Buddy Hackett, born Leonard Hacker,
was an American comedian and actor.
Hackett was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended
Public School 103 and then went on to New Utrecht High
School. While still in high school, he began appearing
in nightclubs, beginning with the Borscht Belt, the
Catskills resorts. He served three years with an antiaircraft
unit during World War II.
His first job after the war was at the Pink Elephant,
a Brooklyn club. He made appearances in Los Angeles
and Las Vegas, and the Catskills. He acted on Broadway
in Lunatics and Lovers, where Max Liebman saw him and
put him in two television specials. A television series,
Stanley, was developed for him, which helped start
Carol Burnett's career. He became known to a wider
audience when he appeared on television in the 1950s
and 1960s as a frequent guest on such talk shows as
Jack Paar and Arthur Godfrey, telling brash, often
off-color jokes, and mugging widely at the camera.
He became widely known from his film role in the
box-office success, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
He appeared as Art Carney's replacement on The Jackie
Gleason Show, and in the 1958 film God's Little Acre.
His later career was mostly as a guest on variety shows
and prime time sitcoms.
In 1978, Hackett surprised many when he gave a dramatic
performance as Lou Costello in the TV movie Bud And
Lou. Harvey Korman played Bud Abbott in this production.
The film told the story of Abbott and Costello and
Hackett's portrayal was widely praised. He and Korman
did a memorable rendition of the team's famous "Who's
On First" routine.
His last film performance was reprising the voice
of Scuttle, the goofy little seagull, in Disney's The
Little Mermaid (1989) for the direct-to-video sequel
The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea in 2000.
For his contribution to the motion picture industry,
Buddy Hackett was given a star on the Hollywood Walk
Buddy Hackett died in 2003 in Malibu, California
of natural causes.