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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
1 He and Bud Abbott are known in France as "Les Deux Nigauds" ("The Two Simpletons").
2 Lou 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".
3 He broke the "fourth wall" in most of his films and TV appearances.
4 His father was of Italian descent. His maternal grandfather was of half Italian and half French ancestry, and his maternal grandmother was of Irish descent.
5 The 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.
6 He invented the very first commercial automatic ice machine. He planned to market it but lost money on the deal.
7 He 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.
8 At 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.
9 He 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.
10 He and partner Bud Abbott were inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2008 for their services and contributions to arts and entertainment.
11 Interred at Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA (Main Mausoleum, Block 354, Crypt B-1).
12 He 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.
13 1942: His salary was $393,314, making him one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood.
14 He and Bud Abbott are both nominees for the inaugural 2007 New Jersey Hall of Fame for their services to entertainment.
15 As 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.
16 After 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.
17 Mentioned his hometown of Paterson, New Jersey, at least once in every one of his films.
18 Costello 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.
19 September 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.
20 Along with partner Bud Abbott performed the "Who's on first" routine for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
21 He 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.
22 Grandfather of Marki Costello.
23 Was 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.
24 1959: He was set to star in the comedy series "It Pays to Be Ignorant", but died before production began.
25 He 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.
26 1943: 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.
27 Radio catchphrase: "I'm a bad boy."
28 Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith; pg. 1-3. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
29 He 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.
30 He and Bud Abbott are known in Italy as "Gianni and Pinotto", Abbott being Gianni and Costello being Pinotto.
31 1994: 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.
32 He 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.
33 Pictured 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.
34 He 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.
35 Son of associate producer Sebastian Cristillo.
36 Brother-in-law of actor Joe Kirk.
37 Brother of actor Pat Costello.
38 Father of Carole Costello, Chris Costello, Paddy Costello-Humphreys, and Lou Costello Jr..
39 November 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.
40 Founded 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! 1989 Video
The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock 1959 Artie Pinsetter
Wagon Train 1958 TV Series Tobias Jones
General Electric Theater 1958 TV Series Neal Andrews
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show 1957-1958 TV Series Comedian-Drill Sergeant / Comedian-Charlie Carwash / Comedian-Con Artist / ...
Dance with Me, Henry 1956 Lou Henry
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy 1955 Freddie Franklin
Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops 1955 Willie 'Tubby' Piper
Fireman Save My Child 1954 Man in Long Shots (uncredited)
The Abbott and Costello Show 1952-1954 TV Series Lou Costello
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1953 Tubby
Abbott and Costello Go to Mars 1953 Orville
Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd 1952 Captain 'Puddin' head' Feathergill
Lost in Alaska 1952 George Bell
Jack and the Beanstalk 1952 Jack / Jack Strong (as Costello)
Comin' Round the Mountain 1951 Wilbert Smith
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man 1951 Lou Francis
Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion 1950 Lou Hotchkiss
Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff 1949 Freddie Phillips
Africa Screams 1949 Stanley Livington
Mexican Hayride 1948 Joe Bascom
10,000 Kids and a Cop 1948 Short documentary Lou Costello
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein 1948 Wilbur
The Noose Hangs High 1948 Tommy Hinchcliffe
The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap 1947 Chester Wooley
Buck Privates Come Home 1947 Herbie Brown
The Time of Their Lives 1946 Horatio Prim
Little Giant 1946 Benny Miller
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Hollywood 1945 Abercrombie
The Naughty Nineties 1945 Sebastian Dinwiddle
Here Come the Co-eds 1945 Oliver Quackenbush
Lost in a Harem 1944 Harvey Garvey
In Society 1944 Albert
Hit the Ice 1943 Weejie McCoy
It Ain't Hay 1943 Wilbur Hoolihan
Who Done It? 1942 Mervin Q. Milgrim / Voice of Himself on Radio
Pardon My Sarong 1942 Wellington Pflug
Rio Rita 1942 'Wishy'
Ride 'Em Cowboy 1942 Willoughby
Keep 'Em Flying 1941 Heathcliff
Hold That Ghost 1941 Ferdinand Jones
In the Navy 1941 Pomeroy Watson
Buck Privates 1941 Herbie Brown
One Night in the Tropics 1940 Costello
The Cossacks 1928 Extra (uncredited)
Circus Rookies 1928 Extra (uncredited)
Rose-Marie 1928 Extra (uncredited)
The Battle of the Century 1927 Short Boxing Hall extra (uncredited)
The Fair Co-Ed 1927 Extra (uncredited)
The Taxi Dancer 1927 Extra (uncredited)
Bardelys the Magnificent 1926 Extra (uncredited)

