JOIN RUSC   |   MEMBER LOGIN   |   HELP
Gale Gordon

Gale Gordon

Show Count: 216
Series Count: 16
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: February 20, 1906
Old Time Radio, New York City, New York, USA
Died: June 30, 1995, Escondido, California, USA
An American character actor perhaps best remembered as Lucille Ball's long time television foil—and particularly as cantankerously combustible, tight fisted bank executive Theodore J. Mooney, on Ball's second television situation comedy, The Lucy Show.

Born Charles T. Aldrich, Jr., in New York City, the son of British actress Gloria Gordon and her vaudevillian husband Charles Aldrich, Gale Gordon's first big radio break came via the recurring roles of "Mayor La Trivia" and "Foggy Williams" on Fibber McGee and Molly, before playing Rumson Bullard on the show's successful spinoff, The Great Gildersleeve. Gordon and his character of Mayor La Trivia briefly left the show in December 1942 when Gordon enlisted in World War II and the storyline followed.

Gordon was the first actor to play the role of Flash Gordon, in the 1935 radio serial The Amazing Interplanetary Adventures of Flash Gordon. From 1937 to 1939, he starred as "The Octopus" in the "Speed Gibson" adventure series. In 1949, Gordon recorded the pilot for The Halls of Ivy, starring in the program's title role of Dr. Todhunter Hall, the president of Ivy College. The pilot led to a radio series that aired from 1950–52, but with Ronald Colman in the title role; Gordon later joined the cast as a replacement for Willard Watermanin the popular role of John Merriweather.

In 1950, Gordon played John Granby in the radio series Granby's Green Acres, which became the basis for the 1960s television series,Green Acres. Gordon went on to create the role of pompous principal Osgood Conklin on Our Miss Brooks, carrying the role to television when the show moved there in 1952. In the interim, Gordon turned up as Rudolph Atterbury on My Favorite Husband, which starred Lucille Ball in a precursor to I Love Lucy. Gordon and Ball previously worked together on The Wonder Show, starring Jack Haley, from 1938 to 1939. The two had a long friendship as well as recurring professional partnership. Gordon also had a recurring role as fictitious Rexall Drugs sponsor representative Mr. Scott on yet another radio hit, The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, staying with the role as long as Rexall sponsored the show.

Television 

The widely acknowledged master of the "slow-burn" temper explosion in character, Gordon was the first pick to play Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy, but he was committed to Our Miss Brooks and declined the offer in favor of William Frawley. He appeared in three guest shots on the show: twice as Ricky Ricardo's boss, Alvin Littlefield, owner of the Tropicana Club where Ricky's band played, and later as a judge on a Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour episode. In 1958, he appeared as a regular in the role of department store co-owner Bascomb Bleacher, Sr., on the NBC sitcom Sally, starring Joan Caulfield and Marion Lorne. He also appeared on the Walter Brennan ABC sitcom, The Real McCoys. Gordon had a co-starring role in the CBS television comedy Pete and Gladys. At this time, he guest starred with Pat O'Brien in the ABC sitcom, Harrigan and Son, the story of a father-and-son lawyer team. He also appeared on the CBS/Desilu sitcom, Angel, with Annie Fargé. In 1962, Gordon appeared as different characters on two episodes of another ABC sitcom, The Donna Reed Show.

In 1962, Ball created The Lucy Show and planned to hire Gordon to play Theodore J. Mooney, the banker who was first Lucy Carmichael's executor and subsequently her employer, when she went to work in his bank. Gordon was under contract to play John Wilson (after the death of Joseph Kearns, who played George Wilson) on Dennis the Menace. Both Joseph Kearns and Gale Gordon had worked together prior to Gordon's replacing Kearns on Dennis the Menace, on an old radio show The Cinnamon Bear. When Dennis the Menace ended in spring 1963, Gordon joined The Lucy Show as Mr. Mooney for the 1963-64 season. (In the interim, Charles Lane played the similar Mr. Barnsdahl character for the 1962-1963 season.) The somewhat portly Gordon was adept at physical comedy and could do a perfect cartwheel. He did this on The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy, and again as a guest on The Dean Martin Show.

