) was a U.S. film and television actor who was best known for playing the role of Mr. Bacciagalupe on The Abbott and Costello Show
The bulk of Kirk’s early film career consisted of playing bit parts, often uncredited, in low budget productions. He appeared in several films produced at Monogram Pictures
, including Spooks Run Wild
(1941), Dick Tracy vs. Crime Inc.
(1941), Mr. Wise Guy
(1942) and Smart Alecks
(1942). Through his marriage to Marie Cristillo, the sister of Lou Costello
, Kirk secured steady appearances (albeit in small roles) in Abbott and Costello
films. His more prominent parts included the pet shop owner in Rio Rita
(1942), Honest Dan the Bookie in Here Come the Co-Eds
(1946), the shady real estate agent in Buck Privates Come Home
(1947) and Dr. Orvilla in Abbott and Costello Go to Mars
In 1951, Kirk was cast in what became his best-known role: as Mr. Bacciagalupe, the highly excitable Italian
neighbor in The Abbott and Costello Show
. Kirk’s character held a variety of jobs – at various points in the show, he was a barber, grocer, ice cream vendor, peanut vendor, bakery owner and music store salesman. In the episodes featuring his character, Mr. Bacciagalupe would inevitably find his place of business wrecked by Abbott and Costello’s slapstick antics.
Kirk’s Mr. Bacciagalupe appeared in 15 of the 26 episodes in the show's first season, 1951-1952. When the show switched formats for its second and final season, Mr. Bacciagalupe was written out of the cast.
Late film career
Kirk continued acting through the mid-1950s, with appearances in the 1956 Bowery Boys
comedy Hot Shots
and Fritz Lang
’s drama Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
(1956), before retiring from show business.