Childhood & Early Life
Gordon Jump was born on April 1, 1932 in Dayton, Ohio. Nothing is known about his family background except that his father was an unsuccessful actor, who often directed Gordon in high school plays.
Very little is also known about his childhood except that he wanted to be an actor since he saw his first B-western movie as a kid and that he graduated from Centerville High School in 1951. He might have also studied at Topeka High School, Topeka, for some time.
In 1951, he entered Otterbein University, a liberal arts college in Westerville, Ohio, graduating from there in 1955. All along he continued to harbor his dream of becoming an actor. Nothing his father said could dissuade him from his goal.
In 1955, on hearing that Kansas State University offers radio and television curriculum, he enrolled there, eventually becoming a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. During this period, he also worked for the Kansas State Student Radio Station. In 1957, he graduated from there with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
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Possibly in 1957, Gordon Jump began his career working at radio and television stations in Manhattan, New York. Later he moved to Topeka, where from 1959, he began to do the weather on WIBW-TV. In 1960, he also started performing on its after-school children's program, ‘Wib the Clown’.
In the early 1960s, he returned to Dayton, where he started working as a producer of a children’s show called ‘Gordon Jump's Fun Time’ on WLWD, also taking part in it. Although it became very popular he decided to quit and moved to Los Angeles in 1963.
In Los Angeles, Gordon initially maintained himself by doing minor roles in small theatres, subsequently getting a chance in a commercial. In 1965, he got his first break in television, receiving a guest role in the TV series ‘Daniel Boone’.
All through 1960s, he continued to enact small roles in different television productions such as ‘Get Smart’, ‘Green Acres’, ‘Here Come Bride’, ‘Lancer’ etc. Concurrently, he also had small parts in several films like ’Marriage- What Kind For You?', 'Flareup’ etc.
In 1960s, he also started acting in several church sanctioned productions such as ‘When Thou Art Converted’ (1967), ‘Pioneers In Petticoats’ (1969) ‘What About Thad?’ (1970). In 1969, he was the Apostle Peter in 'Mormon Temple Film (1969)
In 1970s, he appeared in number of films and television productions, slowly getting recognition. In 1977, he landed the role of the National Editor in the TV series ‘Lou Grant’, which led to his next big role, being chosen to play Arthur Carlson, aka "The Big Guy” in ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’.
From 1978 to 1982, he appeared in 88 episodes of ‘WKRP’, becoming a house-hold name for his role. Meanwhile he continued with appearing in number of films and television productions, including 12 episodes of ‘Soap’.
In 1983, he appeared as Mr. Horton, a bicycle-shop owner and child molester, in two episodes of ‘Diff’rent Strokes’. In the following year, he appeared as Mr. Harriman in his nineteenth movie, ‘Making the Grade’.
Continuing to work both on big and small screen, he appeared as Ed Malone in eleven episodes of ‘Growing Pains’ from 1986 to 1991. Next from 1991 to 1993, he enacted the role of Arthur Carlson in 46 episodes of ‘The New WKRP in Cincinnati’.
Continuing to work until his death, he did five more television productions and equal number of films. His last role was in the movie, ‘Changing of the Guard’, released after his death in 2004.
Family & Personal Life
In April 1954, Gordon Jump married Olinda D. Kandt, with whom, he had one daughter. The couple divorced in 1962.
In 1963, he married Anna F. Inge and had three children with her. They divorced in 1992.
In 1993 he married Betty Sue McKeever, with whom he lived until his death.
From his three marriages, Jump had three biological daughters called Maggi Jo, Cynthia and Kiva and a biological son named Christopher. He also had a step daughter named Laura, whom he later adopted.
On September 22, 2003, Jump died at his home near Los Angeles, California. He was suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, which led to respiratory failure, causing his death.