Around the end of February, a friend gave me a Paul Gleason autograph after sharing a story of how he and his wife had run into him at a baseball card show a number of years before. Not only did I find Gleason’s fondness of baseball memorabilia interesting, I also was intrigued by him having told Marty that in spite of all the acting work he had done, practically everyone still recognized him for his role as Principal Richard Vernon in The Breakfast Club. Without a doubt, I would be part of that group.
I placed the autographed index card on my bulletin board where I keep material I think blog-worthy, figuring I’d get around to discussing it in the not too distant future. Then I got busy with spring training travels and the start of the regular season, as my general lack of postings indicates. Unfortunately it would take the actor’s recent death to make me find the time to share the autograph here.
I really don’t have anything to add about the man that can’t be found online. For example, here is a great photo of Gleason hamming it up with Fred Lynn.
Prior to becoming an actor, Gleason played some minor league baseball in the Cleveland Indians organization. Definitely worth reading about is Paul’s association with former Major Leaguer Mickey McDermott. (Trust me on this link.)
Of course Paul also played the role of Cushman in the classic Seinfeld episode when George Costanza decides to do and say the opposite of everything that he normally would. And who didn’t enjoy Gleason as Clarence Beeks in the film Trading Places.
One theory is that celebrity deaths often occur in threes. Certainly the news of Paul’s passing is enough to prevent me from surfing over to any news websites for the next several days as I dread reading the next obituary.