Gale Gordon was the first pick to play Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy, but he was

committed to Our Miss Brooks and declined the offer in favor of William Frawley.

© 2017 National Radio Hall Of Fame 

Gale Gordon

Gale Gordon was born in new York City on February 2, 1906, the son of actress Gloria Gordon. HIs first radio appearance was at KFWB/Los Angeles in 1926. In the next decade he played mainly supporting roles on dramatic shows like Tarzan, Gangbusters and Death Valley Days, although in 1935 he did play the title character in Flash Gordon. Gordon's first comedy performance on radio was on The Joe E. Brown Show in 1939, but he didn't find a part he could sink his teeth into until 1941 on Fibber McGee & Molly. As Wistful Vista's Mayor LaTrivia, Gordon would delight audiences by frequently getting his word mixed up and then "blowing his top." In 1948, he assumed the role for which he is best known, as the tyrannical principal on Our Miss Brooks. Whether deriding Walter Denton in a voice that was drier than saltines or attacking connie Brooks with one of his patented outbursts of outrage, Osgood Conklin was truly a character listeners loved to hate. One of radio's surest laugh-getters, Gordon by late 1940's was one of radio's busiest actors. He appeared regularly on The Great Gildersleeve, The Halls of Ivy, My Favorite Husband, The Penny Singleton Show and Junior Miss. Gale Gordon died on June 30, 1995. Gale Gordon was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1999.

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One of radio's surest laugh-getters, Gale Gordon by late 1940's was one of radio's busiest actors.  
    Comedy
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SPEAKING OF RADIO:  Gale Gordon reminisces about his radio career in a 1990 conversation with 1993 Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Schaden.