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Leo Gordon (1922-2000)
Leo Gordon

Hack Prine, May 12, 1956 - Written by John Meston, Directed by Charles Marquis Warren, Guest Cast: Leo Gordon

No Chop, December 3, 1960 Written by John Meston, Directed by Stanley Yarbrough, Guest Cast: John Hoyt, Rex Holman, Leo Gordon, Mark Allen, Guy Stockwell

No Tomorrow, January 3, 1972 Written by Richard Fielder, Directed by Irving Moore, Guest Cast: Sam Groom, Pamela McMyler, Henry Jones, Leo Gordon, Steve Brodie, Richard Hale, Liam Dunn, H.M. Wynant, Leo Genn, Dan Flynn

A Quiet Day In Dodge, January 29, 1973 Written by Jack Miller, Directed by AIf Kjellin, Guest Cast: Margaret Hamilton, Willie Aames, Leo Gordon, Shug Fisher, Douglas V. Fowley, John Fiedler, Helen Page Camp, J. Pat O'Malley, Herb Vigran, Walker Edmiston

The Town Tamers, January 28, 1974 Written by Paul Savage, Directed by Gunnar Hellstrom, Guest Cast: Jim Davis, Jean Allison, lke Eisenmann, Leo Gordon, Rex Holman, Kay Kuter, Sean McClory, Dan McGowan, James Jeter

Movies would be lost without the classic villains created by many of our great character actors. One of the truly great portrayers of villains in the movies was Leo Gordon. He was adept at utilizing all the intricacies of a villain; a nasty sneer, a menacing grimace, an insincere sense of character, a backstabbing, false sense of loyalty, a despicable demeanor and anything else associated with villainy. A tall, stocky, brawny man with a square-jawed face and ultra steely eyes that actually made him look evil, he was a master of villainy. He worked in many westerns and gangster films as a villain but he could play an amiable type character if called upon to do so. He was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 2, 1922 to a single father who struggled to support his family. He grew up in New York City and attended school there. He didn't leave New York until 1941 when he joined the Army. Troubles with discipline led to an honorable discharge and drifted off to California where he got in trouble with the law by way of burglary and robbery, which led to a four-year stint in San Quentin prison. Perhaps it was here where he subconsciously researched villainy for his future career. After serving his prison term he headed back to New York and worked in construction for a time after which he decided to use his G.I. benefits and take acting classes. He studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York where he met his future wife, Lynn Cartwright. They married in 1950. He worked initially on the stage and was discovered while performing in Los Angeles by a movie agent. This led to his first film "City of Bad Men" (1953) as Russell. He also wrote various screenplays and was a competent screenwriter. His other film credits included: "Hondo" (1953) with John Wayne, as Ed Lowe; "China Venture" (1953) as Sgt. Hank Janowicz; "Riot in Cell Block 11" (1954) as Carnie, an interesting experience for him as he'd served time in San Quentin where it was filmed; "Sign of the Pagan" (1955) with Jack Palance, as Bleda; "Soldier of Fortune" (1955) as Big Matt; "Seven Angry Men" (1955) as White; "Santa Fe Passage" (1955) as Tuss McLawery; "Man with the Gun" (1955) as Ed Pinchot; "The Conqueror" (1956) as Tartar Captain; Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956) as Chauffeur; "Johnny Concho" (1956) as Mason; "Lure of the Swamp" (1957) as Mr. Stigins; "Man in the Shadow" (1957) as Chet Hunaker; "Black Patch" (1957) in a rare sympathetic role as Hank Danner, he wrote the screenplay also; "The Restless Breed" (1957) as Cherokee; "The Tall Stranger" (1957) as Stark; "Baby Face Nelson" (1957) as John Dillinger; "Apache Territory" (1958) as Zimmerman; "Ride a Crooked Trail" (1958) as Sam Mason; "Quantrill's Raiders" (1958) as William Clarke Quantrill; "The Jayhawkers!" (1959) as Jake; "The Big Operator" (1959) as Danny Sacanzi; "Noose for a Gunman" (1960) as Link Roy; "The Intruder" (1961) as Sam Griffin, another rare sympathetic role; "Tarzan Goes to India" (1962) with Jock Mahoney, as Bryce, Head Engineer; "McLintock!" (1963) as Jones; "Kitten with a Whip" (1964) as Sgt. Enders; "Night of the Grizzly" (1966) as Cass Dowdy; "Tobruk" (1967) as Sgt. Krug; "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre" (1967) as Heitler; "Buckskin" (1968) as Travis; "Bonnie's Kids" (1973) as Charley; "Bog" (1978) as Dr. John Warren; "Savage Dawn" (1985) as Sheriff; "Mob Boss" (1990) and "Maverick" (1994) with Mel Gibson, as Poker Player, his final film role. He was quite prolific on TV and even did some directing of episodes of "Adam-12." He was a regular on the TV series: "Circus Boy" (1956-58) as Hank Miller; "Maverick" (1957) as Big Mike McComb; "Enos" (1980-81) as Sgt. Theodore Kick; "The Winds of War" (1983) a mini-series, as Gen. 'Train' Anderson and "War and Remembrance" (1989) a mini-series, as Gen. Omar Bradley. He appeared in TV movies including: "The Trackers" (1971); "Barbary Coast" (1975); "Rage!" (1980) and "Young Indiana Jones and the Hollywood Follies" (1994). He guest starred on numerous TV series including: "Gunsmoke"; "The Untouchables"; "Rawhide"; "Have Gun, Will Travel"; "Perry Mason"; "Bonanza"; "Dukes of Hazzard"; "Little House on the Prairie"; "Moonlighting"; "St. Elsewhere" and "Wiseguy." He and his wife Lynn had a daughter, Tara. He died on December 26, 2000 in Los Angeles, California after a brief illness at age 78.

Many Biographies are courtesy of GREAT CHARACTER ACTORS