A long time player in the acting game, Bruce absolutely shined in "The Untouchables" with his stint as the "enforcer" Frank Nitti. Even as that series wound down a bit after the backlash against the violence and its portrayal of Italian-Americans, the more infrequent appearances of Gordon stood out. With the look and delivery, Nitti was both menacing and sometimes hilariously sarcastic in his range and timing, making him one of my favorite TV characters of all time. From "The Empty Chair" to "Globe of Death", I'll sit up in my seat whenever Nitti is "plenty sore". I don't think there is a villain I love as much in his unsubtlety, in many ways, an exact opposite of other classic characters like Wo Fat. I wish Bruce Gorden well and am glad he has had a long life.
Bruce Gordon enjoyed a long show business career on stage, television, and movies. He was a member of the original Broadway cast of the classic comedy mystery, Arsenic and Old Lace. Unlike many subsequent roles where he would portray heavies, Gordon played a cop in that production. He made his movie debut in 1949\'s Love Happy which is also famous for the film debut of another well-known personna, Marilyn Monroe.
Gordon appeared in many early TV productions and starred in the short-lived drama, Behind Closed Doors. Though this series didn\'t last long its cancellation allowed Gordon to be cast in his most famous role which led to television immortality--Frank \"the Enforcer\" Nitti on The Untouchables. Gordon appeared in 27 out of the 118 episodes that were filmed and his episodes are considered by most Untouchables fans to be among the better ones of the series.
Gordon made the character of Frank Nitti his own and at times assumed a larger than life quality in the role. He was Frank Nitti and you never forgot it once you saw him on TV. Even such forces as death and political correctness could not stop Nitti. The character died in a blazing gun battle in the final episode of Season One only to rise from the dead to torment Eliot Ness and his Untouchables again in Season Two. At the end of Season Three Nitti was dropped as a recurring character because he had an Italian surname and the show had decided to get rid of all Italian villains in order to appease protesters who claimed Italians were defamed on the show. Could this stop Nitti? Hell no it couldn\'t. The character was brought back once again for three mid-season appearances in Season Four and those episodes were among the season\'s best.
After the Untouchables went off the air, Bruce Gordon continued his career working regulary and making numerous appearances on stage, television, and the movies. In one hilarious episode of The Lucy Show, Gordon and Untouchables co-star Robert Stack parodied their Untouchables roles of Nitti and Eliot Ness. Gordon wound down his career in the late 80\'s and now lives quietly in Santa Fe, NM with his wife, Marla. He is 89 years young now and is still considered the greatest TV villain of them all by yours truly and other devoted Untouchables fans.
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