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2003 HONOREE - TONY RANDALL

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Tony Randall was born on Feburary 26, 1920 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He studied drama at Northwestern, then took further acting training at New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse. He also found time to squeeze in modern dance lessons with Martha Graham. Before he was 22, Randall had shared the stage with the likes of Ethel Barrymore and Katherine Cornell. Randall put in time as a radio actor, notably in the role of Reggie on the adventure serial I Love a Mystery. Randall's encyclopedic knowledge of radio trivia, indeed, of every kind of trivia, was one of the reasons that he was a much sought-after guest on TV game shows. His Broadway starring appearances in the 1950s included the lead in Oh, Captain, a musical version of the Alec Guinness film The Captain's Paradise, and Mencken-like journalist E.K. Hornbeck in Inherit the Wind.

Active in several liberal and humanitarian causes, Randall was never afraid of putting his career on the line to espouse his opinions: after delivering an anti-Vietnam broadside on TV in the late '60s, Randall was yanked from his weekly appearances as an expert on Opera Quiz, an intermission feature on the Texaco Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts. Many movie and TV fans will most remember Tony Randall for roles in such cult classics as Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957), The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964), as well as his star turn as Felix Unger in the long running Odd Couple series. But his status is much broader than that of a character player - he remains one of the few performers to gracefully build a legacy for himself in the three "actor's mediums": film, TV, and most of all - stage - where he became a consummate master of George Bernard Shaw and William Shakespeare. His reputation will thus linger in the entertainment world for decades, as a standard by which new generations of comic actors are judged. As a long time vacationer to Fire Island throughout his illustrious career, it became our honor in 2004, to award Tony Randall the first lifetime achievement award at the Golden Wagon Film Festival. The award was then named in his honor the following year, the Tony Randall Lifetime Achievement Award, when honoring actor Harvey Keitel.

Website Cited: starpulse.com, imdb.com