ABBOTT & COSTELLO (LOU COSTELLO) - DOCUMENT SIGNED 09/17/1955 - HFSID 177692
Comedian Lou Costello, one-half of Abbott and Costello, signed this $1 bill of sale in 1955 to have five members of his family, including his wife Anne, sell their stakes in his production company Cosman Productions to pay back taxes.
Document signed "Lou Costello" as President of Cosman Productions, Inc. and by secretary of Cosman Productions. 2 pages, 8½x13, singled-sided, on stationery of the law offices of Irell & Manella in Los Angeles, California. Sept. 17, 1955. Titled: "Bill of Sale". Costello signed this document to have his wife Anne Costello, his older brother Pat Costello, Pat's wife Margaret Jane Costello, his mother Helen Cristillo and his sister Marie Kirk sell their right, title and interest in Cosman Productions, Inc. for $1. Cosman Productions was Lou's production company. Lou and his partner Bud Abbott wound up selling most of their assets, including their film rights, to pay income tax deficiencies to the Internal Revenue Service. In the year this document was signed, Costello appeared in two feature films with partner Bud Abbott: Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy. They were also into the fourth year of their TV show The Abbott and Costello Show (1952-1958). ANNE COSTELLO (1912-1959, born Anne Battler in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, United Kingdom) was married to comedian Lou Costello from 1934 until his death on March 3, 1959. The couple had four children, including a son who drowned just days before his first birthday. Anne died nine months after Lou's death on Dec. 5, 1959. PAT COSTELLO (1903-1990, born Anthony Sebastian Cristillo) was Lou's older brother. An actor and stuntman, he had done stunts and was an occasional stand-in for Lou. MARGARET JANE COSTELLO was Pat's wife. HELEN REGE "LOLLY" CRISTILLO was Lou's mother. She had married Lou's father, producer Sebastian Cristillo, in 1902. MARIE KIRK was Lou's sister, the former MARIE KATHERINE CRISTILLO (the last of the Cristillo children, she was born in 1912). Marie had been married to actor Joe Kirk, who appeared in several Abbott and Costello films and on their television show. With partner BUD ABBOTT (1895-1974, born William A. Abbott in Asbury Park, New Jersey), LOU COSTELLO (1906-1959, born Louis Francis Cristillo in Paterson, New Jersey) formed one of the greatest comedy teams in the history of show business. They mastered the straight man/clown relationship, creating a magical chemistry that took them from vaudeville and burlesque to radio, Broadway, film and television. The Abbott & Costello Show aired on radio on ABC from 1941 to 1946 and on NBC from 1946 to 1949. Abbott and Costello were also guest hosts of NBC's hour-long live variety show, The Colgate Comedy Hour, seven times between 1951 and 1954. Their "Who's on First?" routine is enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Abbott and Costello split up in 1957 after troubles with the Internal Revenue Service left both men broke. Lightly toned and creased. Light tear, staple holes and two file holes in top edge. Folded once. Otherwise in fine condition.
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