People who have watched The Lucy Show and Here’s Lucy are probably familiar with Gale Gordon. Gordon played Mr. Mooney on the The Lucy Show and then, in 1968, when Lucy revamped her show and named it, Here’s Lucy, Gale Gordon resumed the role of Mr. Mooney but just played it under a different name (Uncle Harry Carter) and place (employment agency).
Gale Gordon, however had found fame and respect years earlier on the radio. In 1935, he played the original Flash Gordon in the radio series, The Amazing Interplanetary Adventures of Flash Gordon. In 1937 through 1939, he was The Octopus on the old time radio adventure show, Speed Gibson. He became well-known from playing the roles of Mayor La Trivia, as well as, Foggy Williams in the show, Fibber McGee and Molly. The spinoff from that radio series, The Great Gildersleeve was Gordon’s next role, and he played Rumson Bullard on the show.
Gale Gordon played in quite a few radio series when he returned from World War II. The precursor for the television show, Green Acres, was Granby’s Green Acres and Gale Gordon played John Granby. He also played the pompous and better-than-thou principal, Osgood Conklin on the radio show, Our Miss Brooks and continued in the role when the show was moved to television. Gordon also played Mr. Scott on the radio show The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show.
Gale Gordon and Lucille Ball became good friends when they worked together on the radio series, The Wonder Show and had a great professional relationship leading to the role in Lucille Ball’s radio series, My Favorite Husband.
After moving to television in the show, Our Miss Brooks, he played in a few more television shows. In 1962, he took over the role of Mr. Wilson on the show, Dennis the Menace. When the show ended, he was able to take the role of Mr. Mooney on The Lucy Show. After playing the role of Uncle Harry Carter on Here’s Lucy, Gale Gordon went into retirement. When Lucille Ball came out with Life with Lucy, during the 1980’s, Gordon joined her.
Gale Gordon was also the author of two books, Nursery Rhymes for Hollywood Babies and Leaves From the Story Trees. He loved to restore furniture and he built his own house. He and his wife, Virginia Curley, spent their lives in California. She died in May of 1995 and Gale died from lung cancer, one month later on June 30 1995.