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Biography
Though she reportedly played a bit in the 1937 version of A Star Is Born, actress Joan Shawlee's first confirmed professional work was as a model, singer, and nightclub performer. While appearing in New York, Shawlee was discovered by comedian Lou Costello, who put her under personal contract. She was billed as Joan Fulton in her first appearance with Abbott and Costello in the 1947 film Buck Privates Come Home. She reverted to "Shawlee" once she'd gained a reputation as a wisecracking, gum-chewing comedienne, a reputation enhanced by her many appearances on the popular TV sitcom The Abbott and Costello Show. Her films ranged from trash like Prehistoric Women (1950) to treasures like From Here to Eternity. Her best screen role was as dictatorial bandleader Sweet Sue in the Billy Wilder classic Some Like It Hot (1959); Wilder would cast Shawlee in choice supporting roles in his later films, The Apartment (1960), Irma La Douce (1963), and Buddy Buddy (1981). Outside of her work on Abbott and Costello's various television ventures, Joan Shawlee's TV career included regular roles on such series as The Betty Hutton Show, McHale's Navy, The Dick Van Dyke Show (as Morey Amsterdam's wife Pickles), and The Feather and Father Gang.

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