Freeman Fisher "Gozzie" Gosden (May 5, 1899 – December 10, 1982) was an American radio comedian, actor and pioneer in the development of the situation comedy form. He is best known for his work for the radio series Amos 'n' Andy.
Freeman Gosden at right with Charles Correll, 1939.
Freeman Fisher Gosden
May 5, 1899
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||December 10, 1982 (aged 83)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Radio comedian, actor, pioneer|
|Known for||Amos of Amos 'n' Andy|
(m. 1927; div. 1940)
(m. 1944; died 1982)
|Children||Virginia, Freeman, Jr. (first marriage)|
Craig, Linda (second marriage)
Life and careerEdit
Gosden was born in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Emma L. (Smith) and Walter W. Gosden, Sr. While attending school in Richmond, Gozzie worked part-time in Tarrant's Drug Store at 1 West Broad Street. During World War I, he served in the United States Navy as a wireless operator, which prompted his great interest with the young medium of radio.
During 1921, Gosden first teamed with Charles Correll to do radio work, presenting comedy acts and hosting variety programs. They had met in Durham, North Carolina, both working for the Joe Bren Producing Company. Their first regular series was begun during 1925 with their WEBH Chicago program Correll and Gosden, the Life of the Party. For this program, the two told jokes, sang, and played music (Correll played piano and Gosden banjo).
During 1926, Gosden and Correll had a success with their radio program Sam 'n' Henry broadcast by Chicago radio station WGN. Sam & Henry is considered by some historians to have been the first situation comedy.
From 1928 to 1960, Gosden and Correll broadcast their program Amos 'n' Andy, which was one of the most famous and popular radio series of the 1930s. Gosden voiced the characters "Amos", "George 'Kingfish' Stevens", "Lightning", "Brother Crawford", and some dozen other characters.
During 1969, Gosden was honored with a symbolic star shape on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work for radio. During 1974 Gosden was living in Palm Springs, California and was the best man for Frank Sinatra's 1976 wedding to Barbara Marx. During 1977, Correll was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame along with Gosden.
Freeman Gosden died from congestive heart failure in Los Angeles, California during 1982 at the age of 83. Gosden was the father of four children: Virginia, Craig, Freeman, Jr., and Linda. Freeman Gosden was a Charter Member of the Augusta National Golf Club, joining the club at its inception, in 1931. He was a long-term good friend of Clifford Roberts, who, along with famed golfer Bob Jones, co-founded the Augusta National Golf Club. On September 26, 1977, Freeman Gosden placed Clifford Roberts on a private jet airplane in Los Angeles, California, for a flight to Augusta, Georgia. Roberts took his life there, by gun shot, four days later on the grounds of the Augusta National, behind the Eisenhower cabin.
- "Divorce Asked By Amos' Wife". San Jose News. 15 November 1940. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
- "Amos Is Married". The Pittsburgh Press. 2 September 1944. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
- The Original Amos 'n' Andy: Freeman Gosden, Charles Correll and the 1928-1943 Radio Serial
- "Chicago Radio Stations-WEBH". Zecom Communications. Archived from the original on April 26, 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- Dunning, John, ed. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 840. ISBN 0-19-507678-8. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
- "Radio's Famous 'Amos' Dead at 83". Gadsen Times. 11 December 1982. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
- Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. P. 154.
- "Freeman Gosden Star". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- "Palm Springs Home To Radio Veterans: Stars of 'Golden Era'". Pittsburg Post-Gazette. AP. December 18, 1974. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
- "Sinatra Weds Barbara Marx". Ocala Star Banner. 12 July 1976. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- "Broadcasting Hall of Fame". National Association of Broadcasters. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- Treaster, Joseph B. (December 11, 1982). "Freeman F. Gosden is Dead at 83. Amos in Radio's 'Amos 'n Andy'". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
Freeman F. Gosden, who created the role of Amos in Amos 'n Andy, the comedy in Negro dialect that was one of the most popular and longest-running programs on radio, died yesterday morning at the U.C.L.A. Medical Center in Los Angeles of heart failure.