His most memorable film roles were alongside McQueen,he enlisted in the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor He was only 15 but convinced his mother to sign a statement saying he was 18


Mr. Gordon found steady work in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s as a supporting actor on television and in the movies, often playing tough guys. In 1962, he was nominated for an Emmy for his role as Joey Tassili, a troubled young man, on “The Defenders,” a CBS courtroom drama that starred E. G. Marshall and Robert Reed.

Early on, Mr. Gordon appeared on shows like “Space Patrol,” in the 1950s, and on McQueen’s CBS Western, “Wanted: Dead or Alive,” in 1959 and 1960. He was also cast as Lt. Hank Bertelli on the short-lived 1960s show “The Blue Angels.”

His most memorable film roles were alongside McQueen in “Bullitt” (1968); “Papillon” (1973), which also starred Dustin Hoffman; and “The Towering Inferno” (1974), a disaster film with Paul Newman and Faye Dunaway.

As neighbors in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles, Mr. McQueen and Mr. Gordon shared a hobby. “We both liked motorcycles, and we used to go bike riding together. And we had a lot of common interests,” Mr. Gordon told The Oklahoman in 2005.

While filming “Bullitt,” Mr. Gordon and McQueen, who died in 1980, were contractually banned from riding bikes off set, but they threw caution to the wind, Mr. Gordon said.

“We’d ride two, three hours, four hours sometimes,” Mr. Gordon said. “We’d just go up and down the hills of San Francisco. And then — you know when the car goes over the hill and takes off in the ‘Bullitt’ car chase — well, he was such a good bike rider, much better than I was. And he would hit one of those hills, and he’d get airborne and, plop, hit down below.”

Donald Walter Guadagno was born on Nov. 13, 1926, in Los Angeles. At age 8, he started selling newspapers on the street to help his family during the Depression, his wife said.

He enlisted in the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was only 15 but convinced his mother to sign a statement saying he was 18, Ms. Gordon said. He went on to receive 11 battle stars.

After he left the Navy, he attended drama school, where he changed his last name, his wife said. Standing outside the school at Sunset Boulevard and Gordon Street, a classmate told him that he would never make it in show business with the surname Guadagno. The student then pointed to the street sign and said, “Your name should be Don Gordon,” Ms. Gordon said.

He and Ms. Gordon were married in 1979. Besides his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Gabrielle Adelman, from a previous marriage.

Mr. Gordon also appeared in sci-fi horror anthology series of the era, including two episodes of “The Twilight Zone” (“The Four of Us Are Dying,” 1960, and “The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross,” 1964) and two 1964 episodes of “The Outer Limits” (“The Invisibles” and “Second Chance”).


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