Paul Gleason played the detention-dispensing principal in the 80s teen hit

By Stephen M. Silverman
May 29, 2006 09:00 AM

Paul Gleason, a veteran of 60 movie roles including the detention-dispensing school principal in 1985’s The Breakfast Club, died in a Burbank, Calif., hospital Saturday of mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer linked to asbestos, said his wife, Susan Gleason. He was 67.

“Whenever you were with Paul, there was never a dull moment,” his wife told the Associated Press. “He was awesome.”

A native of Miami, Gleason – who for a time in the 1950s played Triple-A minor league baseball – also appeared in Trading Places, Die Hard and National Lampoon’s Van Wilder.

On TV he played David Thornton on ABC’s All My Children in the late ’70s.

In addition to his wife, Susan, daughters Shannon and Kaitlin and a granddaughter survive Gleason.