Gleason as Richard Vernon in The Breakfast Club (1985)
|Born||Paul Xavier Gleason
May 4, 1939
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||May 27, 2006
Burbank, California, U.S.
(m. 1971-1978; divorced)
(m. 1995-2006; his death)
Paul Xavier Gleason (May 4, 1939 – May 27, 2006) was an American film and television actor, known for his roles on television series such as All My Children and films such as The Breakfast Club, Trading Places and Die Hard.
Early life 
Gleason was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, the son of Eleanor (née Doyle), a registered nurse, and George L. Gleason, a restaurateur, professional boxer, iron worker, and roofing manufacturer. Gleason was raised in Uleta, Florida (which has since been annexed into the City of North Miami Beach). At age 16, he ran away from home and hitchhiked across the east coast, sleeping on beaches and playing baseball.[not in citation given] He attended North Miami High School and Florida State University where he played football. He signed a professional baseball contract with the Cleveland Indians, but played just briefly in two minor league seasons between 1959 and 1960.
During that last season, a west coast trip led to an introduction to sitcom icon Ozzie Nelson, which, in turn, led to an appearance on Ozzie and Harriet (as per Nelson's habit of hiring athletes for guest spots on the show). Suddenly, acting was an option, and an increasingly attractive one, given Gleason's stillborn baseball career. He moved to New York City, eventually joining The Actors Studio, where he would study for four years before moving to Los Angeles.
Gleason starred in many movies, and became well-known initially as Dr. David Thornton on All My Children, playing the role from 1976 to 1978. He guest-starred in "The Trouble with Harry" and "Fire", two episodes of The A-Team. Gleason was known to Star Wars fans for his role as Jeremitt Towani in the 1985 made-for-TV film Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. He played the villainous Clarence Beeks, the Duke brothers' inside trader, in the 1983 comedy Trading Places starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. He also played Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson, the blowhard police official in Die Hard.
He is perhaps best remembered for his role as Richard Vernon, the gruff disciplinarian in the seminal 1985 film The Breakfast Club. He played similar characters several times, including on the television situation comedy Boy Meets World, in the films Johnny Be Good and Not Another Teen Movie, and in an A-Teens music video.
He appeared as a nonsensical judge in an episode of Drake and Josh. He also appeared in an episode of George Lopez as the brother of George's boss, a crazy old drunk. His final appearance before his death was in an independent film called The Book of Caleb.
Personal life 
Gleason, in addition to his acting career, participated in many celebrity golf events each year, and was known by autograph hunting experts to mingle with fans and sign autographs during these golf tournaments. He was married to Susan Kehl and is survived by his wife, two daughters, Shannon and Kaitlin, and one granddaughter, Sofia.
Gleason died on May 27, 2006 at a Burbank, California hospital from pleural mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer connected with asbestos, which he is thought to have contracted from asbestos exposure on building sites while working for his father as a teenager. Gleason was 67 years old. He was buried near the southeast corner of the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles.
