons").
2Lou Costello was chosen for the lead role in the Broadway musical "Fiorello!" (1959), lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock. Due to Costello's illness, the role was filled by a young Tom Bosley ("Howard Cunningham" of TV's "Happy Days"). Harnick and Bock became famous for the long-running Broadway smash hit "Fiddler on the Roof".
3He broke the "fourth wall" in most of his films and TV appearances.
4His father was of Italian descent. His maternal grandfather was of half Italian and half French ancestry, and his maternal grandmother was of Irish descent.
5The performance of "Who's on First?" in the film The Naughty Nineties (1945) is considered the quintessential version of the routine, and the clip is enshrined in a looped video at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. If you listen carefully, you can hear laughter in the background. It was the crew, whom the director could not get to stop laughing during repeated takes of the routine. He finally gave up, shot the scene in one take and let the laughter stay in, hoping no one would notice it.
6He invented the very first commercial automatic ice machine. He planned to market it but lost money on the deal.
7He learned of son Lou Costello Jr.'s death in a swimming-pool accident just moments before going on the air to do his radio show with Bud Abbott. However, being the old-school professional who believed that "the show must go on", he went right out and did the show--including their famous "Who's on First" routine-- without a hitch. Once they were finished, Costello went over in a corner and passed out.
8At the beginning of their career he insisted that any joint earnings with Bud Abbott were split 60-40 in Abbott's favor because of Bud's skill as a straight man.
9He was awarded 3 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Pictures at 6438 Hollywood Boulevard, for Radio at 6780 Hollywood Boulevard, and for Television at 6276 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
10He and partner Bud Abbott were inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2008 for their services and contributions to arts and entertainment.
11Interred at Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA (Main Mausoleum, Block 354, Crypt B-1).
12He had always suspected Universal Pictures of cheating him and partner Bud Abbott out of some of the profits of their pictures, but he could never prove it (that was one reason he didn't feel guilty about taking home expensive props from the sets of films he was shooting at Universal). One day his manager stopped into a photo supply store in Hollywood to buy some film for his camera and noticed a display that was selling 8mm film clips from films featuring Abbott & Costello that he had never heard of. Upon further investigation, he discovered that Universal was lifting scenes from A&C's early films, retitling them, selling them for the then burgeoning home 8mm market and not paying Abbott & Costello anything, which was in clear violation of its contracts with them. The team sued Universal and received a hefty out-of-court settlement.
131942: His salary was $393,314, making him one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood.
14He and Bud Abbott are both nominees for the inaugural 2007 New Jersey Hall of Fame for their services to entertainment.
15As an amateur boxer in Paterson, New Jersey, Costello--who used a fake name because he didn't want his mother to find out what he was doing--won 32 straight fights before being knocked out. The loss, combined with the fact that his mother finally found out what he was doing, ended his boxing career.
16After the death of his son, Lou Costello Jr., he performed "Who's On First" routine as normal, but with tears streaming down his face as he did so.
17Mentioned his hometown of Paterson, New Jersey, at least once in every one of his films.
18Costello was a great admirer of Charles Chaplin. He claimed to have seen Shoulder Arms (1918) 30 times and The Gold Rush (1925) 16 times, and attempted - without luck - to buy the screen rights to The Kid (1921) from Chaplin.
19September 2003: Montclair State University in New Jersey dedicated a building in its new residence hall complex as "Abbott and Costello Center", after Lou and his partner Bud Abbott.
20Along with partner Bud Abbott performed the "Who's on first" routine for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
21He and partner Bud Abbott made their debut as a comedy team in One Night in the Tropics (1940), although Costello had appeared in several silent films in the late 1920s as a stuntman and extra.
22Grandfather of Marki Costello.
23Was to have starred in a film based on the life of former New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. The project was still in the talking stages at the time of his death.
241959: He was set to star in the comedy series "It Pays to Be Ignorant", but died before production began.
25He and Bud Abbott were so popular that there was an "Abbott and Costello" comic book that was published for about 10 years until their partnership ended in 1956.
261943: He was stricken with rheumatic fever, which halted the production of any new Abbott and Costello features for over a year until Lou fully recuperated. The disease, which normally strikes children, damaged his heart and led to the heart attack that ultimately killed him at such a young age.
27Radio catchphrase: "I'm a bad boy."
28Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith; pg. 1-3. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
29He had only one starring role in a feature film without Bud Abbott, The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959). He died before it was released.
30He and Bud Abbott are known in Italy as "Gianni and Pinotto", Abbott being Gianni and Costello being Pinotto.
311994: A life-size bronze statue of Costello holding a bat and wearing his trademark derby was placed in a downtown park in his hometown of Paterson, NJ.
32He and Bud Abbott are the only two non-sportsmen honored in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, USA, for their "Who's On First" routine. However, they are not members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
33Pictured on one of five 29¢ US commemorative postage stamps celebrating famous comedians, issued in booklet form 29 August 1991. He is shown with partner Bud Abbott. The stamp designs were drawn by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. The other comedians honored in the set are Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy; Edgar Bergen (with alter ego Charlie McCarthy); Jack Benny; and Fanny Brice.
34He had a habit of taking home any prop or furniture item from a set that took his fancy. During filming of Hit the Ice (1943), director Charles Lamont went back to reshoot some scenes that took place at an ice-skating rink only to discover that all the wrought-iron patio furniture at the rink was gone--Costello took it home with him when he finished shooting the scene the previous day. An arrangement was worked out whereby Costello brought back the furniture, the scene was reshot, and then Costello took the furniture back home with him.
35Son of associate producer Sebastian Cristillo.
36Brother-in-law of actor Joe Kirk.
37Brother of actor Pat Costello.
38Father of Carole Costello, Chris Costello, Paddy Costello-Humphreys, and Lou Costello Jr..
39November 1943: His only son, Lou Costello Jr., drowned in the swimming pool of the family home just days before his first birthday. Lou never got over it, blaming his wife -- who was home at the time and didn't see the boy wander out into the back yard and fall into the pool -- for the tragedy. Although they didn't divorce -- they were both Catholics, for whom divorce at the time was unthinkable -- it put a permanent damper on their marriage.
40Founded the Television Corporation of America production company which produced The Abbott and Costello Show (1952) and I'm the Law (1953).


