Monday, May 29, 2006

RIP: 'Breakfast Club''s Detention-Crazed Principal

I'm sad to report that PAUL GLEASON, the character actor famous for playing the principal who tortures JUDD NELSON, MOLLY RINGWALD and ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL and the rest of the Brat Pack crew brilliantly in "The Breakfast Club," died Saturday of mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer linked to asbestos. Known for his hilarious devil-horn finger gestures and lines like "What was that ruckus?" Gleason, 67, was adept at playing angry civil servants and bullies on screen. He may have played a first-class jerk in the movies but Paul was cool enough to show up last year at the MTV Movie Awards with the cast to accept the "Silver Bucket of Excellence Award." In fact, he was a ball-player, recruited to play Triple-A minor league baseball in the late 1950s before becoming an actor and appearing in over 60 movies like "Die Hard" and "Trading Places." "Whenever you were with Paul, there was never a dull moment," his wife said. "He was awesome."

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