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Gale Gordon

Gale Gordon (February 20, 1906 June 30, 1995) was an American character actor. Though best known for playing the role of irascible, tight-fisted banker Theodore J. Mooney on Lucille Ball's second television situation comedy, The Lucy Show, Gordon was probably just as respected for his earlier career in classic American radio.

Gordon was born Charles T. Aldrich Jr. in New York City. Gordon was the son of British actress Gloria Gordon and her vaudevillian husband Charles Aldrich. His first radio break came when he was handed the recurring role of Mayor La Trivia on Fibber McGee and Molly , before playing Rumson Bullard on the earlier show's successful spinoff, The Great Gildersleeve. Gordon went on to originate the role of principal Osgood Conklin on the original radio version of Our Miss Brooks, carrying the role to television. He appeared as Rudolph Atterbury on My Favorite Husband, striking a long-term friendship and periodic working partnership with series star Lucille Ball; this show, in fact, was a kind of prequel to I Love Lucy. Gordon also landed a recurring role as fictitious Rexall Drugs sponsor representative Mr. Scott on yet another radio hit, The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show.

Gordon, a master of the slow-burn, was the first choice of Ball and Desi Arnaz to play Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy, but he was tied to Our Miss Brooks and had to decline the offer in favour of William Frawley. But Gordon did make several guest shots on the show, mostly as Ricky Ricardo's boss, Alvin Littlefield, owner of the Tropicana Club where Ricky's band played. When I Love Lucy ended, however, Ball created The Lucy Show and hired Gordon as Mr. Mooney, the banker who was first Lucy Carmichael's executor and subsequently her employer, when she went to work in his bank. Gordon joined the program at the start of its second season in 1963.

He was to have played the Mooney character from the show's premiere in 1962, but was contractually obligated to his role as Mr. Wilson on Dennis the Menace, where he had replaced the deceased Joseph Kearns. When Ball shut down The Lucy Show and created her third sitcom, Here's Lucy, Gordon again turned up---as her irascible boss (and brother-in-law) at an employment agency that specialized in unusual jobs. He all but retired when the show ended, but in the 1980s, Gordon came out of retirement to join Ball one last time in the short-lived Life With Lucy. Gordon was the only actor to have co-starred or guest-starred in every weekly series, radio or television, Lucille Ball did, from the late 1940s through the 1980s.

Gordon also had a co-starring role in the televison comedy Pete and Gladys.

He died of lung cancer at the age of 89 in Escondido, California not longer after the death of his wife, Virginia. They had no children.

In 1999, Gale Gordon was inducted posthumously into the Radio Hall of Fame and for his contribution to radio, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Radio 6340 Hollywood Blvd.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.

Gale Gordon Facts

Birth NameCharles T. Aldrich Jr.
OccupationActor
BirthdayFebruary 2, 1906
SignAquarius
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA
Date of deathJune 30, 1995 (age 89)
Height6' 8" (2m3)  How tall is Gale Gordon compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Not available.