Gleason as Assistant Principal 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.
|Cause of death||Lung cancer (Mesothelioma)|
(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.
Gleason was born on May 4, 1939 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 Miami Beach, Florida. At age 16, he ran away from home and hitchhiked across the east coast, sleeping on beaches and playing baseball. 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 in the 1988 film Johnny Be Good (as a high school football coach) and on several episodes of the TV sitcom Boy Meets World (as a university dean). He directly parodied his Breakfast Club role in the 2000 A-Teens music video for "Dancing Queen" and in the 2001 comedy film Not Another Teen Movie.
In 2002, he appeared in episodes of Dawson's Creek as Larry Newman, the sex-and-violence obsessed chief of a B movie studio. He appeared as a nonsensical judge in an episode of Drake & Josh. He also appeared in an episode of George Lopez as the brother of George's boss, a crazy old drunk. In 2005, he appeared as the Sheriff in the horror film Abominable. His final appearance before his death was in an independent film called The Book of Caleb.
Gleason, in addition to his acting career, participated in many celebrity golf events each year, and was known to mingle with fans and sign autographs during these golf tournaments.
From 1971 to 1978, he was married to actress Candy Moore; they had one daughter, Shannon. From 1995 until his death, he was married to Susan Kehl.
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. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and one granddaughter, Sofia.
Film and television credits
||This article is incomplete. (August 2011)|
|1962||Panic in Year Zero!||Gas Station Owner||Uncredited, Acting and Film Debut|
|1965||Winter A-Go-Go||Ski Resort Guest|
|1967||It's About Time||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|
|"The Secret War of Harry Frigg"||Prisoner||Uncredited|
|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?||Mr. Leffingwell's Aide||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||Ike||Capt. Ernest "Tex" Lee||Television Miniseries|
|Women at West Point||Major James T. Kirk||TV Movie|
|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|
|Another Life||Lee Carothers #1||Television|
|The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper||Remson|
|1982||MysteryDisc: Murder, Anyone?||Stewart Cavanaugh||Direct-to-Video Film|
|Trading Places||Clarence Beeks|
|MysteryDisc: Many Roads to Murder||Direct-to-Video Film|
|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||The Breakfast Club||Asst. 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|
|Doubletake||Howie Henley||TV Movie|
|Ewoks: The Battle for Endor||Jeremitt||TV Movie|
|1986||Kate & Allie||Tom Fitzgerald||Television; One Episode|
|The A-Team||Harry Sullivan||Television; One Episode|
|Miami Vice||Bunny Berrigan||Television; One Episode|
|The Equalizer||Greenleaf||Television; One Episode|
|Gimme a Break!||Mr. Kimball||Television; One Episode|
|1987||Morgan Stewart's Coming Home||Jay Le Soto|
|Sidekicks||Fargo||Television; One Episode|
|Falcon Crest||Andy Stryker||Television; One Episode|
|Beauty and the Beast||Henry Dutton||Television; One Episode|
|1988||She's Having a Baby||Howard|
|Johnny Be Good||Wayne Hisler|
|Die Hard||Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson|
|21 Jump Street||Phil Daniels||Television; One Episode|
|1990||Miami Blues||Sgt. Frank Lackley|
|1991||Rich Girl||Marvin Wells|
|1993||Maniac Cop III: Badge of Silence||Hank Cooney|
|Loaded Weapon 1||FBI Agent|
|Wild Cactus||Sheriff Brenner|
|Boiling Point||Transaction Man|
|Running Cool||Calvin Hogg|
|1994||Seinfeld||Cushman||Television; One Episode: "The Opposite"|
|I Love Trouble||Kenny Bacon|
|There Goes My Baby||Mr. Burton|
|Nothing to Lose||Elliot|
|In the Living Years||Tony|
|1994-1996||One West Waikiki||Captain Dave Herzog||recurring role|
|1995||Digital Man||Dr. Parker|
|Money Talks||Detective Bobby Pickett|
|Boy Meets World||Dean Borak||Television; Two Episodes|
|NewsRadio||Steve Johnson||Television; One Episode (4x03, The Public Domain)|
|A Time to Revenge||Whittmar|
|1998||Day at the Beach||Detective Johnson|
|No Code of Conduct||John Bagwell|
|1999||Nash Bridges||Micky Tripp (Radio DJ)||Television; One Episode (4x10, Hardball)|
|2000||The Giving Tree||Mr. Forrester|
|Red Letters||Dean Van Buren|
|2001||Not Another Teen Movie||Principal Richard "Dick" Vernon|
|The Myersons||Dean Hanson|
|Social Misfits||Warden Doyle|
|2002||National Lampoon's Van Wilder||Professor McDougal|
|2004||Drake & Josh||Mr. Thompson|
|2008||The Book of Caleb||James Paddington|
|2011||The Passing||Det. Sanders||(final film role)|
- "Paul Gleason Biography (1939-)". Film Reference. Advameg, Inc. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
- "Paul Gleason". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. May 30, 2006. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
- "Paul Gleason Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
- Anderson, Jack E. (September 10, 1976). "One Of 'Children' Takes Off". The St. Petersburg Evening Independent. Miami: Knight Newspapers. p. 12-B. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
- 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 (November 29, 1975). "Paul Gleason: Miamian Stars as Soaps' Newest Angry Young Man". The Miami News. p. 15. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
Voisin, Scott, "Character Kings: Hollywood's Familiar Faces Discuss the Art & Business of Acting." BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 978-1-59393-342-5.