Jackie Gleason

Actor, Comedian, Composer
Dubbed "The Great One" by none other than Orson Welles and beloved as one of the biggest stars of television's golden era, multi-talented comedic actor Jackie Gleason enjoyed a life and career as robust as his onscreen ... Read more »
Born: 02/25/1916 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (45)

60 Minutes... 25 Years 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Today at Night, Volume II 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Nothing in Common 1986 (Movie)

Max Basner (Actor)

The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Honeymooners Reunion 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Mr. Halperin and Mr. Johnson 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Smokey and the Bandit - Part 3 1982 (Movie)

Buford T Justice (Actor)

The Toy 1982 (Movie)

US Bates (Actor)

The Sting II 1981 (Movie)

Henry Gondorff (Actor)

Smokey and the Bandit II 1980 (Movie)

Buford T Justice (Actor)

The Honeymooners Christmas Special 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

The Honeymooners 1955 - 1956, 1977 - 1978 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Honeymooners Christmas 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

The Honeymooners Valentine Special 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Mr. Billion 1977 (Movie)

John Cutler (Actor)

Smokey and the Bandit 1977 (Movie)

Sheriff Buford T Justice (Actor)

The Honeymooners Second Honeymoon 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

The Bob Hope Special (09/25/74) 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

A Show Business Salute to Milton Berle 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

The Jackie Gleason Special 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

The Jackie Gleason Special 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

The Jackie Gleason Show 1966 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

Don't Drink the Water 1969 (Movie)

Walter Hollander (Actor)

How Do I Love Thee? 1969 (Movie)

Stanley Waltz (Actor)

How to Commit Marriage 1969 (Movie)

Oliver Poe (Actor)

Skidoo 1968 (Movie)

Tony Banks (Actor)

Papa's Delicate Condition 1962 (Movie)

Jack "Papa" Griffith (Actor)

Soldier in the Rain 1962 (Movie)

M/Sgt Maxwell Slaughter (Actor)

Gigot 1961 (Movie)

Gigot (Actor)

Requiem For a Heavyweight 1961 (Movie)

Maish Rennick (Actor)

The Hustler 1961 (Movie)

Minnesota Fats (Actor)

The Jackie Gleason Show 1952 - 1961 (TV Show)

Actor

Playhouse 90 1956 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

All Through the Night 1941 (Movie)

(Actor)

Larceny, Inc. 1941 (Movie)

Hobart (Actor)

Springtime in the Rockies 1941 (Movie)

(Actor)

Izzy and Moe (TV Show)

Actor

Lady Gangster (Movie)

Wilson (Actor)

Navy Blues (Movie)

Tubby (Actor)

Orchestra Wives (Movie)

Beck (Actor)

The Return of October (Movie)

(Actor)
Music (11)

Whatever Works 2009 (Movie)

("If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight)") (Song Performer)

We Own the Night 2007 (Movie)

"I'll Be Seeing You" (Song Performer)

Northfork 2003 (Movie)

("It All Depends On You") (Song Performer)

Hollywood Ending 2002 (Movie)

("Too Close For Comfort") (Song Performer)

Resurrection Man 2000 (Movie)

(Song)

Resurrection Man 2000 (Movie)

("Melancholy Serenade") (Song Performer)

Return to Me 2000 (Movie)

("It's Such a Happy Day") (Song)

Blast From the Past 1999 (Movie)

("Honeymooner's Theme") (Song)

Alice 1990 (Movie)

("Limehouse Blues" "Breezin' Along With the Breeze" "I Remember You" "Moonlight Becomes You") (Song Performer)

Nadine 1987 (Movie)

("Love Is Here to Stay") (Song Performer)

Gigot 1961 (Movie)

(Music)
Writer (2)

Gigot 1961 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Wool Cap (TV Show)

Source Material

Biography

Dubbed "The Great One" by none other than Orson Welles and beloved as one of the biggest stars of television's golden era, multi-talented comedic actor Jackie Gleason enjoyed a life and career as robust as his onscreen persona. After gaining recognition as a performer in the nightclubs of New York and on the stages of Broadway - interrupted by a brief, unsatisfying stint in Hollywood - Gleason took on the new medium of television as the star of "Cavalcade of Stars" (DuMont, 1949-1952). There, he introduced several of his famous long-running characters, including Reginald Van Gleason III, The Poor Soul, and Joe the Bartender. But it was another character, New York bus driver Ralph Kramden, that led to the creation of "The Honeymooners" (CBS, 1955-56), considered one of the greatest programs in the history of television. Often underappreciated for his substantial dramatic talent, Gleason was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in "The Hustler" (1961) and earned high marks for his turn in "Requiem for a Heavyweight" (1962). A decade and a half later, he attracted scores of new fans as the caustic Sheriff Buford T. Justice in the Burt Reynolds hit "Smokey and the Bandit" (1977). More film work and the occasional "Honeymooners" revival occupied Gleason's later years, although he never abandoned his favorite pastimes - golf, food and alcohol - even as his health declined. A revered entertainer to generations of fans, Gleason's famous tagline of "How sweet it is!" reflected both his body of work and his thirst of life.

