Randall, Tony


Randall, Tony
▪ 2005
Leonard Rosenberg 
      American actor (b. Feb. 26, 1920, Tulsa, Okla.—d. May 17, 2004, New York, N.Y.), was most closely identified with the character Felix Unger, the fastidious fussbudget he portrayed opposite Jack Klugman's sloppy Oscar Madison on the TV series The Odd Couple (1970–75); he won an Emmy Award for the last season of the show. Randall studied speech and drama at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., for a year and then moved to New York City, where he studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and began working in radio. He made his stage debut in A Circle of Chalk in 1941 before being drafted into the army. After being discharged in 1946, Randall returned to radio work, toured in The Barretts of Wimpole Street, and appeared on Broadway in Antony and Cleopatra, To Tell the Truth, and Caesar and Cleopatra. In 1952 he attracted major notice with his role as schoolteacher Harvey Weskit in the TV series Mr. Peepers, which ran until 1955. Onstage he appeared in Oh, Men! Oh, Women! (1954), and in 1957 he began his Hollywood career with the film version of that play. Roles in three Rock Hudson–Doris Day films—Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961), and Send Me No Flowers (1964)—solidified both his stardom and his signature persona. He played seven roles in his next movie, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964). On TV, Randall also starred in The Tony Randall Show (1976–78) and Love, Sidney (1981–83). Among his later stage roles was the one he considered his all-time favourite, a love-struck diplomat in M. Butterfly (1989). In 1991 Randall founded the National Actors Theatre in New York City—funding it partly with $1 million of his own money—with the aim of bringing the classics to the public at affordable prices. Randall also served as national chairman of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation for some 30 years.

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Universalium. 2010.

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