Jack Gilford


Actor

About

Also Known As
Jacob Gellman
Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
July 25, 1908
Died
June 04, 1990
Cause of Death
Stomach Cancer

Biography

Oscar-nominated comedic actor Jack Gilford got his start performing at nightclub amateur nights in the 1930s. There he developed a keen comedic timing and was known for his rubber-faced antics, pantomimes, and impressions. Though he had broken into film and television by the 1940s, his career was stunted in the 1950s when Gilford's outspoken tendencies on politics drew the attention of s...

Biography

Oscar-nominated comedic actor Jack Gilford got his start performing at nightclub amateur nights in the 1930s. There he developed a keen comedic timing and was known for his rubber-faced antics, pantomimes, and impressions. Though he had broken into film and television by the 1940s, his career was stunted in the 1950s when Gilford's outspoken tendencies on politics drew the attention of show biz career killers, the House Un-American Activities Committee (or HUAC). Both Gilford and his wife, actress Madeline Lee Gilford, were blacklisted as a result, and so they struggled to find work throughout the '50s. But as the decade drew to a close, so did the McCarthy Era, and by 1963, Gilford and another former blacklisted actor Zero Mostel were on Broadway in the wildly popular Rome-set farce "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." The pair reprised their roles in the film adaptation of the Broadway hit in 1966, earning the once-ostracized Gilford much deserved praise. In 1973, Gilford garnered an Oscar nod for his role opposite Jack Lemmon in the struggling businessman drama "Save the Tiger." Gilford went on to appear regularly in television, commercials, and films including a memorable role as the pessimistic Bernie in the touching science fiction drama "Cocoon." However, after a three-year struggle with stomach cancer, Gilford died at the age of 81. His son Joe scripted a play about his parents' Red Scare experiences titled "FINKS," which centers on the tragedy of the Gilfords' blacklisting.

Life Events

Videos

Movie Clip

Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, A - Erotic Pottery Michael Crawford as Roman Hero finishes his Sondheim tune with the slave girl Philia (Annette Andre) he hopes to buy, his family's head slave Hysterium (Jack Gilford) objecting, and his underling Pseudolus (Zero Mostel) advocating, in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, 1966.
Cocoon (1985) - Open, She's Really Slipping Director Ron Howard introduces his child lead (Barret Oliver) then puts Industrial Light & Magic and much of his his acclaimed veteran cast (Wilford Brimley, Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, Jack Gilford, Herta Ware) straight to work, opening Cocoon, 1985.
Mister Buddwing (1966) - Dangerous Mental Patient James Garner (the total amnesiac title character, blundering around Manhattan) worries when he finds a newspaper story about an escaped mental patient, then meets the gregarious Mr. Schwartz (Jack Gilford) in Mister Buddwing, 1966.
Enter Laughing (1967) - Open, Famous Hollywood Actor Director and co-writer Carl Reiner's lively opening sequence, hero David (Reni Santoni) with parents (Shelley Winters, David Opatoshu) catching an IRT train in the Bronx, 1938, Tyrone Power and Ronald Colman indirectly featured, in Enter Laughing, 1967, co-starring Jose Ferrer.
Enter Laughing (1967) - Ronald Colman, Right? Wannabe actor David (Reni Santoni) rings girlfriend Wanda (Janet Margolin) from the Manhattan machine shop where he works with Marvin (Michael J. Pollard) and for Foreman (Jack Gilford), circa 1938, in Carl Reiner's Enter Laughing, 1967.

Family

Joe Gilford
Son
Director, actor. Married to singer Mary Cleere Haran.

Bibliography