Film and television credits 
||This article is incomplete. (August 2011)|
|1962||Panic in Year Zero!||Gas Station Owner||Acting and Film Debut; Uncredited|
|1965||Winter A-Go-Go||Ski Resort Guest|
|1967||Man||Television Debut; One Episode|
|The Green Hornet||Paul Garrett||Television; One Episode|
|C'mon, Let's Live a Little||Frat Boy||Uncredited|
|The Invaders||Alien||Television; One Episode|
|1968||The F.B.I.||Officer Dan Ryan||Television; One Episode|
|1969||Then Came Bronson||Deputy||Television; One Episode|
|1971||Private Duty Nurses||Dr. McClintock|
|Adam-12||Smitty||Television; One Episode|
|1972||Where Does It Hurt?||Role Unspecified|
|Mission: Impossible||Blair||Television; One Episode|
|Banacek||Border Guard||Television; One Episode|
|Adam-12||Patrolman Arnold||Television; One Episode|
|Adam-12||Instructor Chuck Williams||Television One Episode|
|1973||Little Laura and Big John||Sheriff|
|1974||Adam-12||John Suntor||Television; One Episode; As Paul Xavier Gleason|
|1975||Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze||Maj. Thomas J. "Long Tom" Roberts|
|Columbo||Parsons||Television; One Episode|
|1976||Vigilante Force||Michael J. Loonius||As Paul X Gleason|
|1976-78||All My Children||Dr. David Thornton||Television|
|1979||Women at West Point||Major James T. Kirk||TV Movie|
|Ike||Capt. Ernest "Tex" Lee||Television Miniseries|
|The Great Santini||Lt. Sammy|
|1980||Ike: The War Years||Capt. Ernest "Tex" Lee||TV Movie|
|He Knows You're Alone||Det. Frank Daley|
|1981||Fort Apache the Bronx||Detective|
|The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper||Remson|
|Another Life||Lee Carothers #1||Television|
|1982||MysterDisc: Murder, Anyone||Stewart Cavanaugh||Direct-to-Video Film|
|1983||MysterDisc: Many Roads to Murder||Direct-to-Video Film|
|Trading Places||Clarence Beeks|
|1984||The A-Team||Roy Kelsey|
|Scarecrow and Mrs. King||Edson Ballon||Television; One Episode|
|Remington Steele||Sheriff Jeff 'Jed' Nebbins||Television; One Episode|
|Cagney & Lacey||Detective Crespi||Television; One Episode|
|Call to Glory||Marty Colby||Television; One Episode|
|Hardcastle and McCormick||Jack Fish||Television; One Episode|
|Riptide||Detective Commander Phillip Hallins Everitt||Television; Two Episodes|
|Hill Street Blues||Biff Lowe||Television; Two Episodes|
|Magnum, P.I.||Ronnie Meeder AKA Jacques Arnot||Television; One Episode|
|1985||Doubletake||Howie Henley||TV Movie|
|The Breakfast Club||Principal Richard Vernon|
|Challenge of a Lifetime||John Schoonover||TV Movie|
|Dallas||Lt. Lee Spaulding||Television; Three Episodes|
|Anything for Love||Larry Worth||TV Movie|
|Ewoks: The Battle for Endor||Jeremitt||TV Movie|
|Kate & Allie||Tom Fitzgerald||Television; One Episode|
|The A-Team||Harry Sullivan||Television; One Episode|
|Miami Vice||Bunny Berrigan||Television; One Episode|
|Gimme a Break!||Mr. Kimball||Television; One Episode|
|The Equalizer||Greenleaf||Television; One Episode|
|1987||Hollywood Monster||Stan Gordon|
|Beauty and the Beast||Henry Dutton||Television; One Episode|
|Falcon Crest||Andy Stryker||Television; One Episode|
|Sidekicks||Fargo||Television; One Episode|
|Morgan Stewart's Coming Home||Jay Le Soto|
|1988||Die Hard||Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T Robinson|
|Johnny Be Good||Wayne Hisler|
|1990||Miami Blues||Sgt. Frank Lackley|
|1994||Seinfeld||Cushman||Television; One Episode|
|1997||Money Talks||Lt. Bobby Pickett|
|1997||Boy Meets World||Dean Borak||Television; Two Episodes|
|2001||Not Another Teen Movie||Principal Richard "Dick" Vernon|
|2002||National Lampoon's Van Wilder||Professor McDougal|
- Paul Gleason Biography at Film Reference, Accessed November 15, 2010.
- Uleta neighborhood of North Miami Beach
- "Paul Gleason". Telegraph. May 30, 2006.
- "Paul Gleason Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
- Anderson, Jack E. (1976-09-10). "One Of 'Children' Takes Off". The St. Petersburg Evening Independent. p. 12-B. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
- Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
- Woods, Sherri (1975-11-28). "Paul Gleason: Miamian Stars as Soaps' Newest Angry Young Man". The Miami News. p. 15. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
Further reading 
Voisin, Scott, "Character Kings: Hollywood's Familiar Faces Discuss the Art & Business of Acting." BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 978-1-59393-342-5.