Jackie Gleason

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Jackie Gleason

Born

2/26/1916, Brooklyn, New York

Died

6/24/1987

Birth Name

Herbert John Gleason

Gender

Male

Also Known As

The Great One
9.4
out of 10
User Rating
23 votes

Biography

EDIT
Jackie Gleason was born on February 26th, 1916 in Brooklyn, New York. This future great was born into a poor family of Irish Catholic immigrants, living in Brooklyn. His father, Herbert Gleason, was an insurance clerk who ran out on his family when Jackie was only nine years…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Jackie was 5'11.5" tall.

    • Jackie Gleason starred in the flop You're In The Picture on January 19, 1961, a game show where celebrities put their faces through cardboard cut-outs and the contestants would give them hints to help them guess who they were supposed to be. It was such an embarrassment that Gleason apologized for it the following week on national television.

    • Jackie was featured on the cover of the December 29, 1961 issue of Time Magazine.

    • Jackie would rub his stomach as a signal in the event of forgetting his lines on The Honeymooners, since he insisted on doing the show without rehearsals.

    • Gleason's last wife was Marilyn Taylor, of the famous June Taylor Dancers, who were a staple on the Jackie Gleason show.

    • Gleason wrote all the music for the Chaplain-esque movie Gigot (1962) prior to each scene filmed. The remarkable actor wrote and starred in the touching movie, but did not utter a single word because he portrayed the part of a "mute."

    • Jackie was chosen by Billy Wilder to play in The Fortune Cookie (1966) but co-star Jack Lemmon insisted on Walter Matthau and won.

    • Salary:
      All Through the Night (1942) $500/week Cavalcade of Stars (1949) $750/week The Jackie Gleason Show (1966) $50,000/week Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) $1,200,000

    • Jackie's "How Sweet It Is" catchphrase is now on New York Department Of Transportation signs where people are entering Brooklyn.

    • Jackie told of how he once had a 6-hour drinking session with Richard Nixon, both drinking large amounts of Scotch. Jackie said he was so drunk he couldn't stand up, but Nixon walked out, "straight as a soldier."

    • Jackie accepted the role of Sheriff Buford T. Justice, in the 1977 film Smokey And The Bandit after hearing about how much Burt Reynolds liked to drink then, thinking that it would be fun to be around him.

    • Jackie designed the barstools in his Florida home, and claimed they were impossible to fall out of, no matter how intoxicated someone got.

    • Although he was a bandleader, Jackie could not read sheet music.

    • Jackie played the vibraphone.

    • Jackie recorded several albums of orchestral music he conducted, and even wrote some original compositions for them as well. He had a hit with "Lonesome Echo," in 1955, which also had a cover featuring original art by the famous surrealist painter, Salvador Dali.

    • Won the Tony Award for Best Actor In A Musical in 1960 for his work in Take Me Along.

    • Jackie based the set of The Honeymooners on the apartment building he spent his childhood growing up in on Chauncey Street in Brooklyn, New York. It's still standing and hasn't changed much since Jackie lived there.

    • Jackie designed his own round house in Peerskill, NY, and had Swedish carpenters build it. It had a basement disco and one of the very first home video projection systems.

    • Revealed in a 60 Minutes interview shortly before his death that he smoked up to 50 cigars a day.

    • Jackie's tombstone is a two-tier one, the second level of which is inscribed with his famous show-opening catchphrase, "And away we go."

    • Jackie was invited to star with former co-star Art Carney in the 1979 Steven Spielberg film, 1941, but sent word through his representatives that he would not work with Carney.

    • Jackie said the famous actor/director Orson Welles gave him his nickname of "The Great One."

    • Jackie never won an Emmy, despite his popularity.

    • Jackie is the father of actress Linda Miller.

    • Jackie is the grandfather of actor Jason Patric.

    • The Jackie Gleason Show gave the tourist industry in Miami Beach a big boost in the early 1960s.

    • There is an 8 foot bronze statue of Jackie Gleason depicting Ralph Kramden in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City.

    • Jack was a carnival barker, a boxer and a pool hustler in his early days.

    • The Miami Beach Auditorium was re-named the Jackie Gleason Theater.

    • The Jackie Gleason Bus Depot in Brooklyn, NY, is named after him.

    • Jackie was prone to excess with wine, women, song and work, a lifestyle that often had negative effects.

    • Jackie was very interested in the occult; he also possessed an extensive collection of books on the paranormal.

    • Jackie was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in the year 1986.

    • Jackie disliked working with young children.

    • Jackie Gleason was used as the basis for Peter Griffin from Family Guy.

    • Also starred on Broadway in such shows as Artists And Models, Along Fifth Avenue, and Follow The Girls.

  • Quotes

    • Jackie Gleason: Don't make life difficult. Just play the melody – and do it in the simplest way possible.

    • (about Art Carney)
      Jackie Gleason: The first time I saw the guy act, I knew I would have to work twice as hard for my laughs.

    • Jackie Gleason: The worst thing you can do with money is save it.

    • Jackie Gleason: Drinking removes warts and pimples. Not from me. But from those I look at.

    • Jackie Gleason: I've had a lot of fun being fat. I've also had a lot of fun being thin. But I've been fat a lot longer so I've had a lot more fun being fat.

    • Jackie Gleason: I'm no alcoholic. I'm a drunkard. There's a difference. A drunkard doesn't like to go to meetings.

    • Jackie Gleason: I'm at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table.

    • Jackie Gleason: Modesty in an actor is as fake as passion in a call girl.

    • Jackie Gleason: The second day of a diet is always easier than the first. By the second day you're off it.

    • Jackie Gleason: Thin people are beautiful, but fat people are adorable.

    • Jackie Gleason: There's no pleasure in being just a spoke in the wheel. I'd rather be the whole wheel. I'm that much of a ham.

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • patti delaney

    9.5
    Is there any possibility that a video is out there somewhere of the jackie gleason entertainment magazine season 4 episode 11, nov. 27, 1965 with george jessel introducing young patti delaney from portland, maine. Please, please say there is one.
  • Jackie Gleason aka Kramden born 1916 in Brooklyn New York has become one of the most well-known figures of the 20th Century. At about 35 he starred as Ralph Kramden in the hit cbs series The Honeymooners with Art Carney before hosting his own show.moreless

    10
    I have to personally say that Jackie Gleason is by far one of the all-time greats, no question about it. This man has been a comedic inspiration to all who watched him. I loved his Kramden performance in the hit cbs series The Honeymooners of the mid-50s. It doesn't surprise me that he got his own show. I found it depressing that he only lived till 71 years old from 1916-1987;nonetheless, he is still remembered today as the lovable, funny Ralph Kramden. I and many others really miss Gleason but I will sum up saying, God Bless You, Jackie Gleason!!!moreless
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