1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial

Lou Costello

Actor and comedian best remembered for his partnership with Bud Abbott. Currently, he and Bud Abbott are the only non-sports figures honored in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, for their famous ‘Who’s on First’ routine. He began work at MGM and Warner Brothers Studios as a carpenter, moving on to stuntman and later as a comic. In 1931, while working in a Brooklyn theater, his straight man became ill and the theater cashier, Bud Abbott, filled in for him. The chemistry between the two was instant, and they soon formed their famous comedy team, working burlesque, minstrel shows, movie houses, and anyplace that they could get a billing. In 1938, they got national exposure on the ‘Kate Smith Hour’ radio show, and soon signed with Universal Pictures becoming one of the most popular comedy teams of the century. Their scene-stealing performances landed them their own picture ‘Buck Privates’ in 1941. It was a runaway hit, grossing what was then a company record $10 million on a $180,000 budget. Born Louis Francis Cristillo as his crypt indicates, he is interred in Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles with his young son who drowned in 1942 in the family swimming pool just days before his first birthday, the same year the team topped a poll of Hollywood stars. Lou never got over the tragedy, blaming his wife–who was home at the time but didn’t see the boy wander out into the back yard and fall into the pool. A year later he was stricken with rheumatic fever, which halted the production of any new Abbott and Costello features for over a year until Lou fully recuperated. The disease, which normally strikes children, damaged his heart and led to the heart attack that ultimately killed him at such a young age. Known for his portly figure and child like persona, his last words were, ‘that was the best ice cream soda I ever tasted,’ then his heart stopped at age 53.