After the sale of Desilu studios, Ball shut down The Lucy Show in 1968 and retooled it into Here's Lucy and became her own producer and distributor. She used Gordon again, this time as her irascible boss (and brother-in-law) Harrison Otis 'Uncle Harry' Carter at an employment agency that specialized in unusual jobs for unusual people. It was really that the Lucy Carmichael/Mr. Mooney relationship continued with new names and a new setting.

Gordon had all but retired when Here's Lucy ended (he reprised the Mr. Mooney role in the first episode of Hi Honey, I'm Home!), but in the 1980s he came out of retirement to join Ball for the short-lived Life With Lucy. When Lucille Ball ended her career, Gordon was the only actor to have co-starred or guest-starred in every weekly series, radio or television, she had done since the 1940s.

Beginning in 1949, Gordon and his wife lived in the tiny community of Borrego Springs, California (pop. 1,500) where he had a ranch and seven dogs. He was also honorary mayor of the town and commuted approximately 160 mi (260 km) to Los Angeles every day when working for Ball.

Author, painter and rancher 

In addition to acting, Gordon was an accomplished author, penning two books in the 1940s entitled Nursery Rhymes for Hollywood Babies and Leaves from the Story Trees, and two one-act plays. After he and his wife purchased 150 acres (61 ha) in Borrego Springs, Gordon did much of the construction of the house and his art studio himself. He also built and restored his own furniture on the property and used the land to become one of the few commercial Carob growers in the United States.

Death 

Gordon died of lung cancer on June 30, 1995, at the Redwood Terrace Health Center in Escondido, California. Virginia, his wife of nearly 60 years, had died in the same facility one month earlier.

