William “Bud” Abbott
Yesterday, April 24, 2019 marked the 45th anniversary of the death of William “Bud” Abbott. You know Abbott as one half of the comedic duo, Abbott & Costello. While some sources state a birth of October 2, 1895, other sources state October 2, 1897. He was born to parents in show business – they were part of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. In 1918, Abbott met and married his wife, Jenny Mae “Betty Smith” Pratt.
In 1936, Abbott & Costello became an official team and landed on radio’s The Kate Smith Hour, where their signature skit, “Who’s On First” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTcRRaXV-fg) came to life and rocked them to fame. After signing a deal with Universal Pictures, Abbott & Costello led a successful career, making 36 films including Buck Privates.
At the age of 30, Bud Abbott developed epilepsy. The duo continued to perform, and if Abbott had a seizure while on stage, Lou would carry him off stage as part of the act. In 1956, the duo dissolved their relationship. Lou Costello passed away two years later in 1959. Abbott suffered a stroke in 1965 and eventually died of cancer on April 24, 1974.
While William Abbott does not have a grave that can be visited, as he was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean, he and Lou Costello are honored in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York as the only non-sports figures, for their famous “Who’s on First” routine.
Where Are They Buried? By Tod Benoit