Beginning in theater in California, his first break came when director Robert Aldrich cast him as Edwin Flagg in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, opposite Bette Davis.
Playing countless heavies and villains on television, Buono is remembered chiefly for two recurring villians; King Tut (on Batman) and Count Manzepi (on The Wild, Wild, West).
In the 1970's, Victor Buono released a few comedy albums, and would recite his poetry on talk shows. One of his fans favorites was
The Fat Man's Prayer
by Victor Buono
by Victor Buono
Lord, my soul is ripped with riot,
Incited by my wicked diet.
We are what we eat, said a wise old man,
And Lord, if that's true, I'm a garbage can!
I want to rise on Judgment Day, that's plain,
But at my present weight, I'll need a crane!
So grant me strength that I may not fall
Into the clutches of cholesterol.
May my flesh with carrot curls be sated
That my soul may be polyunsaturated.
And show me the light that I may bear witness
To the President's Council on Physical Fitness.
At oleomargarine I'll never mutter,
For the road to hell is spread with butter.
And cake is cursed, and cream is awful,
And Satan is hiding in every waffle.
Mephistopheles lurks in provolone,
The devil is in each slice of bologna,
Beelzebub is a chocolate drop,
And Lucifer is a lollipop!
Give me this day my daily slice -
But cut it thin and toast it twice.
I beg upon my dimpled knees,
Deliver me from Jujubees.
And my when days of trial are done
And my war with malted milks is won,
Let me stand with the saints in heaven
In a shining robe - Size 37!
I can do it, Lord, if you'll show to me
The virtues of lettuce and celery.
If you'll teach me the evils of mayonnaise,
The sinfulness of hollandaise
And pasta a la milanese
And potatoes a la lyonaise
And crisp fried chicken from the south!
Lord, if you love me, SHUT MY MOUTH!