The Great Gildersleeve

GildersleeveGreat GildersleeveseriesThrockmorton P. Gildersleeve
The Great Gildersleeve was a radio situation comedy broadcast in the U.S. from August 31, 1941 to 1958.wikipedia
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Spin-off (media)

spin-offspinoffspin-offs
Initially written by Leonard Lewis Levinson, it was one of broadcast history's earliest spin-off programs.
One of the earliest spin-offs of the modern media era, if not the first, happened in 1941 when the supporting character Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve from the old time radio comedy show Fibber McGee and Molly became the star of his own program The Great Gildersleeve (1941–1957).

Harold Peary

Hal Peary
Actor Harold Peary had played a similarly named character, Dr. Gildersleeve, on earlier episodes.
The character proved to be so popular with audiences by 1941 that Peary got his own radio comedy show, The Great Gildersleeve, the first known spin-off hit in American broadcasting history.

Lurene Tuttle

Lureen Tuttle
Marjorie (originally played by Lurene Tuttle, later by Louise Erickson and Mary Lee Robb) matured to a young woman through the 1940s.
She appeared in such shows as The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and concurrently appeared on The Great Gildersleeve as the niece Marjorie Forrester.

Fibber McGee and Molly

Fibber McGee & MollyFibber McGeeJim and Marian Jordan
The series was built around Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, a regular character from the radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly.
Toward the end of the September 30, 1941 show, "Back from Vacation; Gildy Says Goodbye", next-door nemesis Gildersleeve—who has moved to Summerfield to finish raising his orphaned niece and nephew (and already begun his successful spin-off show The Great Gildersleeve)—has come back to Wistful Vista to wind up his affairs there.

Walter Tetley

Leroy (Walter Tetley), who remained age 10–11 during most of the 1940s, began to grow up in the spring of 1949, establishing relationships with the girls in the Bullard home across the street.
Walter Tetley (June 2, 1915 – September 4, 1975) was an American actor and voice actor specializing in child impersonation during radio's classic era, with regular roles on The Great Gildersleeve and The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, as well as continuing as a voice-over artist in animated cartoons, commercials, and spoken-word record albums.

Lillian Randolph

Lillian
A key figure in the Gildersleeve home was (black) cook and housekeeper Birdie Lee Coggins (Lillian Randolph).
Randolph is best known as the maid Birdie Lee Coggins from The Great Gildersleeve radio comedy and subsequent films, and as Madame Queen on the Amos 'n' Andy radio show and television show from 1937–53.

Mel Blanc

Mel Blanc Audio MediaMel Blanc AudiomediaThe Mel Blanc Show
During the second season, pharmacist Richard Q. Peavey (Richard LeGrand) and barber Floyd Munson (Mel Blanc for the first year, Arthur Q. Bryan from December 1942 onward) joined Gildersleeve's circle of acquaintances.
During the golden age of radio, Blanc also frequently performed on the programs of comedians from the era, including Jack Benny, Abbott and Costello, Burns and Allen, The Great Gildersleeve and Judy Canova.

Richard Crenna

During the ninth season (September 1949-June 1950) she met and married Walter "Bronco" Thompson (Richard Crenna), star football player at the local college.
In the following year, he started playing Walter "Bronco" Thompson on The Great Gildersleeve, and played it until 1954.

John Whedon

In the first season, under writer Levinson, Birdie was often portrayed as less than intelligent, but she slowly developed as the real brains and caretaker of the household under John Whedon and other writers.
Whedon also wrote for The Great Gildersleeve on radio, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Leave It to Beaver.

Shirley Mitchell

His friends included Shirley Mitchell (Leila Ranson), Una Merkel (Adaline Fairchild), Bea Benaderet (Eve Goodwin), Martha Scott (Ellen Bullard Knickerbocker) Jeanne Bates (Paula Bullard Winthrop) and Cathy Lewis (Katherine Milford).
Her most prominent radio role was that of the charismatic Southern belle Leila Ransom on The Great Gildersleeve beginning in September 1942.

Willard Waterman

Willard Lewis Waterman
This prompted the hiring of Willard Waterman as Peary's replacement as Gildersleeve.
Willard Lewis Waterman (August 29, 1914, Madison, Wisconsin – February 2, 1995, Burlingame, California) was a character actor in films, TV and on radio, remembered best for replacing Harold Peary as the title character of The Great Gildersleeve at the height of that show's popularity.

Parkay

"Gildy" grew so popular that Kraft Foods—promoting its Parkay margarine—sponsored a new series featuring Peary's somewhat mellowed and always befuddled Gildersleeve as the head of his own family.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Parkay was the long-time sponsor of the radio program The Great Gildersleeve.

