|Name Norman Abbott|
Uncles Bud Abbott
|Parents Olive Abbott|
Role Television Director
|Movies The Last of the Secret Agents?, Leaving Lily, The Claudette Colbert and Basil Rathbone Show|
Cousins Bud Abbott Jr., Vickie Abbott
Similar People Bud Abbott, Steve Rossi, Bud Yorkin, Al Gordon, Graham Baker
Grandparents Harry Abbott, Rae Abbott
Norman Abbott (July 11, 1922 – July 9, 2016) was an American television director.
Abbott was born in New York City, where his uncle, comedian Bud Abbott, and his mother raised him. His early experience in entertainment was as a vaudeville performer, including summers working the 'borsch circuit" in resorts in the Catskill Mountains of New York.
During World War II, Abbott served as a member of the original United States Navy SEALs team.
He directed episodes of Welcome Back, Kotter, Get Smart, The Munsters, Leave It To Beaver, Sanford and Son, and The Jack Benny Program.
In the 1940s, he and Pat Costello (brother of Lou Costello) formed a lesser-known Abbott and Costello comedy duo. Their act reversed roles from the original, with Norman Abbott being the comedian and Pat Costello being the straight man. They also worked as stand-ins for the better-known act during rehearsals for the film Who Done It? (1942).
Abbott's obituary in The Hollywood Reporter described him as "the brainchild behind the Broadway sensation Sugar Babies, the comeback vehicle for Mickey Rooney in the late 1970s". He conceived the idea of a Broadway musical based on burlesque after inheriting his uncle's "treasure trove of burlesque material, including written gags, props, music and posters". Despite his having originated the concept, Abbott was fired as director of the show after two weeks' rehearsals.
Abbott died in Valencia, California, on July 9, 2016 at the age of 93. He was survived by his wife, four children, a sister, three stepsons, and four grandchildren.