Television

Veteran Comedian Buddy Hackett passes away

MUMBAI: Veteran funny man of Broadway, nightclubs, TV and Hollywood movies Buddy Hackett, died on Monday, 30 June. He was 78.

The talk-show host, television and movie actor, known for his roles in The Love Bug and The Little Mermaid, was found dead at his Malibu beach house.



According to an Associate Press report, his son Sandy Hackett informed the Los Angeles police about the death. While the cause of his death was not immediately known, his son said Hackett had diabetes.

Amongst Hackett's memorable movie credits included the 1963 ensemble comedy It's a Mad Mad Mad World. Recently, he also co-starred in a critically acclaimed but short-lived TV series, Action that satirised Hollywood.

Born on 31 August 1924, Hackett, the streetwise squat, round, rubbery-faced funnyman comedian from Brooklyn, started his career as a stand-up comic at resorts in New York's Catskill Mountains. He got his first break on the small screen as a guest actor in 1945's TV show Laff Time. Two years later, he made his feature film debut as the voice of a talking camel in Slave Girl. After the silver screen cameo followed a two-year stint on Broadway in the comedy Lunatics and Lovers. Later he landed the title role in the 1956 sitcom Stanley along side Carol Burnett. He also maintained a parallel career as a racy nightclub comic, which lasted for more than 50 years.

His feature career was dominated by work in family films, such as 1961's Everything's Ducky, 1962's The Music Man, 1963's It's a Mad Mad Mad World and 1969's The Love Bug. Hackett lent his voice to 'Scuttle the seagull' in the hit Disney cartoon The Little Mermaid. He reprised his role 11 years later in a direct-to-video sequel. He had also served three years in the US Army with an antiaircraft unit during World War II.

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