New York / January 30th 1954 — Jackie Gleason, comedian, suffered a severe injury to his foot and ankle tonight when he slipped on a wet spot on the stage during his televised show. After the accident, the actor, in great pain and with his leg swelling rapidly, was taken to a doctor. Xrays show a dislocation of the right foot and torn ligaments in the ankle. A cast was place on his leg. The Columbia Broadcasting System spokesman television studios and newspaper offices were swamped with calls from viewers asking Gleason’s condition. The Gleason show is viewed in the Seattle area a week later then its live showing. Gleason’s accident scene maybe seen locally at 8 o’clock next Saturday night on KTNT TV. At the time of the accident Gleason was about to play a practical joke in a skit called “The Wedding Party” a satire on the old silent films. After disrupting the party in various ways, he had left the scene to return, armed with a large bag of flour and an electric fan, his obvious intention to spray the other wedding guests with flour.
–New York / February 9th … Jackie Gleason, TV comedian, starred in a real life triangle in a squabble between his estranged wife and a shapely dancer in his hospital room, the New York Daily Mirror reported today. The wife dropped in last Sunday to see Gleason in Doctors Hospital, where he was propped up with a broken leg. She found Jackie already had a visitor, Marilyn Taylor, a dancer on the show, the newspaper related, and POW! and away they went! The Mirror said Gleason lost his temper enough to demand a divorce of his wife Genevieve but he cooled off later and said that because of religious reasons he would never seek one. The Mirror reported this exchange between Mrs. Gleason and Marilyn: “Do you love my husband?” “I do very much and I want you to know I didn’t start going around with him until you had separated.” The Gleasons have been seperated About 18 months, their two daughters, Geraldine 14 and Linda 12, are with their mother. The Gleasons married in 1936 when both were in Vaudeville. The Mirror said Gleason, who cracked a leg in an accidental fall on his TV show, told the reporter: “Say pal, looks like I’ve added a headache to my leg ache.”
[Gleason finally divorced Genevieve and married the dancer, Marilyn Taylor.]
3 thoughts on “Jackie Gleason suffers leg injury on TV”
The June Taylor Dancers were featured every week on Gleason’s show. The high-tech highlight was an overhead shot of them running dizzily around in circles. Were Marilyn and June sisters? Rivals? Mother and daughter??
Did Milton Berle attend the wedding wearing lipstick and a dress?
The Daily Mirror must have used the same proof reader the P-I used in those days of yore*.
*Yore, a sentimental or nostalgic term implying that the olden times being described are in some way superior to the present day. And they are! Instead of worshiping “social media”, we did it right – we got our trash from the tabloids. Lemme tell ya!!
My mother had the Internet of the time. The National Enquirer on the coffee table, the neighbor lady next door, Walter Cronkite on tv, Arthur Godfrey on the radio, and the Encyclopedia Brittanica on the bookshelf.
I was recently watching The Honeymooners: The Lost Episodes and they alluded to Jackies accident. That episode presented a conversation with “Ed Norton’s father”, Ed Norton Sr. and Ed Sullivan interviewing Art Carney. As for June and Marylin, yes, they were sisters. I recall a documentary that detailed how he didn’t want to divorce but that he had separated. As the article states, eventually he did and married Marylin. Jackie Gleason was a very talented and very funny man (called The Great one for a reason!) who continues to inspire me today.