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Buddy Hackett Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (16) | Personal Quotes (1) | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (complications from diabetes)
Birth NameLeonard Hacker
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Brooklyn-born Buddy Hackett was known mainly as a nightclub comic, especially in Las Vegas, where he first performed in 1952 and wound up being one of the biggest headliners in that city's history. Hackett always referred to himself as a "saloon comic" and preferred the intimacy of his stage act--where he would often bring members of the audience up on stage with him--to films and television. He, along with Lenny Bruce, pioneered "blue" comedy, although Hackett's career did not suffer nearly as much as Bruce's did because of it. Hackett's act was noted for its, at the time, "adult" content, and at one point he was sued by a woman who attended one of his shows and said she was "shocked and offended" at the language (she lost the suit). However, contrary to his nightclub image, Hackett's appearances in films were mostly of the family type, such as his roles in the "Herbie" series of comedies for Disney about a Volkswagen Bug with a mind of its own and as Robert Preston's sidekick in The Music Man (1962). In 1954, Hackett was paired by Universal Pictures with Hugh O'Brian as a potential comedy team to replace the studio's reigning team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, They actually did replace the famous team in the film Fireman Save My Child (1954), due to Costello's illness (Bud and Lou can still be glimpsed in long shots). Hackett took the part that Costello was playing (an eerie coincidence considering that more than 20 years later he would actually play Costello in the movie Bud and Lou (1978)) and O'Brian took Abbott's place, but the film was not successful and Universal dropped its plans to make a team out of the two. Hackett also had a showy part in the ensemble comedy It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963), partnered with Mickey Rooney. However, despite his success in movies, he still preferred his nightclub work and played Las Vegas and clubs in other cities whenever possible. He had a reputation among his fellow comics as a brilliant ad-libber and someone who knew exactly how far to take a joke before it ran its course, something not all comedians managed to do.

Buddy Hackett died at age 78 of natural causes at his beach house in Malibu, CA, on June 30, 2003.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Spouse (1)

Sherry Cohen (12 June 1955 - 30 June 2003) (his death) (3 children)

Trivia (16)

Quit doing appearances in 1996 after he suffered stage fright, including extreme dizziness, for the first time in his career. This event immediately followed gum surgery, which Buddy believes had something to do with the situation.
In 1953, gossip columns reported that Universal Pictures wanted to team Hackett with his friend, popular baritone Alan Dale, as the studio's answer to Paramount's box-office sensations, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Nothing came of the idea because Dale preferred to remain a solo act. However, Hackett did appear in Universal's Walking My Baby Back Home (1953) later that year. In 1954, Hackett did replace Lou Costello in Universal's Fireman Save My Child (1954) when Costello's ill health forced him to leave the picture shortly after filming began (Costello can still be seen in some long shots). Hugh O'Brian replaced Bud Abbott, who would not work without Costello. Universal talked about teaming Hackett and O'Brien in another film, but the picture bombed at the box office and the re-teaming with O'Brien never took place.
Had two daughters: Ivy Julie Hackett and Lisa Jean Hackett, and one son: Sandy Hackett.
Attended and graduated from New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn, New York City (1942).
His real name, Lenny Hacker, was used as the name of a character he played in episode 1.05 ("The Entertainer") of Space Rangers (1993).
Served three years in the United States Army with an antiaircraft unit during World War II. On a furlough in 1945, he returned home and bought a ticket to see the musical "Oklahoma!". He decided on a career in show business following his discharge.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 201-202. New York: Facts on File (1992). ISBN 0816023387.
Towards the end of his life, he was raising money for an animal shelter.
Although his on-stage humor was not nearly as raw, in retrospect, as many of the young comedians who would succeed him, his frequently ribald performances in nightclubs and in concert came as something of a shock to those who had enjoyed his "cleaned-up" (at the behest of the censors) performances on television and in films.
Next door neighbor of Sandy Koufax in childhood.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 224-226. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale (2007).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Live Theatre at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on March 31, 1998.
According to his commentary on The Love Bug (1968), he was offered $2000 a week to replace Curly Howard of The Three Stooges. He refused. However, the story seems unlikely since when Curly died he was immediately replaced by his brother Shemp Howard, who had originally been replaced by Curly when Shemp left the act to go solo while the Stooges were still in vaudeville.
Allegedly regretted turning down the sequels for The Love Bug (1968).
He was awarded a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in Palm Springs, California on December 8, 2000.
Buddy Hackett passed away on June 30, 2003, two months away from what would have been his 79th birthday on August 31.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on the late sportscaster Howard Cosell] There have always been mixed emotions about Howard Cosell: Some people hate him like poison; and other people just hate him regular.

Salary (1)

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) $105,000

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