|Memories of Gale|
Owner of Shokus Video
Film Archivist for Lucille Ball and Gary Morton
Actor on Life With Lucy ("Lucy's Green Thumb")
| " Gale was one of the nicest, kindest, friendliest people I've ever had the pleasure to meet and work with. He told me some stories about how over the years when people would recognize him, parents would say, "I want you to yell at my kid so he'll do better in school", things like that. He would always reply that he usually got paid for doing things like that and then smiled back.
I had gotten to know Gale very well during the course of the series, and he really was the exact opposite of the characters he used to portray. When I was lucky enough to get a part in an episode of "Life With Lucy", there was some business I was supposed to do as I was leaving the hardware store, and I was then supposed to turn and yell at Gale. Well, after getting to know him as I had, I said to him during a rehearsal that it was going to be very hard for me to yell at him because he was such a nice man. He looked at me and said, "Well, you just think of me as that mean, old bastard you were used to watching all those years and you'll do fine." He was a wonderful person."
Author of "Television Series Regulars of the Fifties and Sixties in Interview."
| "My interview with Gale Gordon took place in April of 1991 for the book “Television Series Regulars of the Fifties and Sixties in Interview”. This was during the terrible “El Nino” floods in Southern California. One memory that stands out is that Mr. Gordon (who was 85 years old at the time) had just finished the very physical work of repairs to his Tub Canyon Farm in Borrego Springs because of the flooding. His own property now relatively safe, he was far more concerned with the possible flood damage his neighbors would have to contend with and how he might be able to help than in discussing his career as an actor. Gale Gordon was one of the least “self-involved” actors I have ever interviewed! He was also a delight – a true gentleman as funny, charming and intelligent as one would hope him to be.
When I approached Mr. Gordon for an interview he seemed incredulous that a chapter in a book was to be entirely dedicated to his own life and career. He was convinced that I wanted him to write an “introduction” to a book or solely provide comments about other performers. One thing that warmed my heart was that after the book was published Mr. Gordon said: “You sometimes fantasize about what a person could write about you… let me put it this way, it could not have been better. For me, it’s always been ‘Co-starring Gale Gordon’. Your book made me feel like a star. I’ve had mentions in other books, of course … but this is the first time anyone has devoted a chapter entirely to me.” As much as that compliment made me happy it made me a little sad as well. Mr. Gordon deserved far more than a chapter in a book. I feel he did not always attain the recognition his work merited. Gale Gordon, with his seamless sterling performances, made it all seem so effortless.
I know for a fact he would be absolutely thrilled with this wonderful “Gale Gordon Experience” web site where there’s no mistaking that it is “starring Gale Gordon” for all his admirers on the web to enjoy."
Long time Gale Gordon fan.
|"Gale Gordon, in a word, was gentle-man! The first few times I saw him in person was at the filmings of "Here's Lucy". Gary Morton would introduce him to the audience and he would take a bow. I remember that he would never go up on his lines. He knew them all. love how he would play off of Lucy. Looking back it was like watching Laurel & Hardy or Burns and Allen. It was a well balanced team.
One of the first times that I actually got to meet him one on one was at an autograph session at Universal Studios, Hollywood. He was the "star" of the day. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. he would sign autographs for fans. I stayed with him the entire time. Afterwards I remember walking with him to his car and he thanked me for being a big fan. I spent time with him a few years later at a filming of "Lucy Moves to NBC" and "Lucy Calls the President.” At that time we would have lunch in the commissary and he just seemed like a really nice man. I remember that every time a lady would walk into the room he would always stand-up.
During "Life With Lucy" days, I was able to watch him from rehearsal day to the final performance. He always knew his lines. He always knew his marks. He knew how to make every scene believable. You could always see the love he had for Lucy. It was in his eyes. The day when everyone found out that "Life With Lucy" was cancelled, we all met in the writer's room at the Warner Hollywood lot for a hug fest. Lucy and Gale held their heads high in front of everyone. Lucy was strong. She told everyone that she met some great people and she will never forget them. She had private moments with the kids on the show. I remember that she said Larry (Anderson) was not at the hug fest because he already had an audition for a game show which he got (Truth of Consequences). Lucy joked at the time to Gale and she said that this was the first time in her career that she got fired. She was strong and so was Gale. She said "It's not the last time they will see us. We will find another project."
About 1 month later the cast threw another going away party. This time was at the home of one of the cast members in the San Fernando Valley [the rented home of Jenny Lewis' family]. This time it was a real party. We all celebrated the friends we met. Lucy gave Gale a VCR for the holidays. He was like a kid when he opened the big, heavy box. He was so appreciative of it.
Gale was very much behind the "Hollywood Star Walk of Fame" dedication for Vivian Vance. He was there on that Valentine’s Day in 1990. He along with Lucie Arnaz helped unveil the star. A few days later he would tape the opening introduction for the Lucy: A Tribute at Universal Studios. We were all at the grand opening for the tribute as well.
I think the last time I saw Gale was at Wanda Clark's [Lucille Ball’s secretary] home for a party for Frank Gorey [Lucille Ball’s chauffeur] . At that time Lucy had already passed away and we just all sat around and told wonderful Lucy stories. I remember that he said he was blessed to have worked with a wonderful person and friend; very lucky."