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‘Club’ thesp dies at 67

Gleason's credits included 'Die Hard,' 'Seinfeld'

Actor Paul Gleason, who played the frustrated principal in “The Breakfast Club” and the bad guy in “Trading Places,” has died. He was 67.

Gleason died at an L.A.-area hospital Saturday of mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer linked to asbestos, according to his wife, Susan Gleason.

A native of Miami, Gleason was an avid athlete. Before becoming an actor, he played Triple-A minor league baseball for a handful of clubs in the late 1950s.

Gleason honed his acting skills with his mentor Lee Strasberg, with whom he studied at the Actors Studio beginning in the mid-1960s, family members said.

Through his career, Gleason appeared in over 60 movies, including “Die Hard,” “Johnny Be Good” and “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder.” Most recently, Gleason made a handful of television appearances in hit shows such as “Friends” and “Seinfeld.”

Gleason’s passions went beyond acting. He had recently published a book of poetry.

Gleason is survived by his wife, two daughters and a granddaughter. Funeral plans were pending.

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