Leo Gorcey

Leo Gorcey

  • Highest Rated: 100% Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
  • Lowest Rated: 71% It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
  • Birthday: Jun 3, 1917
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • The shortest and most pugnacious of the original Dead End Kids, American actor Leo Gorcey was the son of character player Bernard Gorcey. The elder Gorcey encouraged Leo to audition as one of the tough street gang in the 1935 stage production of Sidney Kingsley's Dead End, which Leo did reluctantly; he was content with his apprentice job at his uncle's plumbing shop. When he temporarily lost that position, Leo was cast in a bit role in Dead End, eventually working his way up to the important part of Spit, the gang stool pigeon. Producer Samuel Goldwyn decided to make Dead End into a movie in 1937, further deciding to hire Leo and his fellow "kids" Billy Halop, Huntz Hall, Gabriel Dell, Bernard Punsley and Bobby Jordan for the movie version. The six streetwise hooligans scored an immediate hit with the public, paving the way for several films starring or featuring "The Dead End Kids", the best of which was Angels With Dirty Faces (1938).In 1939, the kids splintered off into subgroups, some of them heading for Universal Studios as the "Little Tough Guys". The following year, Leo Gorcey was signed by bargain-basement Monogram Pictures for a new series of "B" pictures produced by Sam Katzman--"The East Side Kids". Gorcey assumed the leading role of Muggs McGuiness, and by the time the series had run its course after 22 pictures in 1945, he'd been joined by his old Dead End buddies Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan and Gabe Dell. Determined to get a bigger piece of the financial pie and to have more say over production, Gorcey and Hall teamed with their agent Jan Grippo to reorganize the East Side Kids as the less scruffy but no less trouble-prone "Bowery Boys". In 1946, the first Bowery Boy picture, Live Wires, was released, launching a lucrative series of low-budget features that lasted for 48 installments. Despite the furious pace of production on those two films series, Gorcey also took on outside acting jobs during the first decade or so of his career -- he turned up in supporting roles of varying sizes in a multitude of movies, including the drama Out Of the Fog, the Nancy Drew-style programmer Down in San Diego (both 1941), the musical Born To Sing (1942), the World War II action film Destroyer (1943), and the comedy So This Is New York (1948), the latter the first movie produced by Stanley Kramer (who would use Gorcey in a bit role in his gargantuan comedy It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World some 15 years later). The Bowery Boys personnel fluctuated in size and prominence over the next twelve years, but Leo Gorcey as malaprop-spouting, two-fisted Slip Mahoney and Huntz Hall as lame-brained Sach Jones were clearly the stars. Gorcey stayed with the series until the 1955 death of his father Bernard, who'd been cast in the supporting role of gullible sweet-shop proprietor Louie Dumbrowski in most of the films. Too grief stricken to continue, Leo bowed out of the series with Crashing Las Vegas (1956), leaving Huntz Hall to co-star in the remaining six "Bowery Boys" films with Stanley Clements. Working in films only fitfully over the next 14 years, Leo was content with managing his land holdings. He also missed the chance for some fresh pop-culture immortality on the original cover of the Beatles' 1967 Sergeant Pepper album -- Gorcey and Huntz Hall were originally depicted side-by-side in the cover design, but Gorcey's insistence upon being paid resulted in his image being airbrushed out. By the time of his death in 1969, Leo Gorcey was financially secure thanks to TV residual payments from his 42 "Bowery Boys" features.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

No Score Yet Terror in the Pharaoh's Tomb Actor 2007
No Score Yet The Phynx Himself 1970
No Score Yet Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar Actor 1965
71% It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Cab Driver 1963
No Score Yet The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters Slip Mahoney 1954
No Score Yet Feudin' Fools Actor 1952
No Score Yet Ghost Chasers Terence Aloysius "Slip" Mahoney 1951
No Score Yet Bowery Battalion Terence Aloysius 'Slip' Mahoney 1951
No Score Yet Master Minds Slip Mahoney 1949
No Score Yet So This Is New York Sid Mercer 1948
No Score Yet Spook Busters Terence "Slip" Mahoney 1946
No Score Yet Midnight Manhunt Clutch Tracy 1945
No Score Yet Million Dollar Kid Muggs McGinnis 1944
No Score Yet East Side Kids - Million Dollar Kid Actor 1944
No Score Yet Destroyer Sarecky 1943
No Score Yet Ghosts on the Loose Mugs 1943
No Score Yet Clancy Street Boys Ethelbert 'Mugs' McGinnis 1943
No Score Yet East Side Kids - Clancy Street Boys Actor 1943
No Score Yet Kid Dynamite Muggs 1943
No Score Yet 'Neath Brooklyn Bridge Muggs McGinnis 1942
No Score Yet Smart Alecks Ethelbert "Muggs" McGinnis 1942
No Score Yet Let's Get Tough Muggs 1942
No Score Yet Sunday Punch Biff 1942
No Score Yet Mr. Wise Guy Ethelbert 'Muggs' McGinnis 1942
No Score Yet Born to Sing `Snap' Collins 1942
No Score Yet Maisie Gets Her Man Cecil 1942
No Score Yet East Side Kids - 'Neath Brooklyn Bridge Actor 1942
No Score Yet East Side Kids - Let's Get Tough Actor 1942
No Score Yet East Side Kids - Mr. Wise Guy Actor 1942
No Score Yet Spooks Run Wild Muggs 1941
No Score Yet Out of the Fog Eddie 1941
88% Road to Zanzibar Boy 1941
No Score Yet East Side Kids - Pride of the Bowery Actor 1941
No Score Yet East Side Kids - Flying Wild Actor 1941
No Score Yet Bowery Blitzkrieg Muggs McGinnis 1941
No Score Yet Flying Wild Muggs McGinnis 1941
No Score Yet Pride of the Bowery Muggs Maloney 1941
No Score Yet That Gang of Mine Muggs Maloney 1940
No Score Yet East Side Kids - That Gang of Mine Actor 1940
No Score Yet Gallant Sons `Doc' Reardon 1940
No Score Yet Boys of the City Muggs McGinnis 1940
No Score Yet Invisible Stripes Jimmy 1939
No Score Yet Hell's Kitchen Gyp Haller 1939
No Score Yet They Made Me a Criminal Spit 1939
No Score Yet Crime School Spike 1938
100% Angels with Dirty Faces Bim 1938
No Score Yet Mannequin Clifford Cassidy 1937
89% Dead End Spit 1937

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