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Dance with Me, Henry 1956 performer: "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" aka Drinking Song
Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd 1952 performer: "Tonight We Sail"
The Colgate Comedy Hour 1951-1952 TV Series performer - 2 episodes
Jack and the Beanstalk 1952 performer: "Jack and the Beanstalk", "I Fear Nothing", "Dreamer's Cloth", "He Never Looked Better In His Life"
The Time of Their Lives 1946 performer: "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes" 1616 - uncredited
The Naughty Nineties 1945 performer: "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" - uncredited
Here Come the Co-eds 1945 performer: "Let's Play House"
Pardon My Sarong 1942 performer: "Deep in the Heart of Texas" 1942 - uncredited
Hold That Ghost 1941 performer: "The Blue Danube Waltz" 1867 - uncredited
In the Navy 1941 performer: "You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith" 1941 uncredited, "A Sailor's Life for Me" 1941
Buck Privates 1941 "You're In The Army Now", uncredited / performer: "When Private Brown Becomes a Captain"

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
I'm the Law 1953 TV Series executive producer
Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd 1952 executive producer - uncredited
Jack and the Beanstalk 1952 producer
10,000 Kids and a Cop 1948 Short documentary producer
The Noose Hangs High 1948 executive producer - uncredited
A Wave, a WAC and a Marine 1944 executive producer - as Sebastian Cristillo

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Abbott and Costello Show 1954 TV Series writer - 1 episode

Stunts

Stunts

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Trail of '98 1928 stunt double: Harry Carey, window-jumping scene - uncredited

