Freeman Gosden

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Freeman Gosden
Correll ('Andy') and Gosden ('Amos') , 1939.
Freeman Gosden at right with Charles Correll, 1939.
Born Freeman Fisher Gosden
(1899-05-05)May 5, 1899
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Died December 10, 1982(1982-12-10) (aged 83)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Radio actor
Years active 1921–1962
Known for Amos of Amos 'n' Andy
Spouse(s) Leta Gosden (1927-1940) [1]
Jane Stoneham (1944-1982)[2]
Children Virginia, Freeman, Jr. (first marriage)
Craig, Linda (second marriage)

Freeman Fisher "Gozzie" Gosden (May 5, 1899 – December 10, 1982) was an American radio comedian, and pioneer in the development of the situation comedy form. He is best known for his work in the Amos 'n' Andy series.

Biography[edit]

Freeman Gosden was born in Richmond, Virginia. During World War I he served in the United States Navy as a wireless operator, which prompted his great interest in the young medium of radio. While attending school in Richmond, Gozzie worked part-time in Tarrant's Drug Store at 1 West Broad Street.

In 1921, Gosden first teamed up with Charles Correll to do radio work, presenting comedy acts, sketches, and hosting variety shows. They met in Durham, North Carolina, both working for the Joe Bren Producing Company. Their first regular show came in 1925 with their WEBH[3] Chicago show Correll and Gosden, the Life of the Party. On this show the two told jokes, sang, and played music (Correll played piano and Gosden banjo).[4]

In 1926, Gosden and Correll had a hit with their radio show Sam & Henry on Chicago radio station WGN. Sam & Henry is considered by some historians to have been the first situation comedy.

From 1928 to 1960, Gosden and Correll broadcast their Amos 'n' Andy show, which was one of the most famous and popular shows on radio in the 1930s. Gosden voiced the characters "Amos", "George 'Kingfish' Stevens", "Lightning", "Brother Crawford", and some dozen other characters.[5]

In 1969, Gosden was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio.[6] In 1974 Gosden was living in Palm Springs, California[7] and was the best man for Frank Sinatra's 1976 wedding to Barbara Marx.[8] In 1977, Correll was inducted in the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame along with Gosden.[9]

Freeman Gosden died from congestive heart failure in Los Angeles, California in 1982 at the age of 83.[10] Gosden was the father of four children: Virginia, Craig, Freeman, Jr., and Linda.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Divorce Asked By Amos' Wife". San Jose News. 15 November 1940. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "Amos Is Married". The Pittsburgh Press. 2 September 1944. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "Chicago Radio Stations-WEBH". Zecom Communications. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Dunning, John, ed. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 840. ISBN 0-19-507678-8. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Radio's Famous 'Amos' Dead at 83". Gadsen Times. 11 December 1982. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "Freeman Gosden Star". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "Palm Springs Home To Radio Veterans: Stars of 'Golden Era'". Pittsburg Post-Gazette. AP. December 18, 1974. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Sinatra Weds Barbara Marx". Ocala Star Banner. 12 July 1976. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "Broadcasting Hall of Fame". National Association of Broadcasters. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  10. ^ Treaster, Joseph B. (December 11, 1982). "Freeman F. Gosden is Dead at 83. Amos in Radio's 'Amos 'n Andy'". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-24. "Freeman F. Gosden, who created the role of Amos in Amos 'n Andy, the comedy in Negro dialect that was one of the most popular and longest-running programs on radio, died yesterday morning at the U.C.L.A. Medical Center in Los Angeles of heart failure." 

External links[edit]