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Abbott & Costello: Live & Hilarious!1989Video
The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock1959Artie Pinsetter
Wagon Train1958TV SeriesTobias Jones
General Electric Theater1958TV SeriesNeal Andrews
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show1957-1958TV SeriesComedian-Drill Sergeant / Comedian-Charlie Carwash / Comedian-Con Artist / ...
Dance with Me, Henry1956Lou Henry
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy1955Freddie Franklin
Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops1955Willie 'Tubby' Piper
Fireman Save My Child1954Man in Long Shots (uncredited)
The Abbott and Costello Show1952-1954TV SeriesLou Costello
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde1953Tubby
Abbott and Costello Go to Mars1953Orville
Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd1952Captain 'Puddin' head' Feathergill
Lost in Alaska1952George Bell
Jack and the Beanstalk1952Jack / Jack Strong (as Costello)
Comin' Round the Mountain1951Wilbert Smith
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man1951Lou Francis
Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion1950Lou Hotchkiss
Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff1949Freddie Phillips
Africa Screams1949Stanley Livington
Mexican Hayride1948Joe Bascom
10,000 Kids and a Cop1948Short documentaryLou Costello
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein1948Wilbur
The Noose Hangs High1948Tommy Hinchcliffe
The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap1947Chester Wooley
Buck Privates Come Home1947Herbie Brown
The Time of Their Lives1946Horatio Prim
Little Giant1946Benny Miller
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Hollywood1945Abercrombie
The Naughty Nineties1945Sebastian Dinwiddle
Here Come the Co-eds1945Oliver Quackenbush
Lost in a Harem1944Harvey Garvey
In Society1944Albert
Hit the Ice1943Weejie McCoy
It Ain't Hay1943Wilbur Hoolihan
Who Done It?1942Mervin Q. Milgrim / Voice of Himself on Radio
Pardon My Sarong1942Wellington Pflug
Rio Rita1942'Wishy'
Ride 'Em Cowboy1942Willoughby
Keep 'Em Flying1941Heathcliff
Hold That Ghost1941Ferdinand Jones
In the Navy1941Pomeroy Watson
Buck Privates1941Herbie Brown
One Night in the Tropics1940Costello
The Cossacks1928Extra (uncredited)
Circus Rookies1928Extra (uncredited)
Rose-Marie1928Extra (uncredited)
The Battle of the Century1927ShortBoxing Hall extra (uncredited)
The Fair Co-Ed1927Extra (uncredited)
The Taxi Dancer1927Extra (uncredited)
Bardelys the Magnificent1926Extra (uncredited)

