Monday, August 9, 2010

Auction Donations - Tony Randall

CHERUBS is very grateful for the autographed photo donated by Tony Randall donated by his family!
Biography from 
Date of Birth
26 February 1920, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Date of Death
17 May 2004, New York City, New York, USA (pneumonia following heart surgery)

Birth Name
Ira Leonard Rosenberg

5' 8" (1.73 m)

Heather Harlan (17 November 1995 - 17 May 2004) (his death) 2 children
Florence Gibbs (1942 - 18 April 1992) (her death)

Attended Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois), where he majored in speech and drama.
11 April 1997: first child born at 12:00am EST, named Julia Laurette Randall. She was named after his mom Julia and actress Laurette Taylor, whom Tony says is "the best actress I've ever seen in my life."

Was militantly opposed to smoking.

Met his wife Heather in a play in New York. She was 50 years younger than him.
Founder of the National Actors' Theater, New York.

He was originally cast as the voice of "Templeton the Rat" in the movie Charlotte's Web (1973) without an audition. When Joseph Barbera realised he wasn't right for the voice, they paid him and hired Paul Lynde instead.

Got his break on radio as Reggie in the long-running "I Love a Mystery" series during the 1940s.
Suffered from tinnitus, a chronic ringing in the ears and starred in a Public Service Announcement to encourage diagnosis and treatment for viewers.

Second child: Jefferson Salvini Randall, born on June 15, 1998. Named after comic actor Joseph Jefferson and Italian tragic actor Tommasso Salvini.

Studied acting at New York City's prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse, under the direction of legendary acting coach Sanford Meisner.

The two children of Felix and Gloria Unger in "The Odd Couple" (1970) were named Leonard and Edna, the real-life first names of Tony Randall and his late sister, Edna.

Had taken ballet classes and danced at a semi-professional level.

Appeared on "Late Show with David Letterman" (1993) a record 70 times.

Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for his contribution to television. (1998).

The son of an art dealer, he graduated from Tulsa Central High School.

A member of the Metropolitan Opera Association from 1972.

National chairman of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation, which is an incurable neuromuscular disease.
Dropped out of Northwestern University in Illinois, majoring in speech and drama, in order to study acting with Sanford Meisner and dancer Martha Graham at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. Later, Tony received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2002 from Pace University.

An avid art collector, his father was an art and antiques dealer.

Studied voice for 32 years but did not act on it, quipping, "I have a nice healthy tone, but it's not terribly musical. If beautiful voices are golden, mine is aluminum.".

Originated the role of E.K. Hornbeck in the Broadway production of "Inherit the Wind," which ran for 806 performances from Apr 21, 1955, to Jun 22, 1957, at the National Theater (now the Nederlander Theater). The role was played by Gene Kelly in the 1960 film Inherit the Wind (1960). In 1996, his National Actors' Theater company put on a Broadway revival of "Inherit the Wind" that ran for 45 appearances in 1996. Randall was a stand-in for both Anthony Heald as E. K. Hornbeck and George C. Scott as Henry Drummond, taking over the latter role when Scott had to leave the play. Scott was nominated for a 1996 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for the role.

Was asked in the 1970s if there had been anyone in his career whom he had really disliked. After saying he hated to criticize the dead, he revealed that he had animosity against the late Ethel Barrymore. As a young actor, he had appeared in a play with her, and he was offended by her imperial manners, which included not making any noise in the vicinity of her dressing room.

Was nominated for Broadway's Tony Award five times: as Best Actor (Musical) in 1958 for "Oh, Captain!" and, later, as co-producer with his National Actors' Theater of four nominated plays: as Best Revival, in 1993 for "St. Joan" and as Best Revival (Play) in 1994 for "Timon of Athens"; in 1996 for "Inherit the Wind" and in 1997 for "The Gin Game.".

Won an Emmy Award for the TV series "The Odd Couple" (1970) after the show had been canceled. At his acceptance speech, he said, "Thank you. Now, if I only had a job.".

A liberal Democrat, in September 2003 Randall joked in a speech that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney would be turned away if they tried to attend his funeral.
Contracted pneumonia following heart bypass surgery in December 2003.

Biography in "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives," Volume 7, 2003-2005, pp. 444-446. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.

Father was an art dealer. Mother's name was Frances Marie Rizzo.
Avid collector of modern art, opera recordings, and antiques.

Randall recalls the making of 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964) in an interview in the book "A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde" (McFarland & Co., 2010) by Tom Weaver.

Personal Quotes
Compassion is a luxury of the affluent.
Comedy's a serious business. You've got to be true and funny and not look as though you're trying.

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