Joe Kirk

Highest Rated: 100% Phantom Lady (1944)
Birthday: Oct 1, 1903
Birthplace: Not Available
Joe Kirk was seldom more than a supporting actor -- and usually a bit player -- in feature films, but he left an indelible mark on 1950s television comedy, through his association with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. That association was partly professional and largely personal, as he was Costello's brother-in-law. Some sources credit Kirk with film appearances as far back as the mid-'30s in movies such as Circle of Death and The Taming of the West, but his main body of movie work began at around the same time that Abbott & Costello first arrived in Hollywood in 1940. His early appearances weren't in their comedies (though that would soon change) but, rather, in the movies of the East Side Kids at Monogram, specifically Spooks Run Wild, Mr. Wise Guy, Smart Alecks, and Dick Tracy vs. Crime Inc., usually as gangsters and thugs who had little more to do than stand there and look menacing in a group. He began appearing in his brother-in-law's movies with Pardon My Sarong (1942). Usually in small roles and often as gangsters and henchmen with occasional comic bits and once in a while advancing the plot, it wasn't until Abbott & Costello Go To Mars (1953) that Kirk got a featured scene; in a comic slapstick battle of wits (or half-wits) with Lou Costello. By that time, Abbott & Costello had already given Kirk the role by which he would become best known, as Mr. Bacciagalupe on The Abbott & Costello Show. With his phony moustache and broken English, Kirk was a masterpiece of politically incorrect characterization, but also extremely funny in his slapstick interactions with Costello, usually batting Costello around the set in one way or other. Most of the rest of Kirk's career was as a general purpose actor, playing a succession of clerks, police officers, workers, and character roles in films by directors as different as Jean Yarbrough's (Hot Shots) and Fritz Lang's (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt). He retired in 1956, around the same time that Abbott & Costello split up and their respective careers ended.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
71% Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Clerk 1956
33% Abbott and Costello Go to Mars Dr. Orvilla 1953
No Score Yet Fort Algiers Luigi 1953
No Score Yet Lost in Alaska Henchman 1952
43% Jack and the Beanstalk Villager 1952
No Score Yet Comin' Round the Mountain Man 1951
No Score Yet The Big Sombrero Actor 1949
No Score Yet Impact Hotel clerk 1949
No Score Yet Mexican Hayride 2nd Businessman 1948
88% Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Man 1948
No Score Yet The Noose Hangs High Gangster 1948
No Score Yet My Dear Secretary Process Server 1948
No Score Yet The Web Plainclothesman 1947
80% Buck Privates Come Home Real Estate Salesman 1947
No Score Yet Little Giant Actor 1946
No Score Yet Smooth as Silk Joe 1946
No Score Yet The Naughty Nineties Croupier 1945
No Score Yet Here Come the Co-eds Honest Dan 1945
100% Phantom Lady Stage Manager 1944
No Score Yet Margin for Error Officer Solomon 1943
No Score Yet Who Done It? Thompson 1942
No Score Yet X Marks the Spot Jerry 1942
No Score Yet Smart Alecks Mike 1942
No Score Yet Pardon My Sarong Henchman 1942
No Score Yet Mr. Wise Guy Man in Newsreel 1942
No Score Yet Spooks Run Wild Von Grosch 1941

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet The Abbott and Costello Show
1951-1952
Mr. Bacciagalupe (and other characters)
  • 1952
  • 1951

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