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Dance with Me, Henry1956performer: "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" aka Drinking Song
Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd1952performer: "Tonight We Sail"
The Colgate Comedy Hour1951-1952TV Series performer - 2 episodes
Jack and the Beanstalk1952performer: "Jack and the Beanstalk", "I Fear Nothing", "Dreamer's Cloth", "He Never Looked Better In His Life"
The Time of Their Lives1946performer: "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes" 1616 - uncredited
The Naughty Nineties1945performer: "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" - uncredited
Here Come the Co-eds1945performer: "Let's Play House"
Pardon My Sarong1942performer: "Deep in the Heart of Texas" 1942 - uncredited
Hold That Ghost1941performer: "The Blue Danube Waltz" 1867 - uncredited
In the Navy1941performer: "You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith" 1941 uncredited, "A Sailor's Life for Me" 1941
Buck Privates1941"You're In The Army Now", uncredited / performer: "When Private Brown Becomes a Captain"

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
I'm the Law1953TV Series executive producer
Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd1952executive producer - uncredited
Jack and the Beanstalk1952producer
10,000 Kids and a Cop1948Short documentary producer
The Noose Hangs High1948executive producer - uncredited
A Wave, a WAC and a Marine1944executive producer - as Sebastian Cristillo

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Abbott and Costello Show1954TV Series writer - 1 episode

Stunts

Stunts

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Trail of '981928stunt double: Harry Carey, window-jumping scene - uncredited

