Succeeding by Glorious Excess:Jackie Gleason: 1916-1987

Jackie Gleason: 1916-1987

They called him "the Great One," a nickname that was as grandly excessive as the man himself. Jackie Gleason, who died last week of cancer at 71, was a big drinker, a big spender and a big fellow (his weight at one time topped 280). * Exuberant and gregarious, he addressed nearly everyone he met as "pal." During the 1950s and '60s, he was one of the most popular and highest-paid stars on TV, yet his talent extended to Broadway (a Tony Award for the 1959 musical Take Me Along), movies (The Hustler, Soldier in the Rain) and pop- music composing...