Arthur Q. Bryan

During the second season, pharmacist Richard Q. Peavey (Richard LeGrand) and barber Floyd Munson (Mel Blanc for the first year, Arthur Q. Bryan from December 1942 onward) joined Gildersleeve's circle of acquaintances.
Although his first forays into that medium were accompanied by instructions that he use the Fudd voice, Bryan soon came to the attention of Don Quinn and Phil Leslie, the production and writing team responsible for Fibber McGee and Molly and their supporting characters, two of whom spun off into their own radio hits, The Great Gildersleeve and Beulah.

Richard LeGrand

During the second season, pharmacist Richard Q. Peavey (Richard LeGrand) and barber Floyd Munson (Mel Blanc for the first year, Arthur Q. Bryan from December 1942 onward) joined Gildersleeve's circle of acquaintances.
He was a comedy favorite as Peavey the Druggist on The Great Gildersleeve.

NBC

National Broadcasting CompanyNBC-TVNBC Television
The Great Gildersleeve premiered on NBC on August 31, 1941.
Other programs featured on the network included Vic and Sade, Fibber McGee and Molly, The Great Gildersleeve (arguably broadcasting's first spin-off program, from Fibber McGee), One Man's Family, Ma Perkins and Death Valley Days.

Barbara Stuart

Actress Barbara Stuart landed her first television role on The Great Gildersleeve in the role of Gildersleeve's secretary, Bessie.
Her first television role was as Bessie, the secretary, on the 1955 syndicated series The Great Gildersleeve, starring Willard Waterman and based on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio program.

Clegg Hoyt

Actor Clegg Hoyt also made his television debut on the series as a carnival barker in "Practice What You Preach" (1955).
Hoyt made his television debut in 1955 as a carnival barker in the episode "Practice What You Preach" in the series The Great Gildersleeve based on an NBC radio program.

Bea Benaderet

Bea Benederet
His friends included Shirley Mitchell (Leila Ranson), Una Merkel (Adaline Fairchild), Bea Benaderet (Eve Goodwin), Martha Scott (Ellen Bullard Knickerbocker) Jeanne Bates (Paula Bullard Winthrop) and Cathy Lewis (Katherine Milford).
Other recurring characters Benaderet portrayed were Blanche Morton on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show; school principal Eve Goodwin on The Great Gildersleeve; Millicent Carstairs on Fibber McGee & Molly; Gloria the maid on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet; and Iris Atterbury on the Lucille Ball vehicle My Favorite Husband, opposite Gale Gordon.

Gildersleeve on Broadway

Gildersleeve on Broadway (1943) centered on Leroy as the odd boy out as everyone around him is falling in love.
Gildersleeve on Broadway is a 1943 American film starring Harold Peary as his radio character The Great Gildersleeve.

The Harold Peary Show

The Harold Peary Show, lasting one season, included a fictitious radio show within the show.
Peary switched to CBS, while the program in which he had starred, The Great Gildersleeve, stayed on NBC.

The Great Gildersleeve (film)

The Great Gildersleeve
The Great Gildersleeve (1942) also carried Randolph from the radio cast to the screen, with Nancy Gates as Marjorie and Freddie Mercer as Leroy.
Based on the popular NBC radio series The Great Gildersleeve created by Leonard L. Levinson, which ran from 1941 to 1950, this was the first of four films in the Gildersleeve's series produced and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures.

Mary Lee Robb

Mary Lee Robb Cline
Marjorie (originally played by Lurene Tuttle, later by Louise Erickson and Mary Lee Robb) matured to a young woman through the 1940s.
As Mary Lee Robb, she is best known for playing Marjorie, Gildersleeve's niece, on The Great Gildersleeve, replacing Louise Erickson in that role.

Gildersleeve's Bad Day

Gildersleeve's Bad Day (1943) revolved around the mishaps when he is called to jury duty.
The picture was the second in the Gildersleeve's series produced and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, based on the popular NBC radio program, The Great Gildersleeve, created by Leonard L. Levinson, and was released on June 10, 1943.

Michael Winkelman

Child actor Michael Winkelman, later of The Real McCoys, also made his first television appearance on the show in the role of 9-year-old Bruce Fuller.
Winkelman's first television appearance was as 9-year-old Bruce Fuller in the 1955 television series The Great Gildersleeve.

Gildersleeve's Ghost

The fourth and final film in the series, Gildersleeve's Ghost (1944) had Gildersleeve's ancestors, Randolph and Johnson, rise from the dead to help his campaign for police commissioner.
It is the fourth and final film in the Gildersleeve's series, all of which were produced and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, based on the popular NBC radio program, The Great Gildersleeve, created by Leonard L. Levinson.