Mostly Credited As: Bruce Gordon (1) Date Of Birth: February 01, 1916 (Age 94) Country Of Birth: USA Birth Place: Fitchburg, Massachusetts Date Of Death: January 20, 2011 Cause Of Death: Natural Causes (Santa Fe, NM) Height: 5' 11" (1.8 m)
Burly, cleft-chinned actor best known for his role as gangster Frank Nitti on the classic 1959-63 ABC crime drama The Untouchables. Though the role of Nitti typecast him as a gangster for much of the remainder of his acting career, Gordon was also adept at playing comic versions of his gangster personna on shows such as The Lucy Show, Jackie Gleason and The Partners. He also starred as a comic gangster on the short-lived 1966 comedy Run, Buddy, Run and had a recurring role in the 1960's ABC primetime soap Peyton Place. Before being cast on The Untouchables, Gordon had starred in the 1958-59 NBC espionage drama Behind Closed Doors and had appeared in numerous prestigious Broadway productions such as Arsenic and Old Lace, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Lark.
Appeared in the original Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace in 1941 supporting Boris Karloff. Ironically, considering that Gordon later made a career of playing gangsters, he played a policeman in that production. Made his film debut in the 1949 comedy Love Happy. The movie marked the final time that the Marx Brothers appeared on-screen as a team and was also the movie debut of Marilyn Monroe. Resided in Santa Fe, NM with his wife Marla from the late 1970's until the end of his life. Catchphrase on The Untouchables was, "You're dead." Gordon and Untouchables co-star Robert Stack spoofed their personnas of Frank Nitti and Eliot Ness on an episode of The Lucy Show entitled Lucy, the Gun Moll. Despite being typecast as a gangster, Gordon occasionally played sympathetic roles on such shows as The Defenders, Naked City, and One Step Beyond. Appeared with the legendary horror icon, Boris Karloff, in three productions: Arsenic and Old Lace and The Lark on Broadway and in an episode of The Girl from UNCLE entitled The Mother Muffin Affair. Unlike Gordon's big, burly physique, the real Frank Nitti stood only 5 feet, 6 inches tall. During the 1970's, Gordon appeared in a commercial for Canada Dry ginger ale as his Frank Nitti personna. In a 1987 interview on Entertainment Tonight, Gordon claimed he enjoyed the film version of The Untouchables. More Trivia
Bruce Gordon (1) Quotes George Eckstein: (about Gordon on The Untouchables) Bruce was wonderful. Bruce was great to write for because he brought so much energy, and vitality, and excitement to the screen. He was a little over the top sometimes but always entertainingly so. Robert Stack: (about Gordon) Bruce Gordon was a real crook. He stole every scene he appeared in. Abel Fernandez: (about Gordon) I have never met anyone who had anything bad to say about him or that they didn't like the way he worked.