Source: Wikipedia

Burns & AllenBurns & Allen
Show Count: 160
Broadcast History: 15 February 1932 to 13 June 1934, 19 September 1934 to 24 March 1937, 12 April 1937 to 1 August 1938, 30 September 1938 to 23 June 1939, 4 October to 1939 to 26 June 1940, 1 July 1940 to 24 March 1941, 7 October 1941 to 30 June 1942, 6 October 1942 to 25 June 1945, 20 September 1945 to 23 June 1949 and 21 September 1949 to 17 May 1950
Sponsor: Robert Burns Panatella, White Owl Cigars, Campbell Soups, Grape Nuts, Chesterfield Cigarettes, Hinds Cream, Hormel Meats, Lever Brothers, Swan Soap, Maxwell House Coffee Time, Block Drugs
Cast: Gracie Allen, George Burns, Elvia Allman, Mel Blanc, Margaret Brayton, Sara Berner, Clarence Nash, Elliott Lewis, Mary Lee Robb, Richard Crenna, Joseph Kearns, Eric Snowden, Bea Benaderet, Hal March, Gerald Mohr, Marvin Miller, Wally Maher, Doris Singleton, Dawn Bender, Tommy Bernard, Gale Gordon, Hans Conried
Director: Ed Gardner, Ralph Levy, Al Kaye
Producer: Ed Gardner, Ralph Levy, Al Kaye
Casebook Of Gregory HoodCasebook Of Gregory Hood
Show Count: 10
Broadcast History: 3 June 1946 to 25 December 1949 and 25 January 1950 to 31 August 1950
Cast: Gale Gordon, George Petrie, Elliott Lewis, Jackson Beck, Paul McGrath, Martin Gabel, Bill Johnstone, Howard McNear
Director: Ned Tollinger, Frank Cooper, Lee Bolen
Cinnamon Bear, TheCinnamon Bear, The
Show Count: 28
Broadcast History: 1937 to 1962
Cast: Buddy Duncan, Barbara Jean Wong, Verna Felton, Joseph Kearns, Hanley Stafford, Howard McNear, Slim Pickins, Elvia Allman, Elliott Lewis, Lou Merrill, Frank Nelson, Cy Kendall, Gale Gordon, Ted Osborne, Joe Du Val, Martha Westworth, Dorothy Scott, Ed Max, Rosa Barcelo, Lindsay MacHarrie, Bud Hiestand
Director: Lindsay MacHarrie
A wonderful serial that was enjoyed annually by young children (at adults) in the period leading up to Christmas.
Fibber McGee & MollyFibber McGee & Molly
Show Count: 713
Broadcast History: 16 April 1935 to 2 June 1935, 8 July 1935 to 7 March 1938, 15 March 1938 to 30 June 1953, 5 October 1953 to 23 March 1956, and 1 June 1957 to 6 September 1959
Sponsor: Johnson's Wax, Pet Milk, Reynolds Aluminum
Cast: Gale Gordon, Harold Peary, Marian Jordan, Jim Jordan, Bea Benaderet, Arthur Q. Bryan, Cliff Arquette, Shirley Mitchell, Hugh Studebaker, Bill Thompson, Marlin Hurt, Isabel Randolph, Ransom Sherman, Gene Carrol
Director: Frank Pittman, Cecil Underwood, Max Hutto
Producer: Frank Pittman, Cecil Underwood, Max Hutto
Flash GordonFlash Gordon
Show Count: 22
Broadcast History: April to October 1935 and September 1935 until February 1936
Cast: Gale Gordon, Maurice Franklin , James Meighan, Bruno Wick
Producer: Himan Brown
Granby's Green AcresGranby's Green Acres
Show Count: 6
Broadcast History: 3 July 1950 to 21 August 1950
Cast: Gale Gordon, Bea Benaderet, Parley Baer, Louise Erickson
Director: Jay Sommers
Producer: Jay Sommers
Johnny Madero: Pier 23Johnny Madero: Pier 23
Show Count: 2
Broadcast History: 24 April 1947 to 4 September 1947
Cast: Gale Gordon, Jack Webb, William Conrad
Director: Nat Wolff
Judy Canova Show, TheJudy Canova Show, The
Show Count: 44
Broadcast History: 6 July 1943 to 27 June 1944, 13 January 1945 to 30 June 1951, and 29 December 1951 to 28 May 1953
Sponsor: Emerson Drug Company, General Motors, Colgate, Smith Brothers
Cast: Gale Gordon, Judy Canova, Mel Blanc, Verna Felton, Sharon Douglas, Hans Conried, Sheldon Leonard, Ruby Dandridge, Ruth Perrott, Joe Kearns, Gerald Mohr, Joseph Kearns, George Niese, Elvia Allman
Director: Joe Rines
Producer: Joe Rines
My Favorite HusbandMy Favorite Husband
Show Count: 99
Broadcast History: 1948 - 1951
Cast: Ruth Perrott, Gale Gordon, Lucille Ball, Richard Denning, Bea Benaderet
Producer: Jess Oppenheimer
Treasury Star ParadeTreasury Star Parade
Show Count: 47
Broadcast History: April 1942 to 1944
Cast: Gale Gordon, Vincent Price, John Garfield, Paula Winslowe, Peter Donald
Director: William A. Bacher
Host: Henry Hull, Paul Douglas
Broadcast: 22nd June 1949
Starring: Gale Gordon
Added: Jun 29 2004
Broadcast: January 8, 1947
Added: Nov 03 2014
Broadcast: October 18, 1938
Added: Jan 14 2017
Broadcast: October 3, 1935
Added: Oct 03 2015
Broadcast: October 25, 1938
Added: Jan 15 2017
Broadcast: 13th November 1939
Added: Jan 24 2010
Broadcast: October 15, 1945
Added: Jun 17 2012
Broadcast: April 11, 1939
Added: Feb 20 2017
Broadcast: June 23, 1949
Starring: Gale Gordon
Added: Sep 04 2016
Broadcast: 29th April 1946
Added: Aug 25 2012
Broadcast: April 24, 1938
Added: Jan 13 2017
Broadcast: 21st March 1939
Added: Jul 26 2012
Broadcast: January 3, 1940
Added: Jan 17 2017
Broadcast: 26th September 1938
Added: Aug 09 2008
Broadcast: 6th May 1946
Added: Jan 25 2010
Broadcast: 8th April 1951
Added: Oct 11 2013
Broadcast: 6th October 1941
Added: May 23 2009
Broadcast: 28th April 1941
Added: Jan 10 2009