People, Sep. 6, 1971

"If this thing breaks," muttered Jackie Gleason, gingerly hoisting his 225-Ib. bulk up a ladder, "the whole joint closes." On the rooftop of his "weird castle," Gleason clinked a teacup against beer cans held by construction workers and admired the traditional "topping-out" tree, signifying that exterior construction had been completed on his dream house near Fort Lauderdale. "We'll never get in before Christmas," he sighed. It will be worth the wait. Sprawling over five levels, Gleason's house has 14 rooms, "at least" five bars, and a price tag of $500,000. There are only two bedrooms, but, says Gleason, "We have...

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