JACKIE "THE GREAT ONE" GLEASON - CONTRACT SIGNED 05/18/1948 - HFSID 257378
Sale Price $1,020.00
Not yet the "Great One", Gleason hires an agent.
Partly Printed DS: "Jackie Gleason", 1p, 8½x12½. New York, 1948 May 18. Standard William Morris Agency contract. In part: "I hereby employ you for a period of Three months commencing on the date hereof, as my sole and exclusive agent, representative, manager, and adviser in all branches of the entertainment industry throughout the world, outside the United States and Canada, to negotiate, arrange and secure engagements for me in all branches of the entertainment industry, including but not limited to the legitimate stage, variety, cabaret, night-club, music hall, motion picture, radio broadcasting, television, phonograph recording, electrical transcription, concert and lecture engagements...If a contract is negotiated during the term of this agreement, this agreement shall automatically be extended for a period of 3 years...." In 1940, 24-year-old Jackie Gleason was signed to a film contract by Warner Bros. He played character roles in a number of films in the early 40s, then turned to Broadway. The rotund comedian finally found his niche in the new medium of television. After signing this contract with William Morris, he got the title role in The Life of Riley, televised on Tuesday nights at 9:30 on NBC from October 4, 1949 to March 28, 1950, when it was cancelled after 26 weeks. Gleason was Chester A. Riley, a riveter at Stevenson Aircraft in Los Angeles. The Life of Riley won the 1949 Emmy Award for "Best Film Made for, and Viewed on Television", and the show was rebroadcast, with William Bendix in the title role from 1953-1958. Gleason hosted Cavalcade of Stars on DuMont from 1950-1952. It was on this show that Gleason introduced many of the characters he developed, including Reggie Van Gleason III, The Poor Soul and Joe the Bartender. A running sketch called The Honeymooners was an immediate hit. On September 20, 1952, The Jackie Gleason Show premiered on CBS. The rest, as they say, is television history. Folds do not touch signature. Fine condition.
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