Fast Facts

  • Began entertainment career in his teens working as an emcee at a Brooklyn theater. Other early gigs included carnival barker and daredevil driver.
  • Dubbed "The Great One" by Orson Welles.
  • Inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 1986, but never won a competitive Emmy (though his frequent costar Art Carney won five, for The Honeymooners and The Jackie Gleason Show).
  • As a composer, recorded more than 35 albums with the Jackie Gleason Orchestra, though he couldn't read music.
  • Had a fascination with the paranormal and an extensive collection of books on the subject.
  • A statue of Gleason as bus driver Ralph Kramden from The Honeymooners stands on Eighth Avenue outside the entrance to the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan.
  • Grandfather of actor Jason Patric.
  • Trademark catchphrase "And Away We Go" appears on tombstone.

Awards

  • 1963, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1964, Golden Globe — Actor in a Television Series: Nominee
  • 1960, Tony — Actor (Musical): Winner
  • 1962, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1953, Emmy — Best Comedian: Nominee
  • 1956, Emmy — Best Actor-Continuing Performance: Nominee
  • 1955, Emmy — Best Actor Starring in a Regular Series: Nominee
  • 1954, Emmy — Best Male Star of a Regular Series: Nominee
  • 1955, Emmy — Best Written Comedy Material: Nominee
  • 1961, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1955, Peabody — Personal Award: Winner

Relationships

  • Beverly McKittrick — Ex-wife
  • Clemence Gleason — Brother
  • Geraldine Gleason — Daughter
  • Herbert Gleason — Father
  • Marilyn Gleason — Wife
  • Genevieve Halford — Ex-wife
  • Mae Kelly Gleason — Mother
  • Linda Gleason — Daughter

Details

  • Birth Name: Herbert John Gleason
  • Birth Place: Brooklyn, NY
  • Birthday: February 26, 1916, Pisces
  • Died: June 24, 1987
  • Profession: Actor, Comedian, Composer, Producer, Writer
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