Buddy Hackett

Buddy Hackett
Ian Dryden / Los Angeles Times


Buddy Hackett
Live: South side of the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Actor | Comedian
Born Leonard Hacker on Aug. 31, 1924 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Died June 30, 2003 in Malibu, CA

Buddy Hackett broke into comedy as a young waiter-performer in New York's Catskill Mountains and went on to achieve iconic status as a raunchy nightclub performer and rubber-faced clown in movies including "The Music Man" and "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World." Hackett was a pioneer of "blue" comedy — a brand of risque, off-color humor.

Despite his trademark comedy style, Hackett was primarily featured in family films. For instance, he was cast 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). Hackett also provided the voice of Scuttle the seagull in Disney's renowned "The Little Mermaid" in 1989.

In 1954, Hackett replaced Lou Costello in a movie set to star the famous duo of Abbott and Costello entitled "Fireman, Save My Child." Costello had to drop out for health reasons.

Although Hackett experienced great success in his film endeavors, he always remained steadfast in his love for performing at nightclubs. Hackett was noted by fellow comedians for his exceptional talent in ad-libbing and his taste. Hackett always knew just how far to take a joke before it became offensive, earning him great success in the field.

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