Lou Costello

Actor, Producer, Vaudevillian
One-half of the popular American comedy team Abbott and Costello, Lou Costello was beloved by millions as the hapless, good-natured sap whose fireplug physique and manic energy hilariously played off Bud Abbott's ... Read more »
Born: 03/06/1906 in Paterson, New Jersey, USA

Filmography

Actor (40)

Entertaining the Troops 1987 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The 30-Foot Bride of Candy Rock 1958 (Movie)

Artie Pinsetter (Actor)

Dance With Me Henry 1956 (Movie)

Bud Flick (Actor)

The Colgate Comedy Hour 1950 - 1956 (Tv Show)

Actor

Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Cops 1955 (Movie)

Willie Piper (Actor)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy 1955 (Movie)

Freddie (Actor)

The Abbott and Costello Show 1951 - 1954 (TV Show)

Actor

Abbott and Costello Go to Mars 1953 (Movie)

Orville (Actor)

Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd 1951 (Movie)

Oliver "Puddin' Head" Johnson (Actor)

The Time of Their Lives 1946 (Movie)

Horatio Prim (Actor)

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Hollywood 1944 (Movie)

Abercrombie (Actor)

Buck Privates 1941 (Movie)

Herbie Brown (Actor)

Abbott & Costello in the Foreign Legion (Movie)

Lou Hotchkiss (Actor)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (Movie)

Lou Francis (Actor)

Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (Movie)

Freddie Phillips (Actor)

Africa Screams (Movie)

Stanley Livingston (Actor)

Buck Privates Come Home (Movie)

Herbie Brown (Actor)

Comin' Round the Mountain (Movie)

Wilbert (Actor)

Here Come the Co-Eds (Movie)

Oliver Quackenbush (Actor)

Hit the Ice (Movie)

"Tubby" McCoy (Actor)

Hold That Ghost (Movie)

Ferdinand Jones (Actor)

In Society (Movie)

Albert Mansfield (Actor)

In the Navy (Movie)

Pomeroy Watson (Actor)

Jack and the Beanstalk (Movie)

Jack (Actor)

Keep 'Em Flying (Movie)

Heathcliffe (Actor)

Little Giant (Movie)

Benny Miller (Actor)

Lost in Alaska (Movie)

George Bell (Actor)

Lost in a Harem (Movie)

Harvey Garvey (Actor)

Mexican Hayride (Movie)

Joe Bascom (Actor)

One Night in the Tropics (Movie)

Costello (Actor)

Pardon My Sarong (Movie)

Wellington Phlug (Actor)

Ride 'Em Cowboy (Movie)

Willoughby (Actor)

Rio Rita (Movie)

"Wishy" (Actor)

The Naughty Nineties (Movie)

Sebastian Dinwiddle (Actor)

The Noose Hangs High (Movie)

Homer Hinchcliffe (Actor)

The Time of Their Lives (Movie)

Horatio Prim (Actor)

The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (Movie)

Chester Wooley (Actor)

Who Done It? (Movie)

Mervyn Milgrim (Actor)

Biography

One-half of the popular American comedy team Abbott and Costello, Lou Costello was beloved by millions as the hapless, good-natured sap whose fireplug physique and manic energy hilariously played off Bud Abbott's fast-talking wise guy persona. Costello's career in vaudeville took off only after his pairing with Abbott, a fellow performer and talent promoter. Growing recognition on the stages of New York in the 1930s eventually led to a guest stint on a widely-heard national radio program, followed by their first film as a team, "One Night in the Tropics" (1940). With the massive success of their sophomore effort, "Buck Privates" (1941), Costello and his partner became two of the biggest movie stars of the wartime era. More hit films like "Pardon My Sarong" (1942), "In Society" (1944) and "The Naughty Nineties" (1945), combined with a popular radio program of their own, kept them at the top of the entertainment heap, despite critical dismissal of their oeuvre as being decidedly lowbrow. The comedy-monster mash-up "Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein" (1948) marked not only the beginning of their repetitive "Abbot and Costello Meet " phase, but also of their over-exposure and consequent slump in popularity. The comedy "Dance with Me, Henry" (1956) marked their final film appearance together before the team split in 1957 and Costello passed away two years later. As a testament to the simple genius of Abbott and Costello, their most famous comedy bit, "Who's on First?" was enshrined on video at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Relationships

Ann Costello

Wife
survived him

Carole Costello

Daughter
died in 1987

Christine Costello

Daughter
wrote memoir

Patricia Costello

Daughter
wrote biography of father

Pat Costello

Brother

EDUCATION

P S 15

Paterson , New Jersey

Milestones

1959

Made one solo film appearance (also his last), "The Thirty Foot Bride of Candy Rock"

1957

Ended partnership with Bud Abbott

1956

Last film with Abbott, "Dance with Me, Henry"

1956

Their most famous comic routine, "Who's on First?", placed on permanent display at the National Baseball Fall of Fame Museum in Cooperstown, NY, in the form of a gold record and a framed copy of the text

1955

Ended association with Universal after "Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy"

1948

Flagging popularity revived with "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein"; film initiated a series of onscreen encounters with other monsters

1946

Unsuccessfully attempted to work separately within the same film, "The Little Giant"

1940

Abbott and Costello consistently voted among the top ten box office stars by motion picture exhibitors

1940

Film debut with Abbott in comic supporting roles, "One Night in the Tropics"

1940

First starring roles for the duo, "Buck Privates", for Universal Studios

1939

Broadway acting debut in revue, "Streets of Paris", alonside Carmen Miranda

1938

First radio performance (as Abbott and Costello) on the Kate Smith program

1931

Joined with Bud Abbott in Brooklyn

Team appeared in 52 episodes of half-hour TV series, "The Abbott and Costello Show", reprising most of their comic routines

Worked in a haberdashery, a slaughterhouse and the prize ring before he met William 'Bud' Abbott while working as a $40-a-week comic in burlesque; Abbott a last-second substitute one night for Costello's indisposed straight man

Bonus Trivia

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"The great success of Abbott and Costello was attributed by the critics to their old-fashioned knock-about style, combined with a modern toughness of talk. Abbott was the lean and hawk-eyed wise guy, the sharp-shooter who always got the last word; Costello the good-natured dimwit who always got it in the neck--except when the worm occasionally turned. The average viewer never analyzed them--he just laughed." --From his March 4, 1959 The New York Times obituary.

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A gold record of Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First?" routine is displayed at The Baseball Hall of Fame.

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