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Ed Sullivan Show 1955-1958 TV Series Comedian / Himself
The Lux Show 1958 TV Series Himself
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show 1956-1958 TV Series Himself - Comedian / Himself - House of the Monster Sketch / Himself - "Who's On First?"
I've Got a Secret 1957 TV Series Celebrity Guest
This Is Your Life 1956 TV Series Himself
Unit One 1956 TV Series Himself
The Colgate Comedy Hour 1951-1955 TV Series Himself - Host / Himself - Comic Actor / Himself - Comedian / ...
News of the Day 1952 Documentary short Himself
Olympic Fund Telethon 1952 TV Special Himself
Texaco Star Theatre 1948-1949 TV Series Himself - Comedian
Erskine Johnson's Hollywood Reel 1949 TV Series Himself
Mail Call 1944 Short Himself (uncredited)
Picture People No. 10: Hollywood at Home 1942 Documentary short Himself
Screen Snapshots Series 21, No. 6 1942 Short Himself
Picture People Vol. 2 No. 6: Hollywood War Efforts 1942 Short Himself
Meet the Stars #4: Variety Reel #2 1941 Documentary short Himself
The Baer-Galento Bout 1940 Documentary short Himself (interviewed in locker room)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The O'Reilly Factor 2008-2014 TV Series Himself / Wilbur Grey
Cinemassacre's Monster Madness 2011 TV Series documentary Wilbur
Reagan 2011 Documentary Himself
Eric & Ernie: Behind the Scenes 2011 TV Movie documentary Himself (uncredited)
A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss 2010 TV Mini-Series documentary Wilbur Grey
Behind the Burly Q 2010 Documentary Himself
Muchachada nui 2010 TV 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 America 2009 TV Series documentary Himself
Morecambe and Wise: The Show What Paul Merton Did 2009 TV Movie documentary Himself (uncredited)
Shemp Cocktail: A Toast to the Original Stooge 2008 Video documentary Himself
The Story of Light Entertainment 2006 TV Mini-Series documentary
Watch the Skies!: Science Fiction, the 1950s and Us 2005 TV Movie documentary Orville
Back to the 1950s 2004 Video documentary
The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster 2002 Video documentary Lou (uncredited)
ABC 2000: The Millennium 1999 TV Movie documentary
Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed 1999 Video documentary short Freddie
The Century: America's Time 1999 TV Mini-Series documentary Himself - selling war bonds
Classified X 1998 TV Movie documentary Himself
Universal Horror 1998 TV Movie documentary
American Masters 1997 TV Series documentary Himself
Bob Hope: Hollywood's Brightest Star 1996 Video documentary Himself
Biography 1996 TV Series documentary Himself
Ed Sullivan All-Star Comedy Special 1995 TV Movie documentary Himself
Television's Christmas Classics 1994 TV Special Himself
Abbott and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld 1994 TV Movie documentary
It's Alive: The True Story of Frankenstein 1994 TV Movie documentary
Legends of Comedy 1992 TV Movie documentary
Frankenstein: A Cinematic Scrapbook 1991 Documentary Wilbur Grey / Tubby
When It Was a Game 1991 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Three Stooges 60th Anniversary Special 1990 TV Movie documentary
Entertaining the Troops 1988 Documentary Himself
Classic Comedy Teams 1986 Video documentary Himself
Horrible Horror 1986 Video Wilbur, In clips from 'Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein'
Into the Night 1985 Wilbur Grey in 'Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein'
Stooge Snapshots 1984 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Great Standups 1984 TV Movie documentary Himself
Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage 1983 Documentary Himself (uncredited)
Showbiz Goes to War 1982 TV Movie
Simon & Simon 1982 TV Series Orville
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter 1982 TV Movie documentary Actor - 'In Society' (uncredited)
The Horror Show 1979 TV Movie documentary
The Hollywood Clowns 1979 Video documentary
Hey, Abbott! 1978
Funny Business 1978 TV Movie documentary Himself
Bob Hope's World of Comedy 1976 TV Movie Tribute Montage
That's Entertainment, Part II 1976 Documentary Clips from 'Rio Rita' (as Costello)
Hollywood My Home Town 1965 Documentary Himself
The World of Abbott and Costello 1965 Character in Film Clips
Wayne and Shuster Take an Affectionate Look At... 1965 TV Series documentary
The Big Parade of Comedy 1964 Documentary Wishy in 'Rio Rita'
Hollywood and the Stars 1963 TV Series Himself
Project XX 1960 TV Series documentary Himself - Comedian
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show 1959 TV Series Himself - Clumsy Soldier
Screen Snapshots Series 33, No. 10: Hollywood Grows Up 1954 Documentary short Film Clips Character
Champs of the Chase 1954 Short Albert
Oh, My Achin' Tooth! 1954 Short Lou
The Colgate Comedy Hour 1953 TV Series Himself
I'm the Law 1953 TV Series Himself
Gobs in a Mess 1953 Short Pomeroy
Screen Snapshots: Memories of Famous Hollywood Comedians 1952 Documentary short Himself
Knights of the Bath 1951 Short Albert
Fun on the Run 1949 Short Oliver [Lou, in silent versions]
Kitchen Mechanics 1949 Short Oliver [Lou, in silent versions]
Oysters and Muscles 1948 Short Oliver [Lou, in silent versions]
Screen Snapshots Series 25, No. 8: Looking Back 1946 Short Himself
Twenty Years After 1944 Short
The Autobiography of a 'Jeep' 1943 Documentary short Himself - in a Jeep in Parade (uncredited)

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1960 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Motion Picture On 8 February 1960. At 6438 Hollywood Blvd.
1960 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Television Awarded February 8, 1960 at 6276 Hollywood Blvd.
1960 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Radio Awarded 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
1 After pouring a bottle of beer over Bud Abbots head. Now you look as wet as your act!
2 Comics are a dime a dozen - good straight men are hard to find!
3 [his last words] I think I'll be more comfortable.

#Trademark
1 Jersey accent
2 Plaid jacket that was always unbuttoned
3 Half of his tie reached down below his belt
4 One 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
5 His girth
6 Master of early pratfall techniques
7 Bowler hat
8 Would always yell "Hey Abbott!"
9 Mentioned his hometown of Paterson, New Jersey, in virtually every episode of his TV show and in many of his films.

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