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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Jackie Gleason born 26 February 1916

John Herbert “Jackie” Gleason (February 26, 1916–June 24, 1987) was an American comedian, actor, and musician. He was known for his brash visual and verbal comedy style, exemplified by his character Ralph Kramden in The Honeymooners. Among his notable film roles were Minnesota Fats in the 1961 drama The Hustler (starring Paul Newman) and Buford T. Justice in the Smokey and the Bandit series.

He started out in show business at the age of 15, after winning an amateur night contest at the Halsey Theater in Brooklyn. He was then hired by the manager as emcee. From that start, he began his career as a nightclub comic. He was discovered at New York's Club 18 by Jack Warner, who signed him to a contract. He then went to Hollywood and made five films, starting with "Navy Blues," which co-starred Jack Haley.

After leaving Hollywood, he returned to New York, where he appeared on Broadway and made his television debut on Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town." After that, he appeared on the television series "The Life of Riley." From there he returned to nightclubs and the stage until he appeared on "Cavalcade of Stars," which made him an overnight sensation. He stayed on the show for two years, creating many of his famous characters, including 'Ralph Kramden', and 'Reginald Van Gleason the III,' among others.

He left "Cavalcade of Stars" after signing a contract with CBS, where "The Honeymooners" debuted in 1955. The show co-starred now legendary telvision names like Audrey Meadows, Art Carney, and Joyce Randolph. The series only ran for one season, and thirty nine episodes were produced. Jackie Gleason also appeared in movies again, starring in movies such as "Gigot," "The Hustler," and "Papa's Delicate Condition," garnering an Academy Award nomination for "The Hustler." He had returned to Broadway as well, winning a Tony Award for "Take Me Along" in 1959.

Gleason's least remembered but perhaps most remarkable achievement was in the record business. Although he did not read a note of music, he composed many songs (including his trademark television theme, "Melancholy Serenade"), humming the melodies for transcribers. In 1955, at his own expense, he assembled a large
orchestra and, personally wielding the baton, recorded his syrupy arrangements of such standards as "I'm in the Mood for Love" and "My Funny Valentine." Unable to sell the album to a major company, the comedian paid Capitol to manufacture it for him. For Lovers Only sold more than half a million copies and became the first of some 35 popular Gleason "romantic music" LPs.

     Here's "I'm in the Mood For Love" from above 1952 album

After starring in "The Jackie Gleason Show" in the 1960s, he would never star in a regular television series again. He revitalized his movie career in the 1970s with the "Smokey and the Bandit" movies, alongside Burt Reynolds. In 1985 he revealed the existence of 'lost episodes' of "The Honeymooners." These previously unseen episodes would introduce the show to a newer audience and further establish his standing as one of the greatest television performers of all time. His last role was Nothing in Common with Tom Hanks in 1986.

He died from colon cancer at his home in Fort Lauderdale with his family at his bedside.

After a private funeral mass at the Cathedral of Saint Mary in Miami, Gleason was entombed in a sarcophagus in a private outdoor mausoleum at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery in Miami. At the base is the inscription “And Away We Go.” (Info edited from various sources mainly Findagrave bio)

Jackie Gleason brought an ingenious assortment of mannerisms, quirks, and temperment to a variety of invented characters, among them the one he is most identified with,..."Ralph Kramdem" from the 1950's TV Classic, "The Honeymooners." His unique style, facial expressions, body language, and memorable one-liners, earned him the deserved title, "THE GREAT ONE!"

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

Looks like DivShare is playing up again!

For The Romantic Moods of Jackie Gleason go here:,28133679.rar(archive)

and here:,28091341.rar(archive)
Disc 1
1 Melancholy Serenade - Jackie Gleason
2 The Best Is Yet to Come - Jackie Gleason
3 I Can't Get Started - Jackie Gleason
4 When Your Lover Has Gone - Jackie Gleason
5 Out of Nowhere - Jackie Gleason
6 But Beautiful - Jackie Gleason
7 I'm in the Mood for Love - Jackie Gleason
8 From Russia with Love - Jackie Gleason
9 Mystery Street - Jackie Gleason
10 If I Should Lose You - Jackie Gleason
11 Tenderly - Jackie Gleason
12 If He Walked into My Life - Jackie Gleason
13 Ruby - Jackie Gleason
14 Glamour - Jackie Gleason
15 Days of Wine and Roses - Jackie Gleason
16 Misty - Jackie Gleason
17 You and the Night and the Music - Jackie Gleason
18 Moonglow - Jackie Gleason
19 Mad About the Boy - Jackie Gleason
20 For All We Know - Jackie Gleason
21 Lover Man - Jackie Gleason
22 Smile - Jackie Gleason

Disc 2
1 Melancholy Serenade - Jackie Gleason
2 Yesterdays - Jackie Gleason
3 That Certain Party - Jackie Gleason
4 The Moonlight - Jackie Gleason
5 Midnight Sun - Jackie Gleason
6 Laura - Jackie Gleason
7 A Taste of Honey - Jackie Gleason
8 Brazil - Jackie Gleason
9 I Love Paris - Jackie Gleason
10 Allo, Allo, Allo - Jackie Gleason
11 The Last Dance - Jackie Gleason
12 Darn That Dream - Jackie Gleason
13 You Oughta Be in Pictures - Jackie Gleason
14 But Not for Me - Jackie Gleason
15 The Shadow of Your Smile - Jackie Gleason
16 Willow Weep for Me - Jackie Gleason
17 It All Depends on You - Jackie Gleason
18 Lawrence of Arabia - Jackie Gleason
19 A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody - Jackie Gleason
20 Deep Purple - Jackie Gleason
21 Blue Velvet - Jackie Gleason
22 That's All - Jackie Gleason
23 The Girl from Ipanema - Jackie Gleason
24 Moon River - Jackie Gleason