Relationships

Herb Gleason

Father
abandoned the family when Gleason was nine years old on December 15, 1925

Mae Gleason

Mother
died in 1932

Geraldine Gleason

Daughter
born July 31, 1939 mother, Genevieve Halford

Linda Gleason

Daughter
born on September 16, 1941 mother, Genevieve Halford formerly married to writer-actor Jason Miller, with whom she had three children including actor Jason Patric

Clemence Gleason

Brother
older died in 1919

Genevieve Halford

Wife
married September 20, 1936 leagally separated on December 15, 1954 divorced 1971 mother of Gleason's two daughters

Beverly McKittrick

Wife
married 1971 divorced 1974

Honey Merrill

Companion
together from 1956 until 1970

Jason Patric Actor

Grandson
Born June 17, 1966 to Linda Gleason and Jason Miller

Marilyn Taylor

Wife
originally dated c. 1953 sister of dancer June Taylor married in 1975 until his death

EDUCATION

P S 73

Brooklyn , New York

Bushwick High School

Brooklyn , New York
dropped out to pursue showbiz career

John Adams High School

Brooklyn , New York

Milestones

1986

Made final film appearance in "Nothing in Common", playing Tom Hanks' father

1985

Reteamed with Art Carney as co-stars in the CBS TV-movie "Izzy and Moe"; also wrote the musical score

1983

Starred with Laurence Olivier in the HBO TV-movie "Mr. Halpern and Mr. Johnson"

1978

Returned to Broadway for brief run in "Sly Fox"

1977

First played Sheriff Buford T Justice in "Smokey and the Bandit"; would appear in two sequels

1968

Co-starred in the disastrous "Skidoo"

1964

Permanently moved to Florida

1963

Starred as Jack Griffith in "Papa's Delicate Condition"

1962

Co-wrote and starred in "Gigot"; also wrote the music score

1961

Wrote and starred in "The Million Dollar Incident" (CBS)

1961

Earned Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Minnesota Fats in "The Hustler"

1961

Hosted disastrous "You're in the Picture" (CBS)

1955

Signed $14 million contract with CBS and Buick (the sponsor of his variety series)

1953

Had first dramatic role in "The Laughmaker", co-starring Art Carney

1953

Recorded first album for Capitol Records

1950

Returned to NYC

1949

Made TV series debut starring in "The Life of Riley" (NBC); show filmed in California

1948

Made TV debut on "Talk of the Town", hosted by Ed Sullivan

1940

Feature film debut in "Navy Blues"

1940

Put under contract by Warner Bros after Jack Warner spotted him performing at a Manhattan nightclub

1938

Made Broadway debut in "Hellzapoppin'"

1935

First professional nightclub appearance in Newark, NJ

1931

Won an amatuer night contest in Brooklyn at age 15 (date approximate)

Worked as a carnival barker and emcee in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Became a Broadway star with "Take Me Along"; won Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical

Returned to the hour-long variety format with "The Jackie Gleason Show" (CBS)

Starred in first incarnation of "The Jackie Gleason Show" (CBS), a one-hour variety series

Hosted "Cavalcade of Stars" (DuMont); first introduced the character of Ralph Kramden; also first teaming with Art Carney

Did one season as star of the half-hourcomedy series "The Honeymooners" (CBS)

While on tour with "Sly Fox", suffered a heart attack and underwent triple by-pass surgery

Returned to TV as star of the variety series "The Jackie Gleason Show" (CBS); also reprised "The Honeymooners"

Appeared on Broadway throughout the 1940s in such shows as "Artists and Models" (1943), "Follow the Girls" (1944), in which he appeared in drag, and "Along Fifth Avenue" (1949)

Bonus Trivia

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Although he was nominated for an Emmy Award, Gleason never won one.

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He recorded nearly 40 albums with the Jackie Gleason Orchestra.

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Inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1986.

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"Jackie Gleason is my favorite two comedians." --Miton Berle

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"Critics report on accidents to eye witnesses." --Jackie Gleason

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"Everyone is insecure to a degree. My business is composed of a mass of crisis. It all adds up to the manufacturing of insecurity. Some people find escape in comfort, dames, liquor, or food. But that is not enough." --Jackie Gleason

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"Playing a serious rle is easy for a comedian, It's the other way around that's tough. Name one serious actor who can make it in comedy." --Gleason quoted in press material for "Nothing in Common" (1986)

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"As my wife would tell you, I am not entralled with awards - I would rather received payment for my performance." --Jackie Gleason in a 1985 TV interview

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