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Paul Gleason

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Miami Vice Character
Bunny Berrigan
May 4, 1939, Jersey City, New Jersey
May 27, 2006, Burbank, California (cancer), Age 67
Candy Moore (1971-78)
Susan Kehl (1995-2006, his death) 2 children

Paul Xavier Gleason (May 4, 1939 - May 27, 2006) is an American actor with many roles playing disciplinarian characters. He appeared in the show Miami Vice as Bunny Berrigan in the episode "When Irish Eyes Are Crying", and is also well known for his appearance as Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson in the 1988 movie Die Hard.

Early life

Gleason was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, the son of Eleanor Doyle and George L. Gleason. He relocated to Florida where he attended Florida State University, playing football. After graduation, he signed a minor-league contract with the Cleveland Indians, but lasted only two seasons. He moved to New York City, then to Los Angeles where he began an acting career.


His first movie appearance was in the B-movie Panic In Year Zero in 1962, then in 1965's It's About Time before turning to television, appearing in such classic shows as The Green Hornet, Mission: Impossible, Adam-12, Banacek, and Columbo before taking a role on the daytime soap All My Children as Dr. David Thornton. He returned to movies beginning with He Knows You're Alone, Fort Apache, The Bronx (with Pam Grier, Cleavant Derricks and Miguel Piñero), Arthur, and Trading Places (with Giancarlo Esposito).

The Breakfast Club

Gleason was cast by 80s teen movie king John Hughes for his angst movie The Breakfast Club as Principal Richard Vernon, who keeps the cast (Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, and Anthony Michael Hall) in detention on a Saturday while the kids learn about life and each other. After this appearance, Gleason was cast in several Vernon-like roles in other movies and TV shows.

Miami Vice

Gleason appeared as Bunny Berrigan, friend to Sean Caroon (Liam Neeson's role) in Season 3's "When Irish Eyes Are Crying". He and Caroon were working in concert to bring down the British Concorde airliner as a terrorist act in the war between the British and the IRA.

After Vice

After his Vice appearance, Gleason appeared in episodes of Gimme A Break, The Equalizer (with Derricks), Beauty and the Beast (with Ron Perlman), 21 Jump Street, then returned to movies with Die Hard (with Bruce Willis). He later teamed up with Don Johnson on an episode of Nash Bridges, then returned to movies in Van Wilder, playing another Vernon-like authoritarian role. His final appearance before his death was in the independent film The Book Of Caleb.

Personal life

Gleason was married to actress Candy Moore from 1971–78, and later married Susan Kehi, who survives him along with two daughters and one granddaughter. He was known to be very open to fans that approached him for autographs at the many celebrity golf tournaments he participated in.


Gleason was diagnosed with mesotheiloma, a form of lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure possibly from his teen years working with his father. He died from that illness in Burbank, California on May 27, 2006 at the age of 67.