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Jack Weston
Jack Weston
Credits
Role Louis Gruber
Biographical Information
Birth Name Morris Weinstein
Birthdate August 21, 1924
Birthplace Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Death Date May 3, 1996 (age 71)
Death Place New York, New York, United States[1]

Jack Weston played Gladys Kravitz's brother Louis Gruber in the second season episode, "Prodigy" (1966).

Biography[]

Jack Weston was an American stage, film and television actor. As both villain and comic actor, chubby Jack Weston excelled in ineffectual blunderers who are not quite as smart as they think they are and frequently come to grief.

He was born Morris Weinstein in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1925, and at the age of ten was enrolled by his father in Cleveland Playhouse after his schoolteacher had complained that the mischievous boy seemed happiest when play-acting. After serving as a machine-gunner in Italy during the Second World War, he studied at the American Theatre Wing in New York, stating, "If someone would give me 80 dollars a week for life just to let me act that's all I'd ever ask." After marrying actress Marge Redmond, he worked as [a] dishwasher and [an] elevator operator prior to his Broadway debut in the play Seasons in the Sun (1950), which preceded other small roles on stage and in the early days of live televison.

In 1957 he and Marge decided to try Los Angeles where he was immediately cast in an episode of the television western, Gunsmoke. It was the first of hundreds of television roles, including episodes of The Untouchables and Twilight Zone, and regular roles in the series My Sister Eileen and The Hathaways.

As a hitman in Mirage (1965), he is heartlessly shot by his colleague when being used as a human shield by the hero, in Wait until Dark (1967) he is run down by the mastermind he and his pal plan to double-cross, and in Ishtar (1987) he is agent for two of the world's worst song-writers. His fine flair for comedy was showcased both in Hollywood and on Broadway (where he received a Tony nomination), notably in works by Woody Allen, Neil Simon and Alan Alda.

Weston made his film debut in Stage Struck (1968), and along with his villains in Mirage, Wait until Dark and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), demonstrated his fine flair for comedy in Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960), It's Only Money (1962), Cactus Flower (1969), A New Leaf (1971), and Fuzz (1972), a farcical account of police work which included a memorable sequence in which cops Burt Reynolds and Weston disguise themselves as nuns.

A compulsive worker and worrier, Jack Weston found Los Angeles boring, and returned to New York in 1975. The following year he repeated on screen his stage role in Terence McNally's The Ritz, as a heterosexual male who, fleeing from would-be killers, inadvertently takes refuge in a homosexual bath-house. With Richard Lester's frantic direction, what had been hilarious on stage seemed a forced one-joke farce on screen, but the same year Weston had a Broadway triumph with a leading role in Neil Simon's California Suite, starring in two of the four playlets. A self-confessed "hypochondriac, paranoid, nervous wreck", Weston and leading lady Tammy Grimes didn't speak to each other off-stage throughout the play's run.

Weston's association with Simon continued when he headed the touring company of The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, and in 1981 Woody Allen cast him as a sleazy personal manager in his play The Floating Light-Bulb, for which he received a Tony nomination.

The same year he starred on screen in Alan Alda's perceptive story of four marriages through the years, The Four Seasons, as a cantankerous dentist, and he played the same role in a spin-off television series (1984). His last stage appearances were in Measure for Measure and a revival of Paddy Chayefsky's The Tenth Man (1989).[2]

Weston was married twice - first to Marge Redmond (married in 1950 and later dissolved), and to Laurie Gilkes, who remained his wife until his death.[3]

Jack Weston died on May 3, 1996 in New York after a six-year struggle with lymphoma. He was 71.[4]

References[]

  1. Jack Weston on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on April 24, 2020.
  2. Vallance, Tom. "Obituary: Jack Weston", The Independent, May 9, 1996. Retrieved on April 24, 2020, edited.
  3. Jack Weston on Wikipedia. Retrieved on April 25, 2020.
  4. Obituary. Ibid.
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