Character actor Paul Gleason has been adept at playing tough guys and white collar sleaze bags in motion pictures since the early 1960s, making his film debut in Winter A-Go-Go (1965). Gleason has made a name for himself portraying these unlikeable characters in films. A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Gleason studied extensively at the Actor's Studio in New York City in the mid-60s with Lee Strasberg (his mentor) and was seen in a handful of Roger Corman productions before landing a a three-year role on the TV soap opera "All My Children" (1970). Since the late 1970s, Gleason has had key roles in films that include Trading Places (1983), Die Hard (1988), Miami Blues (1990), Boiling Point (1993/I) and Van Wilder (2002). However, he is probably best remembered for his role as the no-nonsense principal "Richard Vernon" in The Breakfast Club (1985). He has also appeared in over 60 films and has guest-starred on numerous television series that include "Hill Street Blues" (1981), "Dawson's Creek" (1998) and "Friends" (1994). Gleason passed away of mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer at a Burbank, California hospital on May 29th 2006 at the age of 67.