Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Crackin' skulls from up above

"Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns."

Joining William Hootkins and Pat Morita in character actor heaven: Paul Gleason, who died over the weekend.

Gleason had an extensive career in film and TV, but is most recognizable for playing villain Clarence Beeks in Trading Places, principal Richard Vernon (pictured) in The Breakfast Club, and deputy chief Dwayne T. Robinson in Die Hard.

Back when John Hughes made great movies, he did a terrific job writing the Richard Vernon character. While most of his scenes with problem teen John Bender (Judd Nelson) were played for laughs, there's a lot of truth to the hopelessness that modern educators must face. And Paul Gleason's foul-mouthed portrayal is fantastic. He revisited the character in Not Another Teen Movie, where he got to spar verbally with a Judd Nelson look-alike.

Leave comments or your favorite Gleason character quotes here.


Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

I heard about this on the radio this morning. Made me sad.

Best Paul Gleason moment:

When Phil Hartman punched him out on NewsRadio ("I panicked!")

Neel Mehta said...

Ah, yes. I'd forgotten about Bill McNeal's master plan.

I see it's one of the NewsRadio episodes with Lauren Graham. Apparently, the Season 4 DVD comes out next month.