IN THE BEGINNING… BROADWAY
Born Jun. 2, 1922 in Brooklyn, Kings County New York, USA. Fresh out of school, native New Yorker Gil Stratton made his way from his current location, Chicago, to Manhattan to audition on Broadway.
Gil went out the starting gate full force starring on Broadway and his dreams were realized almost immediately when he scored a role in Life with Father. Opening in 1939, it became the longest running non-musical Broadway play in history of its time. While performing in that play, the cast was invited to a command performance at the white house for then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. What an honor!
Best Foot Forward 9/28/41
This was followed up with another a leading role in Best Foot Forward, the musical comedy produced and directed by impresario George Abbott. The choreography was by a talented yet relatively unknown Gene Kelly in his first Broadway production credit. The show opened October 1, 1941 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre and ran for 326 performances. Gil Stratton started his career in entertainment as a teen age star in a hit Broadway musical as Bud Hooper a young military cadet.
Here is an Al Hirschfeld: Gil Stratton Jr. along with fellow Broadway stars, Nancy Walker, Rosemary Lane, Victoria Schools, Ken Bowers, June Allyson, Jack Jordan from Best Foot Forward.
He later went to Hollywood to be in the movie but was replaced by another young actor, Tommy Dix. Still, he got a contract with MGM and got to play a young cadet in the movie starring Lucille Ball.