The Great Gildersleeve

The Great Gildersleeve

Willard Waterman

Born on August 29, 1914 in Madison, Wisconsin

Died on February 2, 1995 in Burlingame, California of bone marrow disease

Harold Peary

Born on July 25, 1908 in San Leandro, California

Died on March 30, 1985 in Torrance, California of a heart attack


NBC, 1941-1958

Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve was created by Harold Peary and originally appeared on "Fibber McGee and Molly" in 1937. He was a good-hearted windbag who indulged in running battles with McGee. In 1941 Gildersleeve spun off into his own program, perhaps the first radio character to do so. He became the Water Commissioner of Summerfield, where he raised his niece Marjorie and his nephew Leroy, and interacted with a cast of regular characters who became as well-known as those in the Fibber McGee stable. Judge Hooker (Earle Ross), nephew Leroy (Walter Tetley), Druggist Peavey (Richard LeGrand and Forrest Lewis), and Birdie, the black maid (Lillian Randolph), were particularly well-known. Harold Peary left the show in 1950, but Willard Waterman assumed the role so smoothly that the transition was almost imperceptible.