Freeman Gosden at right with Charles Correll, 1939.
|Born||Freeman Fisher Gosden
May 5, 1899
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||December 10, 1982
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Known for||Amos of Amos 'n' Andy|
|Leta Gosden (1927-1940)
Jane Stoneham (1944-1982)
|Children||Virginia, Freeman, Jr. (first marriage)
Craig, Linda (second marriage)
Freeman Fisher "Gozzie" Gosden (May 5, 1899 - December 10, 1982) was an American radio comedian and pioneer in the development of the situation comedy form. He is best known for his work for the radio series Amos 'n' Andy.
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 WEBHChicago 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 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.