Paul Gilbert (actor)

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Paul Gilbert
Paul Gilbert 1950s.JPG
Gilbert circa 1954.
Born Ed MacMahon
(1918-12-27)December 27, 1918
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died February 13, 1976(1976-02-13) (aged 57)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1954–1973

Paul Gilbert (born Ed MacMahon;[1] December 27, 1918 – February 13, 1976) was an American film and television actor.


Gilbert's family were Vaudville performers, and he began his career as an aerialist, until he had a fall.[1] He continued performing music, dancing and comedy.[1]

He starred in the 1954 series The Duke, as a former boxer who has decided to give up his fighting career to become a respectable night club owner. In the pilot episode, Gilbert sings, dances, juggles, and plays four instruments in the band.[1]

Gilbert played various roles and performed on numerous shows including The Spike Jones Show in 1954 and Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In in 1973. He played the role of murder victim Harrison Boring in the 1964 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Blonde Bonanza." Gilbert also appeared in other early television shows such as The NBC Comedy Hour, The Colgate Comedy Hour (1954–55),[2] Lux Video Theatre, and The Dick Van Dyke Show.[3]

Gilbert and his wife Barbara Crane adopted Melissa Gilbert[4] who played Laura Ingalls Wilder and her brother Jonathan Gilbert[4] who played Willie Oleson on the NBC TV series Little House on the Prairie.[5]

Gilbert was believed to have died suddenly of a stroke on February 13, 1976. In her autobiography, his daughter, actor Melissa Gilbert revealed that due to his suffering from constant pain, he took his own life. [6]He was 57 years old.


  1. ^ a b c d Leszczak, Bob (2012-11-02). Single Season Sitcoms, 1948-1979: A Complete Guide. McFarland. pp. 41–. ISBN 9780786468126. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Chance, Norman (2010-12-23). Who Was Who on Tv. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 268–. ISBN 9781456821296. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Waldron, Vince (2001). The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book: The Definitive History and Ultimate Viewer's Guide to Television's Most Enduring Comedy. Applause. pp. 353–. ISBN 9781557834539. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Davis, Patti (2010-05). The Lives Our Mothers Leave Us: Prominent Women Discuss the Complex, Humorous, and Ultimately Loving Relationships They Have with Their Mothers. pp. 20–. ISBN 9781458772220. Retrieved 26 February 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ Gilbert, Melissa (2009). Prairie Tale: A Memoir (1st ed.). Gallery Books. ISBN 1-416-59914-2
  6. ^ Gilbert 2009, p.114

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