Our Inductees: Jackie Gleason

Biography

Jackie Gleason was the 20th Inductee into the Official National Comedy Hall of Fame®. John Herbert Gleason was an American comedian, actor, writer, composer and conductor.

Developing a style and characters from growing up in Brooklyn, New York, he was known for his brash visual and verbal comedy, exemplified by his bus driver Ralph Kramden character in the television series The Honeymooners. By filming the episodes with Electronicams, Gleason was later able to release the series in syndication, which increased its popularity over the years with new audiences.

He also developed The Jackie Gleason Show, which maintained high ratings from the mid-1950s through 1970. After originating in New York City, filming moved to Miami, Florida, in 1964 after Gleason took up permanent residence there.

Among his notable film roles were Minnesota Fats in the 1961 Academy Award-winning drama The Hustler (co-starring with Paul Newman), and Buford T. Justice in the Smokey and the Bandit series from 1977 into the early 1980s (co-starring Burt Reynolds).

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