(The actor and entertainer offers a collection of show bus...)
The actor and entertainer offers a collection of show business anecdotes from his forty years in television, motion pictures, and the theatre, from Broadway to Europe.
Randall attended Tulsa Central High School. He also attended Northwestern University for a year before going to New York City to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. He studied under Sanford Meisner and choreographer Martha Graham.
Before the career of an actor, Randall worked as an announcer at radio station WTAG in Worcester, Massachusetts. He then served with the United States Army Signal Corps from 1942 till 1946.
During the 1950s Tony Randall began establishing himself as one of America’s favourite supporting comic actors. After several years of hard work on the stage, on live television during that medium’s “Golden Age,” and in radio, Randall got his Hollywood break by landing the title roll in the 1957 film Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? A few years later, in 1959, Randall embarked upon a series of roles in romantic comedies, sometimes featuring Rock Hudson and Doris Day, in which he was typically cast as the urbane, dapper friend of the leading man.
As the 1950s evolved into the 1960s, Randall’s screen persona expanded to include fantasy characters such as Dr Lao in The Seven Faces of Dr Lao (1964). In that movie, Randall played all seven of the “faces," or characters, which the mysterious Dr Lao, in his circus travelling America’s heartland, assumed.
Randall’s greatest visibility came from television in the 1970s, however; he was universally recognized as Felix Unger, the fussy, comically compulsive apartment-mate of sloppy Oscar Madison in the hit series The Odd Couple. His recognition factor was high enough for him to appear as himself in a Martin Scorsese movie, 1983’s The King of Comedy, which starred Robert De Niro.
Yet Randall was not only a comedian, having been trained as an actor by the well-respected teacher Sanford Meisner, and had performed in playwright George Bernard Shaw productions on the stage. Randall’s interest in serious theatre led him to found the National Actors Theatre in New York.
It was his popularity and skill as a raconteur which also led him to write, however, with his friend Michael Mindlin, a Hollywood publicist, a book of humorous anecdotes about the acting profession: Which Reminds Me, published in 1989.
Since 1991, Randall worked as an artistic director of the National Actors Theatre in New York.
Randall also served as national chairman of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation for some 30 years.
(The actor and entertainer offers a collection of show bus...)1989
Randall was politically liberal. During the U.S. presidential primaries in 1972, he appeared as the featured celebrity at numerous fundraising house-parties for Democratic candidate George McGovern.
Randall was an advocate for the arts. During the summer of 1980, he served as the celebrity host of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra's concerts in Central Park, New York City. He also supported several social causes and headed the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation, which works towards raising funds for the treatment of the incurable neuromuscular disease.
Randall was a member of the Actors’ Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Association of the Metropolitan Opera Company.
Randall married his first wife, Florence Gibbs, in 1942. He remarried Heather Harlan in 1995, three years after Gibbs' death. Randall had 2 children, Julia Laurette and Jefferson Salvini.