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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Larry Harrington, chronicler of Abbott and Costello, dies at 72

April 5, 1952, was a grand day for Paterson. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were in town for the world premiere of their latest movie, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” at the Fabian Theater. And Larry Harrington, a 9-year-old from Grove Street, was in the audience after badgering his parents to buy tickets.
Larry Harrington
Larry Harrington 
For Larry, the big attraction was casting eyes on Costello, a roly-poly son of Silk City.

“My heart was so filled with joy, I thought my heart would break,” Mr. Harrington once recalled.
Laurence Harrington, who died last Wednesday at 72, championed the legendary comedy duo of Abbott and Costello.

A professional videographer, he created and marketed a 1998 documentary film titled “Memories of Bud and Lou.” He had a hand in the 50th anniversary screening of a re-mastered version of “Jack and the Beanstalk” at the Loews Jersey City. Months later, he helped arrange an Abbott and Costello retrospective at the John Harms Center in Englewood. The evening included a screening of Abbott and Costello’s “In the Navy” and a presentation by Chris Costello, Lou’s daughter.

Mr. Harrington, who was 16 when Lou Costello died, never met his hero, said his sister, Marie Harrington. But Mr. Harrington counted Costello’s first cousin, Lew Rege, as a friend and seemingly had other Costello relatives on speed-dial. Interviews with relatives of Costello and the Asbury Park-born Abbott, as well as film clips and footage from an Abbott and Costello fan convention, formed the basis of his documentary.

Laurence Harrington graduated from Central High School (Costello dropped out of Eastside High) and studied communication arts at Seton Hall University. Professionally “he did a little bit of this and little bit of that” — radio station announcer, U.S. Postal Service training technician and self-employed videographer, his sister said.

The longtime Clifton resident sang in area choruses and church choirs. “He had back problems and his physical therapist told him that the breathing you do when you sing would be good for his physical condition,” Marie Harrington said. “It gave him a lot of enjoyment.”

Mr. Harrington died of cancer. He is survived by his sister, of Clifton; two aunts; an uncle; godsons; and cousins.

Visiting is 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home, Clifton. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Sacred Heart R.C. Church, Clifton.

Another chronicler dies.   Tempus fugit

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