Don Gordon (actor)

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For other people with the same name, see Donald Gordon (disambiguation).
Don Gordon
Born Donald Walter Guadagno
(1926-11-13) November 13, 1926 (age 90)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other names Donald Gordon
Occupation Film, television actor
Years active 1949-1993
Spouse(s) Helen Westcott (1948–1953; divorced)
Bek Nelson
(1959–1979; divorced)
Denise Farr
Children Gabrielle Adelman (b. 1966)

Don Gordon (born November 13, 1926) is an American film and television actor. He is sometimes billed as Donald Gordon.

His television successes began with a starring role in the 1960-1961 syndicated series The Blue Angels, based on the elite precision flight demonstration pilots of the United States Navy Blue Angels. In 1962, Gordon was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for his role as Joey Tassili on CBS's legal drama, The Defenders, starring E.G. Marshall. During 1977-1978, he co-starred in the short-lived television show Lucan.

His most notable film roles were those in which he appeared alongside his friend Steve McQueen: Bullitt, Papillon and The Towering Inferno.


Gordon was born in Los Angeles, California, as Donald Walter Guadagno.

He married actress Helen Westcott on February 18, 1948. In 1950, they had a daughter, Jennifer.[1] He is currently married to Jack Lemmon's step-daughter, Denise Farr. She is the daughter of Felicia Farr, Lemmon's second wife.

Additional television appearances[edit]

Gordon appeared in the 1959 episode "In a Deadly Fashion" of the syndicated television series Border Patrol, starring Richard Webb. He also guest starred in John Bromfield's syndicated crime drama, U.S. Marshal.

Another early appearance from Gordon was in a memorable supporting role in CBS's The Twilight Zone episodes "The Four of Us Are Dying" and "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross."

During 1959 and 1960, he had twice guest starred on McQueen's CBS western series, Wanted: Dead or Alive.

In 1962, Gordon appeared in 'The Ginny Littlesmith Story of the 'Untouchables.'

In 1963, Gordon appeared in the episode "Without Wheat, There is No Bread" of the CBS anthology series, The Lloyd Bridges Show. That same year, he appeared on NBC's medical drama, The Eleventh Hour. In the 1963-64 season, he played a soldier returning from South Vietnam in the ABC drama Channing, set on the fictitious Channing College campus and co-starring Jason Evers and Henry Jones.

Still another 1963 performance was as Quinn Serrato, with Harry Dean Stanton as Nick Crider and William Schallert as Sully Mason, in the episode "Nobody Dies on Saturday" of the NBC modern western series, Empire, starring Richard Egan as the New Mexico rancher Jim Redigo.

He appeared in two episodes of The Outer Limits entitled "The Invisibles" and "Second Chance."

In 1964 Gordon appeared as deputy sheriff Morgan Fallon in "Tug Of War" an episode of "The Fugitive" TV series along with Arthur O'Connell.

In 1967 Gordon appeared as Charlie Gilman in "The Trial", an episode in the second season of "The Invaders" TV series, along with Harold Gould, Russell Johnson and Lynda Day George.Also played in the wild wild west

In 1974, he played a former convict, who is murdered by the character played by Dick Van Dyke in the Columbo episode Negative Reaction, starring Peter Falk. He also played the Navy diving expert brother of Seaview crewman Kowalski in the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode "Deadly Waters."

In 1983, he appeared on CBS's The Dukes Of Hazzard as hit man Frank Scanlon, in the sixth season episode "Enos' Last Chance".

Selected filmography[edit]

Gordon's last credited film work was the 2005 documentary, Steve McQueen – The Essence of Cool. Gordon was interviewed along with several others who had worked with McQueen.


  1. ^ Wagner, Laura (Fall 2016). "Helen Westcott: "A Very Gifted Actress"". Films of the Golden Age (86): 74–76. 

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