Abbott, Bud & Costello, Lou

Signed original b&w still photo from their 1944 MGM film, “Lost in a Harem”

Price: $750.00

Description:
William A. "Bud" Abbott (1897- 1974) Burlesque, radio, stage, television and film actor, producer, and comedian, best remembered as the “straight man” of the comedy duo Abbott and Costello with Lou Costello. Born into a show business family, he dropped out of grammar school and worked summers with his father at Coney Island and spent several years in burlesque box offices. In 1923 then produced a cut-rate vaudeville show, “Broadway Flashes”, for the Gus Sun circuit. He performed as a straight man in the show when he couldn’t afford to pay one. He continued producing and performing in burlesque shows on the Mutual Burlesque wheel, and his reputation grew. He crossed paths with Lou Costello in burlesque in the early 1930s when Abbott was producing and performing in Minsky’s Burlesque and Costello was a rising comic. They first worked together in burlesque in 1935 and formally teamed up in 1936. In 1938, they received national exposure on the Kate Smith Hour radio show which led to roles in a 1940 Broadway musical “The Streets of Paris” and then Universal signed them for their first film, “One Night in the Tropics”. Despite minor roles, they stole the film with several classic routines, including an abbreviated “Who’s on First?” During WW II, Bud & Lou were among the most popular and highest-paid stars in the world. They made 36 films 1940-56 and earned a percentage of the profits on each. They had their own radio show thru the 1940s, on NBC (1942-47) then ABC (1947-49). In the 1950s, appeared on live television on “The Colgate Comedy Hour” and launched their half-hour series “The Abbott and Costello Show.” Relations between them were strained by egos and salary disputes. In their burlesque days, they split earnings 60%–40%, favoring Abbott, eventually changed to 50%–50%; after a year in Hollywood, Costello insisted on a 60%–40% split in his favor, and it remained so for the rest of their careers. Lou also demanded the team be renamed "Costello and Abbott", rejected by Universal, resulting in a "permanent chill" between them. The relationship was further strained by Abbott's alcoholism, his attempt to stave off epileptic seizures that began in 1926. Their popularity waned in the 50s, and they were bedeviled by tax issues; the IRS demanded heavy back taxes, forcing them (both free spenders and serious gamblers) to sell most of their assets, including the rights to many of their films. Universal dropped their contract in 1955 and they split in 1957. In 1960, Abbott called it quits. In 1961, he performed in a dramatic TV episode of General Electric Theater, "The Joke's on Me". A few years later, he provided his own voice for the Hanna-Barbera“The Abbott and Costello Cartoon show” series. They are among the few non-baseball personnel memorialized in the Baseball Hall of Fame, although not inductees of the Hall itself. A plaque and gold record of the "Who's On First?" sketch are on permanent display there since 1956. They each have three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Lou Costello (Louis F. Cristillo, 1906-1959) Radio, stage, television and film actor and burlesque comic. At school in Paterson, NJ, he was a gifted basketball player (his prowess can be seen in 1945’s “Here Come the Co-Eds”), and also boxed as "Lou King". He took his stage name from actress Helene Costello. In 1927, he went to Hollywood but could only find work as a laborer or extra and occasionally as a stunt man. In 1929, In St. Joseph, Mo., he was hired as a comic then went back to New York and worked in burlesque on the Mutual Burlesque wheel..At Minskys, he crossed paths with Bud Abbott. Their breakthrough film was “Buck Privates” and they became 1941’s # 3 Box Office Stars. Among their most popular films are: “Hold That Ghost”, “Who Done It?”, “Pardon My Sarong”, “The Time of Their Lives”, “Buck Privates Come Home”, “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein”, and “Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man”. In the summer of 1942, they went on a 35-day cross-country War Bonds sales tour; the Treasury Department credited them with the sale of $85M in bonds. In early 1943, Costello had an attack of rheumatic fever and could not work for 6 months; on his return to their NBC radio show on Nov. 4, he performed although he learned before broadcast that his infant son had drowned at home. Also in 1943, he was drafted and went to court to seek a deferment. About this time serious cracks began to appear in their relationship. They were forced to withdraw from “Fireman Save My Child” in 1954 due to Costello's poor health; he had been plagued by heart problems all his life due to a childhood bout of rheumatic fever. Their final film together, an independent production called “Dance with Me, Henry” was a box office disappointment with mixed reviews. They amicably dissolved their partnership in 1957. In 1958, Costello played a dramatic role in an episode of “Wagon Train.” Soon after completing “The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock”, his only starring film without Abbott, he suffered a heart attack and died 3 days later. SP, 8 x 10 SP, black & white still picture from MGM’s 1944 film, “Lost in a Harem”, featuring the pair on a divan in costume kissing the hands of co-star Marilyn Maxwell. Lovely item signed by the legendary comic duo!

Condition: Very good, very slight smudging to Costello’s signature, very minor staple holes at top and bottom center white borders
Type:Photograph






[View Shopping Cart]
[Home] [Articles] [Biography] [Calendar]
[Catalogue] [Search]



enbainc@cs.com

Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




Home
Home

Articles
Articles

Biography
Biography

Calendar
Calendar

Catalogue
Catalogue

Search
Search