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Ed Sullivan Show1955-1958TV SeriesComedian / Himself
The Lux Show1958TV SeriesHimself
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show1956-1958TV SeriesHimself - Comedian / Himself - House of the Monster Sketch / Himself - "Who's On First?"
I've Got a Secret1957TV SeriesCelebrity Guest
This Is Your Life1956TV SeriesHimself
Unit One1956TV SeriesHimself
The Colgate Comedy Hour1951-1955TV SeriesHimself - Host / Himself - Comic Actor / Himself - Comedian / ...
News of the Day1952Documentary shortHimself
Olympic Fund Telethon1952TV SpecialHimself
Texaco Star Theatre1948-1949TV SeriesHimself - Comedian
Erskine Johnson's Hollywood Reel1949TV SeriesHimself
Mail Call1944ShortHimself (uncredited)
Picture People No. 10: Hollywood at Home1942Documentary shortHimself
Screen Snapshots Series 21, No. 61942ShortHimself
Picture People Vol. 2 No. 6: Hollywood War Efforts1942ShortHimself
Meet the Stars #4: Variety Reel #21941Documentary shortHimself
The Baer-Galento Bout1940Documentary shortHimself (interviewed in locker room)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The O'Reilly Factor2008-2014TV SeriesHimself / Wilbur Grey
Cinemassacre's Monster Madness2011TV Series documentaryWilbur
Reagan2011DocumentaryHimself
Eric & Ernie: Behind the Scenes2011TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss2010TV Mini-Series documentaryWilbur Grey
Behind the Burly Q2010DocumentaryHimself
Muchachada nui2010TV Series segment "Mundo viejuno: Jack y las habas que hablan"
- Episode #4.1 2010 ... segment "Mundo viejuno: Jack y las habas que hablan"
Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America2009TV Series documentaryHimself
Morecambe and Wise: The Show What Paul Merton Did2009TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
Shemp Cocktail: A Toast to the Original Stooge2008Video documentaryHimself
The Story of Light Entertainment2006TV Mini-Series documentary
Watch the Skies!: Science Fiction, the 1950s and Us2005TV Movie documentaryOrville
Back to the 1950s2004Video documentary
The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster2002Video documentaryLou (uncredited)
ABC 2000: The Millennium1999TV Movie documentary
Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed1999Video documentary shortFreddie
The Century: America's Time1999TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself - selling war bonds
Classified X1998TV Movie documentaryHimself
Universal Horror1998TV Movie documentary
American Masters1997TV Series documentaryHimself
Bob Hope: Hollywood's Brightest Star1996Video documentaryHimself
Biography1996TV Series documentaryHimself
Ed Sullivan All-Star Comedy Special1995TV Movie documentaryHimself
Television's Christmas Classics1994TV SpecialHimself
Abbott and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld1994TV Movie documentary
It's Alive: The True Story of Frankenstein1994TV Movie documentary
Legends of Comedy1992TV Movie documentary
Frankenstein: A Cinematic Scrapbook1991DocumentaryWilbur Grey / Tubby
When It Was a Game1991TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Three Stooges 60th Anniversary Special1990TV Movie documentary
Entertaining the Troops1988DocumentaryHimself
Classic Comedy Teams1986Video documentaryHimself
Horrible Horror1986VideoWilbur, In clips from 'Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein'
Into the Night1985Wilbur Grey in 'Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein'
Stooge Snapshots1984TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Great Standups1984TV Movie documentaryHimself
Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage1983DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
Showbiz Goes to War1982TV Movie
Simon & Simon1982TV SeriesOrville
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter1982TV Movie documentaryActor - 'In Society' (uncredited)
The Horror Show1979TV Movie documentary
The Hollywood Clowns1979Video documentary
Hey, Abbott!1978
Funny Business1978TV Movie documentaryHimself
Bob Hope's World of Comedy1976TV MovieTribute Montage
That's Entertainment, Part II1976DocumentaryClips from 'Rio Rita' (as Costello)
Hollywood My Home Town1965DocumentaryHimself
The World of Abbott and Costello1965Character in Film Clips
Wayne and Shuster Take an Affectionate Look At...1965TV Series documentary
The Big Parade of Comedy1964DocumentaryWishy in 'Rio Rita'
Hollywood and the Stars1963TV SeriesHimself
Project XX1960TV Series documentaryHimself - Comedian
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show1959TV SeriesHimself - Clumsy Soldier
Screen Snapshots Series 33, No. 10: Hollywood Grows Up1954Documentary shortFilm Clips Character
Champs of the Chase1954ShortAlbert
Oh, My Achin' Tooth!1954ShortLou
The Colgate Comedy Hour1953TV SeriesHimself
I'm the Law1953TV SeriesHimself
Gobs in a Mess1953ShortPomeroy
Screen Snapshots: Memories of Famous Hollywood Comedians1952Documentary shortHimself
Knights of the Bath1951ShortAlbert
Fun on the Run1949ShortOliver [Lou, in silent versions]
Kitchen Mechanics1949ShortOliver [Lou, in silent versions]
Oysters and Muscles1948ShortOliver [Lou, in silent versions]
Screen Snapshots Series 25, No. 8: Looking Back1946ShortHimself
Twenty Years After1944Short
The Autobiography of a 'Jeep'1943Documentary shortHimself - in a Jeep in Parade (uncredited)

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 6438 Hollywood Blvd.
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameTelevisionAwarded February 8, 1960 at 6276 Hollywood Blvd.
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameRadioAwarded February 8, 1960 at 6780 Hollywood Blvd.

TitleSalary
Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952)$250,000
The Abbott and Costello Show (1952)$15,000 /episode
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)$75,000
In Society (1944)$40,000 +%
Who Done It? (1942)$25,000 + 5% of profits
Rio Rita (1942)$75,000
Hold That Ghost (1941)$25,000 + 5% of profits
In the Navy (1941)$25,000 + 5% of profits
Buck Privates (1941)$25,000 + 5% of profits
One Night in the Tropics (1940)$17,500

#Quote
1After pouring a bottle of beer over Bud Abbots head.Now you look as wet as your act!
2Comics are a dime a dozen - good straight men are hard to find!
3[his last words] I think I'll be more comfortable.

#Trademark
1Jersey accent
2Plaid jacket that was always unbuttoned
3Half of his tie reached down below his belt
4One of his most frequent gestures was to place a fist on his cheek when frustrated occasionally he would smack his fist away with his other hand
5His girth
6Master of early pratfall techniques
7Bowler hat
8Would always yell "Hey Abbott!"
9Mentioned his hometown of Paterson, New Jersey, in virtually every episode of his TV show and in many of his films.

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