Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 29th, 2006
Known and remembered for his dozens of character roles, such as the angry high school principal in The Breakfast Club to the teacher in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, actor Paul Gleason, 67, died May 27, 2006.
Shortly before his death, Gleason appeared as the no-nonsense disbelieving Sheriff Halderman in Ryan Schifrin’s Abominable (2006), which aired in May 2006, on the SciFi Channel. He is shown in the role drinking from a cup with part of the slogan he made famous from this line: "Don’t mess with the bull, young man. You’ll get the horns."– Principal Vernon in The Breakfast Club.
A native of Miami, Gleason was an avid athlete. Reportedly, after high school, he signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians, then spent two and a half years in the Indians and Boston Red Sox farm systems in the late 1950s. However, he never reached the major leagues. He was a football player at Florida State University, before graduating in 1966, and turning to acting.
Gleason fine-tuned his acting skills with his mentor Lee Strasberg, whom he studied with at the Actors Studio beginning in the 1960s. No doubt he knew Strasberg’s daughter, Susan, one of the stars of the 1974 classic film, The Legend of Hillbilly John.
Cause of death was due to mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer linked to asbestos. He was born Paul Xavier Gleason on May 4, 1939, in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.