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Jackie Gleason Biography

Birth Name:
Herbert John Gleason
Birth Place:
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Actor, comedian, composer, producer, writer

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


  • 1964Golden Globe-Actor in a Television Series: nominated
  • 1963Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: nominated
  • 1961National Board of Review-Best Supporting Actor: winner
  • 1956Emmy-Best Actor-Continuing Performance: nominated
  • 1955Emmy-Best Actor Starring in a Regular Series: nominated
  • 1955Emmy-Best Written Comedy Material: nominated
  • 1954Emmy-Best Male Star of a Regular Series: nominated


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