Leo Gordon

Leo Gordon

Birthday: 2 December 1922, New York City, New York, USA
Birth Name: Leo Vincent Gordon
Height: 188 cm
Big, burly, character actor, one of the toughest of screen heavies, Leo Gordon's powerful physique, combined with his deep, menacing voice, was guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of even the bravest screen hero. Director Don Siegel, who used Gordon in his prison film Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954), once said that "Leo Gordon was the s... Show more »
Big, burly, character actor, one of the toughest of screen heavies, Leo Gordon's powerful physique, combined with his deep, menacing voice, was guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of even the bravest screen hero. Director Don Siegel, who used Gordon in his prison film Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954), once said that "Leo Gordon was the scariest man I have ever met" - this coming from a man who had directed John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Bette Midler! Siegel wasn't talking about just Gordon's screen presence. Before becoming an actor (he studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts), Gordon served 5 years in San Quentin State Prison for armed robbery. "Riot in Cell Block 11" was filmed at Folsom State Prison. The Folsom warden remembered Gordon from his prison stint, when he had a reputation as a troublemaker, and objected to his being in the film, but Siegel was able to convince him that Gordon was no threat to the prison.Contrary to his image, though, Gordon was not just a one-note villain. He did play sympathetic parts on occasion, notably in the western Black Patch (1957)--which he also wrote--and in Roger Corman's civil rights drama The Intruder (1962), and turned in first-rate performances, especially in the latter film. Gordon was also a screenwriter, turning out several screenplays for Corman. He wasn't just limited to writing low-budget sci-fi films, either; he penned the screenplay for the WWII epic Tobruk (1967), writing in a good part for himself as Kruger, a tough sergeant in a platoon of German Jews masquerading as Nazi soldiers to help blow up a German oil storage facility. Show less «