Paul Gleason



Wiry character actor Paul Gleason attended Florida State University before making his first off-Broadway appearance in a 1973 revival of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Gleason's inaugural movie role was Long Tom in Doc Savage (1975), after which he worked extensively in Roger Corman productions. He is best known for his scowling, obstreperous portrayals of minor authority figures: the principal in The Breakfast Club (1985), the police chief in Die Hard (1988), and so on. He was at his most abrasive--and his funniest--as FBI agent Clarence Beeks in Trading Places (1982). A familiar TV presence since his days as David Thornton on the ABC serial All My Children, Paul Gleason has had recurring roles on such nighttimers as Spooner, Supercarrier and One West Waikiki. Throughout the '90s Gleason continued to work steadily as a character actor appearing in films as diverse as National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1, Running Cool, Maniac Cop 3, and Nothing to Lose. Like his Breakfast Club co-star Molly Ringwald, Gleason willingly spoofed his most iconic performance in the 2001 comedy Not Another Teen Movie. In May of 2006, at the age of 67, Gleason perished from mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer often suffered by people exposed to asbestos.