Freeman Fisher Gosden
May 5, 1899
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||December 10, 1982 (aged 83)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Radio comedian, actor, pioneer|
|Known for||Amos of Amos 'n' Andy|
(m. 1927; div. 1940)
(m. 1944; died 1982)
Freeman Fisher "Gozzie" Gosden (May 5, 1899 – December 10, 1982) was an American radio comedian, actor and pioneer in the development of the situation comedy form. He is best known for his work in the radio series Amos 'n' Andy.
Life and career
Gosden was born in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Emma L. (Smith) and Walter W. Gosden Sr. While attending school in Richmond, Gozzie worked part-time in Tarrant's Drug Store at 1 West Broad Street. During World War I, he served in the U.S. Navy as a wireless operator, which prompted his great interest in the young medium of radio.
During 1921, Gosden first teamed with Charles Correll to do radio work, presenting comedy acts and hosting variety programs. They had met in Durham, North Carolina, both working for the Joe Bren Producing Company. Their first regular series bagan in 1925 with their WEBH Chicago program Correll and Gosden, the Life of the Party. For this program, the two told jokes, sang, and played music (Correll played piano and Gosden ukulele or banjo).
In 1926, Gosden and Correll had a success with their radio program Sam 'n' Henry broadcast by 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, who were white, broadcast their program Amos 'n' Andy, which was one of the most famous and popular radio series of the 1930s. Gosden voiced the characters "Amos", "George 'Kingfish' Stevens", "Lightning", "Brother Crawford", and some dozen other characters.
In 1969, Gosden was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio. In 1974 Gosden was living in Palm Springs, California and was the best man for Frank Sinatra's 1976 wedding to Barbara Marx. In 1977, Gosden was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame along with Correll.
Gosden was the father of four children: Virginia, Craig, Freeman Jr., and Linda.
Gosden was a charter member of the Augusta National Golf Club, joining the club at its inception in 1932. He was a long-term good friend of Clifford Roberts, who, along with famed golfer Bob Jones, co-founded the club.
- "Divorce Asked By Amos' Wife". San Jose News. 15 November 1940. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
- "Amos Is Married". The Pittsburgh Press. 2 September 1944. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
- The Original Amos 'n' Andy: Freeman Gosden, Charles Correll and the 1928-1943 Radio Serial
- Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). Oxford University Press, USA. p. 32. ISBN 0-19-507678-8. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
32 Amos 'n' Andy Joe Bren Producing Company Correll signed on in Peoria and was sent to Durham, N.C. where he met Gosden ukulele piano.
- Hill, Michael E. (1992-06-14). "It Began With 'Amos 'N' Andy'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2022-06-11.
- "Radio's Famous 'Amos' Dead at 83". Gadsen Times. 11 December 1982. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
- Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. P. 154.
- "Freeman Gosden Star". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- "Palm Springs Home To Radio Veterans: Stars of 'Golden Era'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. AP. December 18, 1974. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
- "Sinatra Weds Barbara Marx". Ocala Star Banner. 12 July 1976. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- "Broadcasting Hall of Fame". National Association of Broadcasters. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- 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.