Jackie Gleason’s Personal Life

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on June 9, 2002

My husband and I love watching Jackie Gleason in reruns of The Honeymooners. Did he ever marry? How about children?
—Dean and Marie S., Tennessee

"The Great One" had two daughters, Linda and Geraldine, with his first wife. He was married to his third wife, Marilyn Taylor, when he died in 1987. Gleason conquered numerous aspects of show business after winning an amateur-night contest when he was a teenager, going on to emcee in clubs all over New York. Jack Warner of Warner Bros. signed the 25-year-old Gleason to a contract after catching his club act. Gleason appeared in five films (three for Warner Bros. and two for 20th Century Fox) before returning to nightclubs and taking stage and radio work. His big television break came on The Life of Riley, and he created his most-loved characters (Ralph Kramden among them) on Cavalcade of Stars. Gleason probably is best known for The Honeymooners. In 1959, he won a Tony Award for his work in the musical Take Me Along. Gleason starred in numerous films, including The Hustler and all three Smokey and the Bandit movies. Despite not being able to read music, he also composed several songs, including the theme song, Melancholy Serenade.