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Buddy Hackett’s Son Addresses the Rumors About Fatherhood

If you’ve never heard of comedian Sandy Hackett, then you’ve likely heard of his father, Buddy! Sandy Hackett was one of three children that the legendary comedian had over the course of his life, and he’s the only one that followed in his father’s footsteps by stepping up onto the stage. Today, Sandy makes a living reminiscing about his late father to large crowds. Join Facts Verse as Buddy Hackett’s son addresses the rumors about fatherhood.

Buddy Hackett Put Fatherhood Before Comedy

There were few comedians that took performing more seriously than Buddy Hackett. However, there was something that Buddy Hackett cared about even more than his stagecraft. While Buddy is best remembered to the public for his comedy, his three children best remember him as an excellent father. Buddy may have liked to paint himself as not being the brightest tool in the shed when he was in front of an audience, but his kids had a lot of respect for him. According to son Sandy Hackett, Buddy was a lot smarter than he let on. He was also very strict, but only because he cared so much about his kids. Sandy has claimed that there was one instance where he got a speeding ticket as a teenager and his dad wouldn’t let him drive for a month.

Sandy also alleges that his father’s parental instincts were so strong that they branched out to other kids. Sandy has recalled one memory wherein his father brought one of his young drivers home and started letting him live in the house as if he was one of his own children! This 18-year-old driver was attempting to escape from communist Hungary, and Buddy apparently had a lot of sympathy for his struggle. After letting the driver come to live with, Buddy then apparently went about putting the boy through college!

Buddy Hackett was born in Brooklyn, and he worked incredibly hard to get to the top of the entertainment industry. Like many comedians, Buddy first learned his trade while working in the Catskills Mountains. A popular resort location, Buddy was hired to work in the region as a “tummler”. For those that don’t know, a tummler is a person that is tasked with entertaining guests at a resort. As a tummler, Buddy learned how to keep the crowd hanging onto his every word. After getting some good experience in the Catskills, Buddy headed over to Los Angeles and started making a name for himself there. It was during these early years in Los Angeles that Buddy met the woman that would become his wife.

Buddy Was Married to His Wife Until His Death

Entertainers are notorious for not being able to stay married for very long, but this wasn’t the case with Buddy. If Sandy Hackett claims that his father was a man that put family first, then one needs to look no further than the length of the comedian’s marriage for proof. Buddy was only married to one woman over the course of his life, and that woman is Sherry Cohen. Buddy and Sherry tied the knot in 1955, and they remained married until Buddy’s death in 2003. For those that aren’t good at math, this means that the pair stayed together for nearly five decades. Buddy loved his wife, and they both loved entertaining guests at their home.

Buddy Hackett was a beloved figure in the entertainment industry, and everyone who worked with him had fond things to say about him. Buddy maintained close friendships with some of his brightest contemporaries, including Lucille Ball, George Burns, Bob Newhart, and Don Rickles. Buddy and Sherry made their home in Beverly Hills, and they would invite their friends over whenever they got the chance. Sometimes, Sherry would get so star-struck by the surplus of entertainers in her household that she would ask Buddy if she could record the social banter. Of course, the entertainers didn’t want their private lives made public.

The surplus of entertainers that Buddy and Sherry had over at their house may not have wanted their banter recorded, but they would let Sherry take pictures. Many great memories were created during these times. Not only were they great memories for Buddy and Sherry, but they were also great memories for their three kids. Being the family-friendly people that they were, the couple didn’t make their kids hide away when their friends came over. The social gatherings were clean, and Sandy Hackett has some especially fond memories related to them.

Sandy Hackett Followed in His Father’s Footsteps

Given that Sandy Hackett was his father’s son and spent his formative years around so many talented comedic performers, it should come as little surprise that the man would go on to becoming a comedian in his own right. One of Sandy’s most cherishing memories of his father is the time that he told him that he was going to follow in his footsteps by becoming a comedian. According to Sandy, Buddy tried his best to make light of the touching moment with comedy, but the son could see that his father was truly touched. Buddy jokingly asked Sandy whether he was going to use the last name of “Hackett” in his own stage name. When Sandy said that he was going to, Buddy sarcastically expressed disdain by insinuating that his son was going to ruin the legacy of the name. However, Buddy’s true feelings were visible via the tears welling up in his eyes.

According to Sandy Hackett, Buddy was much more than just a father to him. The late comedian was also his best friend. Today, Sandy is still carrying on the torch of his father by performing comedy. However, he’s also carrying on the torch of his father in a much more specific way! For several years, Sandy has been dedicating his time to a stage show by the name of My Buddy. The name pays homage to the fact that Buddy was a father as well as a friend, and the show consists of Sandy’s memories of him. Sandy performs the show, while his wife directs it. Sandy’s wife is a woman by the name of Lisa Dawn Miller, who is a celebrity child in her own right! Lisa’s father may not be quite as famous as Buddy Hackett, but he’ was certainly a celebrity figure in his own right! Her father was the songwriter Ron Miller. Ron wrote the song “For Once in My Life”, which was popularized by Stevie Wonder. Charmingly, Sandy and Lisa have as much love for each other’s famous fathers as they do for their own. According to Sandy, there’s going to come a time when Ron Miller is more widely recognized for his work.

The main draw of going to see Sandy Hackett perform My Buddy, of course, would have to be the opportunity to hear personal stories about the late Buddy Hackett. However, there’s also the fact of the matter that Sandy has become a pretty entertaining performer in his own right. Sandy got the idea to come up with a stage show about his father shortly after his 2003 death. According to Sandy, a friend had encouraged him to start compiling memories of his father for the purposes of a possible book. While this book may still eventually happen, Sandy had the revelation soon afterwards that the best way for him to convey these stories to an audience was through the medium that his father had worked in. Since Sandy was already an experienced performer himself, the creation of the show was a no-brainer.

Sandy Considered His Father to Be His Buddy, As Well

Sandy Hackett’s show about his father is filled with stories. In fact, Sandy has so many great stories about his father that he doesn’t even perform the same ones every show. Sometimes, Sandy will be in the middle of a performance when something will spark a memory that he feels he has to include. This leads to him going on impromptu tangent that make every performance of My Buddy unique in some way. Besides Buddy Hackett himself, as well as the cast of his close and personal contemporaries that we’ve mentioned previously, other notable figures that factor into these stories include Jerry Lewis, George Burns, and Johnny Carson.

Buddy Hackett grew up in Brooklyn, and his birth name was Leonard Hacker. Early in his career, Buddy performed under the name “Butch Hacker”. According to the late legend himself, he was given the name because of his harsh looks. It was an NBC executive that suggested he take on the stage name of “Buddy Hackett”. Of course, “Buddy” is a bit more inviting of a name to the audiences than “Butch”. Once he settled on his stage name, it was only a matter of time before Buddy took the world by storm. Buddy’s signature slurred speech came as a result of Bell’s palsy, which he suffered from as a child. Buddy was truly one of a kind.

Prior to making a name for himself in entertainment, Buddy Hackett served in the United States Army. He joined up with the army in 1942, immediately after graduating from high school. He served for three years before becoming known as an entertainer. Some of Buddy’s most memorable performances include his turns in the classic films The Music Man and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. In 1959, Buddy made an appearance on the Western television series The Rifleman that was notable for the fact that he portrayed the father of a character that was played by an actor four years his senior. Buddy was wise beyond his years, and exuded it.

Buddy Hackett was incredibly proud of his son Sandy for following in his footsteps. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that comedian Buddy Hackett was married to the same women for fifty years, and that he was a beloved father to his three kids? Comment down below!

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