"[13] It was here that Jack L. Warner first saw Gleason, signing him to a film contract for $250 a week.[10].
The Flintstones was so similar to The Honeymooners that Gleason, at one point, considered suing Hanna-Barbera.

He was legendary for his dislike of rehearsal, even in the early days of live TV. [57] As a widow with a young son, Marilyn Taylor married Gleason on December 16, 1975; the marriage lasted until his death in 1987. [41][30][31][42] During the 1950s, he was a semi-regular guest on a paranormal-themed overnight radio show hosted by John Nebel, and he also wrote the introduction to Donald Bain's biography of Nebel. But then he also had a great pleasure of reading and listening to music and solitude."

His mother (d. 1935), the former Mae Kelly, was overprotective of her younger son, who died when Jackie was in his teens.

Gleason was also known to drink while he was at work and on set — his drink of choice was coffee and whiskey, as noted by Fame10. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Gleason enjoyed a prominent secondary music career, producing a series of best-selling "mood music" albums with jazz overtones for Capitol Records. [48], In early 1954, Gleason suffered a broken leg and ankle on-air during his television show. In September 1974, Gleason filed for divorce from McKittrick (who contested, asking for a reconciliation).

Cornetist and trumpeter Bobby Hackett soloed on several of Gleason's albums and was leader for seven of them.

180-183. She said she would see other men if they did not marry. But the main thing was to get the best possible doctor to do the job, and I did. The sketches were remakes of the 1957 world-tour episodes, in which Kramden and Norton win a slogan contest and take their wives to international destinations. John Herbert Gleason was born in 1916 at 364 Chauncey Street in the Stuyvesant Heights, now Bedford-Stuyvesant, section of Brooklyn. Gleason greeted noted skater Sonja Henie by handing her an ice cube and saying, "Okay, now do something. A decade later, he aired the half-hour Honeymooners in syndicated reruns that began to build a loyal and growing audience, making the show a television icon. [51][52] Halford visited Gleason while he was hospitalized, finding dancer Marilyn Taylor from his television show there. Both the husband and the best friend characters were also avid bowlers and belonged to a men's club whose members wore ridiculous-looking animal hats.

After originating in New York City, filming moved to Miami Beach, Florida in 1964 after Gleason took up permanent residence there. Gleason would fly back and forth to Los Angeles for relatively minor movie work. The popular Hanna-Barbera character Fred Flintstone was based on him, as "The Flintstones" animated series was loosely based on "The Honeymooners".

Once Jackie's father walked out, his mother, Maisie, became even more protective of Jackie — he was all she had left.

Gleason recalled.

[12] Separated for the first time in 1941 and reconciled in 1948,[13] the couple had two daughters, Geraldine (b. Gleason simply stopped doing the show in 1970 and left CBS when his contract expired.

It always amazed the professional musicians how a guy who technically did not know one note from another could do that.

These "lost episodes" (as they came to be called) were initially previewed at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City, aired on the Showtime cable network in 1985, and later added to the Honeymooners syndication package. As noted by Fame10, co-star Joyce Randolph admitted that she would "break out into cold sweats" right before filming. Prior to his first film, Navy Blues (1941), Gleason was an extra in the William Wyler directed "Dodsworth" (1936).

He had also earned acclaim for live television drama performances in "The Laugh Maker" (1953) on CBS's Studio One and William Saroyan's "The Time of Your Life" (1958), which was produced as an episode of the anthology series Playhouse 90.

Gleason did not restrict his acting to comedic roles. We remember him best for his variety show The Jackie Gleason Show, which spawned the classic show The Honeymooners. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of pool shark Minnesota Fats in The Hustler (1961), starring Paul Newman. Despite his iconic stature as a TV-comedy giant, he never won an Emmy. In 1955 Gleason gambled on making it a separate series entirely. Yet he was equally renowned for his total mastery and control over each production detail and insisted on the show credit: "Entire Production Supervised by Jackie Gleason.". Curiously, according to the Associated Press, it has been noted that Gleason changed his will right before he died, significantly reducing Marilyn's bequest and increasing one for his secretary of 29 years. [34] Set on six acres, the architecturally noteworthy complex included a round main home, guest house, and storage building.

I smile on the outside, but you should see my insides.". Between her oldest son's death and her husband's abandonment, Maisie Gleason couldn't bear to lose her last family member.

Apparently, he would only spend about half an hour with his wife (Genevieve Halford) and young daughters on Christmas before going out to celebrate the day with his drinking buddies.

According to Gleason's website, young Jackie knew that he wanted to be an actor from the age of six when his father used to take him to see matinee silent films and vaudeville performances. The booking agent advanced his bus fare for the trip against his salary, granting Gleason his first job as a professional comedian.

Red Nichols, a jazz great who had fallen on hard times and led one of the group's recordings, was not paid as session-leader.


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