Born to the iconic American entertainer, Jackie Gleason, Geraldine Gleason is the epitome of Hollywood legacy. Though she chose to stay away from the limelight, her life is deeply intertwined with the history and growth of the American entertainment industry. This article offers a deep dive into the life and times of Geraldine Gleason.
Early Life and Family Background
Born in 1940, Geraldine Gleason is an American by nationality and of Caucasian ethnicity. Her father, comedian Jackie Gleason, was a household name in America – a proficient actor, writer, composer, and conductor. He was affectionately called “The Great One” and was renowned for his visually compelling and verbally witty comedy. His characters, developed from his experiences growing up in Brooklyn, resonated with the masses and made him a beloved figure in American entertainment history.
The Jackie Gleason show is definitely in loving memory of people of all ages.
Geraldine’s mother, Genevieve Halford, was a dancer by profession. She met Jackie while they both were working in vaudeville. Their love story started with dating, and it took a public marriage proposal from Jackie to Genevieve during one of his performances to seal their bond. They got married on September 20, 1936, and their marriage was blessed with two children – Geraldine and her sister Linda.
Genevieve Halford: The Mother Figure
Geraldine’s mother Genevieve Halford Truth was described as “more Catholic than the Pope” and was known for her devout religious beliefs. However, she yearned for a peaceful home life, which was often disrupted by Jackie’s late-night outings. Despite their differences, the couple loved their children dearly and tried to create a happy home environment for them.
Their marriage hit several bumps, with the couple separating twice – first in 1941 and then in 1954. However, they only officially divorced in 1970. Post their divorce, Jackie married Beverly McKittrick, whom he had met at a country club in 1968.
The Gleason Sisters
Geraldine Gleason and her sister Linda shared a close bond. In fact, Geraldine waited to celebrate her birthday until Linda’s came along, to have a double celebration with their father, comedian Jackie Gleason. They were photographed at the Stork Club in New York, with their father playing the host. The smiles on their faces reflected the joy of the festive occasion.
Linda followed in her father’s footsteps and became an actress. She is known for her roles in “Alice, Sweet Alice” (1976), “17 Again” (2009), and “Law & Order” (1990). Linda was also married to actor-playwright Jason Miller, making Geraldine’s nephew, actor Jason Patric.
Geraldine Gleason’s Personal Life
Geraldine Gleason chose a low-profile life despite being born to a famous Hollywood television personality. She has successfully maintained her privacy and has rarely made news or headlines.
In 1961, Geraldine Gleason married talent agent Jack Chutuk at New York’s St. Paul the Apostle Church. The ceremony was officiated by Gleason’s good friend, television celebrity, and Emmy winner, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. Geraldine and Jack have one son, Mark, and two granddaughters, Caitlin, and Alison.
Jackie Gleason’s Family Tree
Jackie Gleason’s family tree is a fascinating blend of creative talents and intriguing personalities. Geraldine’s sister Linda married Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jason (Jack) Miller at Catholic University in 1963 and has three children: Jennifer, Jason Patric, and Jordan. Jordan, a New York Marathon runner for the last six years, has one son, another Jack. After her divorce, Linda married actor Robert King, who was once acclaimed “King of Commercials” by the New York Times.
Little-Known Family Facts
It would be interesting to note that two of Jackie Gleason’s ancestors served in the Civil War:
- George Gleason, Jackie’s grand-uncle, fought with his Company of engineers at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1862. He died the following year of typhoid
- William Gleason, Jackie’s grandfather, spent most of his Civil War enlistment in sick bay, dealing with health woes
Geraldine Gleason’s life has been a fascinating journey, marked by a blend of Hollywood glamour and personal privacy. As she continues to lead a quiet life, her story remains an important part of American entertainment history.
Geraldine Gleason’s life is a testament to her choice to lead a life away from the public eye, despite being born into a celebrity family. Her life and experiences provide a unique perspective on the golden era of Hollywood and the personal lives of those who were part of it.