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Henry Gibson – MovieActors.com

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Gibson in THE BURBS.

About Henry Gibson (1935 – 2009)

Henry Gibson was born on September 21, 1935 in Germantown, Pennsylvania, into a Catholic family; the son of Dorthy and Edmund Albert Bateman.

Gibson's birth name is Henry Gibson Bateman. His dramatic ability appeared early in his life. Before appearing in films and television series, Henry Gibson was a child star on the stage during the 1940s.

Henry went to the private Catholic High School, Saint Joseph's Preparatory School, and developed a strong interest in theatre arts. He became the president of the Drama Club. After graduating from high school, Henry went to The Catholic Uniiversity of America, in Washington D.C.

It was in his college years, that Henry came up with his stage name, "Henry Gibson", inspired by the Norwegian poet, Henrik Ibsen fro a very interesting reason. He shared in an interview, "...if you say his name with a Southern accent it sounds like Henry Gibson."

Henry Gibson and fellow student, John Voight came up with a comical stage act, as the hillbilly Gibson brothers. After college, JOhn went onto be be a dramatic actor, while Henry continued on providing comedy and laughs.

After graduating from college, in the late 1950's, Gibson was an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force.

After the Air Force experience, Henry wrote a one man stage play, where he portrayed a poet from Alabama, dramatist Henrik Ibsen, showcasing his own poetry.

This became Henry's trademark; his writing and reciting short poems, often with sharp satirical or political themes. So convincing was his southern poet character, that Gibson once received a letter from the Governor of Alabama claiming he was "... one of the most exciting talents to come out of Alabama since Tallulah Bankhead."


In 1963, Henry's screen debut came when he was cast in the Jerry Lewis film THE NUTTY PROFESSOR. He developed other poetry reading characters that appeared on television shows and other movies. In 1964, Henry became a poetry-reciting cowboy, Quirt Manlyon, on the THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES' episode; "A Man For Elly."

On the DICK VAN DYKE SHOW episode, "Talk to the Snail", Henry becomes the character, Doug Bedlork, who reads Henry's original poem, "Keep a-Goin'". Henry turned this poem into a song for the 1975 film, NASHVILLE, which he sang as a country music singer, Haven Hamilton. Henry was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance, and won a Best Supporting Actor National Society of Film Critics Award for this same performance.

All the musical composers, including Gibson, whose music was used in the film, NASHVILLE, were nominated for a Best Album Grammy for an original score written for a film as well.

Henry Gibson's breakthrough role came in 1968 when he was hired as a member of the regular cast of ROWAN AND MARTIN'S LAUGH IN. Henry stayed with the show until 1971. He would appear in hippie garb, carrying a large flower, recite his poem in a southern accent, a performance that was always ended with a stiff bow before disappearing behind the flat. Henry was nominated for a TV Series Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe.

Another favorite LAUGH-IN recurring skit was known as the Catholic Tea Party, where Henry would be dressed as a priest, sip some tea, and then say a one-line thought poem.

Henry Gibson's role in a film that he is most known for is his chilling portrayal of the leader of the Illinois Nazis in the comic musical, THE BLUES BROTHERS, starring John Belushi and Dan Akroyd.

Henry also provided voice-overs for many children's animated series like RUGRATS;(1993) and THE WUZZLES;(1985).

Henry Gibson married the love of his life, Lois Joan Geiger, in 1966. They had three sons: Jon, Charles and James, and all became employed by the film business. Jon became a business affairs executive at Universal Pictures, Charles became a director and two-time Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor, and James became a screenwriter; (NEVER DIE ALONE;2004).

Lois Gibson died in 2007; just two years before Henry died of cancer on September 14th, 2009, in Malibu, California.

Henry Gibson's notable movie credits include...

BIG STAN (2007)
TRAPPED ASHES (2006)
WEDDING CRASHERS (2005)
NEVER DIE ALONE (2004)
THE COMMISSION (2003)
THE GOLDFISH (2003)
MAGNOLIA (1999)
GREMLINS 2 (1990)
THE BURBS (1989)
MONSTER IN THE CLOSET (1987)
INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WOMAN (1981)
THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980)
CHARLOTTE'S WEB (1973)
THE LONG GOODBYE (1973)
KISS ME STUPID (1964)
THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (1963)

Henry Gibson's notable movie credits include...

BOSTON LEGAL (TV SERIES-Judge Clark Brown) ( 2004-2008)
KING OF THE HILL (TV SERIES- Voice of Bob Jenkins) (2005-2008)
THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY AND MANDY (TV Series - Lord Pain) (2004-2007)
ROCKET POWER (TV SERIES- Merv Stimpleton) (1999-2004)
SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH (TV SERIES-JUDGES)(1997-1999)
AAAHH! REAL MONSTERS (TV SERIES- Mayor, Husband, Maurice) (1995-1997)
ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (TV MOVIE -Ravetch) (1995)
MURDER, SHE WROTE (TV SERIES- two episodes) (1988-1992)
TIMELESS TALES FROM HALLMARK (TV SERIES-The Emperor's New Clothes-(1990)
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (TV MINI-SERIES- Train Conductor)(1989)
GALAXY HIGH SCHOOL (TV SERIES- Doyle's locke, Aimee's locker) (1986)
THE BISKITTS (TV SERIES-Downer)(1983)
LOVE AMERICAN SYTLE (TV SERIES- many characters)(1969-1973)
THE JOEY BISHOP SHOW (TV SERIES-Henry Schultz) (1963-1964)



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Henry Gibson in THE BURBS (1989).