Tony Randall

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-hour interview, Tony Randall (1920-2004) talks about his early years, and his earliest experiences working in television with producer Fred Coe. He talks about appearing on the series Mister Peppers which starred Wally Cox, and details his observations of The Hollywood Blacklist at the time. He recounts working in several feature films, among them “Pillow Talk” with Rock Hudson and Doris Day, as well as appearing in several variety shows and Bob Hope Specials. He details his years as “Felix Unger” on The Odd Couple, including working with co-star Jack Klugman, show creators Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson, and supporting cast Al Molinaro and Penny Marshall. He chronicles his experience with two short-lived series The Tony Randall Show and Love Sidney, and his years as the head of The National Actors Theater. Matt Roush conducted the interview in New York City on April 30, 1998.

"Generally speaking, the dramatic roles are much easier. The reason that so few of us are good at comedy is that it's so damned hard. You really have to be good to be very sharp, indeed. Some very, very fine actors are lost in comedy. And they're smart enough never to do it. Have you ever seen Paul Newman in a comedy? He tried one."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Tony Randall on producer Fred Coe
Tony Randall on working with Garry Marshall and Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple
Tony Randall on the low ratings of The Odd Couple
Tony Randall on winning the Emmy Award for playing "Felix Unger" on The Odd Couple, and on the end of the show
Tony Randall on starring on Love, Sidney
Tony Randall on creating the National Actors Theater, and on making cameos on Late Show with David Letterman
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on making his Broadway debut, and on making a living as a radio announcer early on; on his earliest experiences with television
on his earliest appearances on television including One Man's Family; on the experience of acting on live television in the '50s; on producer Fred Coe, and appearing on the series Mr. Peepers with Wally Cox

Chapter 2

On a typical workweek on Mister Peepers; on Mister Peepers writer Jim Fritzell; on learning to do comedy on Mister Peepers
On the end of Mister Peepers and on appearing on several classic anthology series; on appearing on Studio One and the Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse production of "The Huntress" with Judy Holiday; on the Hollywood Blacklist
On getting into feature films; on replacing Arthur Godfrey for a couple weeks on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts
On appearing in the feature film "Pillow Talk" with Doris Day and Rock Hudson; on working with Delbert Mann

Chapter 3

On appearing in The United States Steel Hour's "Holiday on Wheels" with Sid Caesar and various variety shows; on appearing on Bob Hope Specials
On appearing in the play version of The Odd Couple before he did the movie; on playing "Felix Unger" with different "Oscar Madisons" including Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple; on working with Garry Marshall and Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple
On he and Jack Klugman inserting their own personalities into "Felix Unger" and "Oscar Madison" on The Odd Couple; on Garry Marshall's week-to-week involvement in the production of The Odd Couple; on working his own interests, including ballet and opera, into The Odd Couple
On the process of writing scripts for The Odd Couple, and on the decision to film in front of a live audience; on the low ratings of The Odd Couple;
On the rehearsal process of The Odd Couple, and working with directors like Jerry Paris; on the co-stars of The Odd Couple including Al Molinaro and Penny Marshall

Chapter 4

On individual episodes of The Odd Couple; on winning the Emmy Award for playing "Felix Unger" on The Odd Couple, and on the end of the show; on starring on The Tony Randall Show
On starring on Love, Sidney; on creating the National Actors Theater, and on making cameos on Late Show with David Letterman; on doing The Odd Couple reunion movie
On directing for the National Actors Theater, and on the importance of continuing to work; on career highlights, and on becoming a father late in life; on the then-current state of television, and how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts

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Tony Randall on replacing Arthur Godfrey for a couple weeks on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts

Bob Hope Specials

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Tony Randall on appearing on Bob Hope Specials

Love, Sidney

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Tony Randall on starring on Love, Sidney

Mister Peepers

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Tony Randall on being cast on Mr. Peepers and working with Fred Coe and Wally Cox
Tony Randall on a typical workweek on Mister Peepers
Tony Randall on Mister Peepers writer Jim Fritzell
Tony Randall on learning to do comedy on Mister Peepers
Tony Randall on the end of Mister Peepers and on appearing on several classic anthology series

Odd Couple, The (1970-75)

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Tony Randall on playing "Felix Unger" with different "Oscar Madisons" including Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple
Tony Randall on appearing in the play version of The Odd Couple before he did the movie
Tony Randall on working with Garry Marshall and Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple
Tony Randall on he and Jack Klugman inserting their own personalities into "Felix Unger" and "Oscar Madison" on The Odd Couple
Tony Randall on Garry Marshall's week-to-week involvement in the production of The Odd Couple
Tony Randall on working his own interests, including ballet and opera, into The Odd Couple
Tony Randall on the process of writing scripts for The Odd Couple, and on the decision to film in front of a live audience
Tony Randall on the low ratings of The Odd Couple
Tony Randall on the rehearsal process of The Odd Couple, and working with directors like Jerry Paris
Tony Randall on the co-stars of The Odd Couple including Al Molinaro and Penny Marshall
Tony Randall on individual episodes of The Odd Couple
Tony Randall on winning the Emmy Award for playing "Felix Unger" on The Odd Couple, and on the end of the show
Tony Randall on doing The Odd Couple reunion movie

One Man's Family

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Tony Randall on his earliest appearances on television including One Man's Family

Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse

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Tony Randall on appearing on Studio One and the Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse production of "The Huntress" with Judy Holiday

Studio One

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Tony Randall on appearing on Studio One and the Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse production of "The Huntress" with Judy Holiday

Tony Randall Show, The

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Tony Randall on starring on The Tony Randall Show

United States Steel Hour, The

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Tony Randall on appearing in The United States Steel Hour's "Holiday on Wheels" with Sid Caesar and various variety shows
Topics

Anthology Drama

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Tony Randall on the experience of acting on live television in the '50s

Emmy Awards

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Tony Randall on winning the Emmy for playing "Felix Unger" on The Odd Couple, and on the end of the show

Hollywood Blacklist

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Tony Randall on the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Tony Randall on the Hollywood Blacklist

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

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Tony Randall on the experience of acting on live television in the '50s

Television Industry

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Tony Randall on the Hollywood Blacklist
Tony Randall on the then-current state of television
Genres

Comedy Series

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Tony Randall on being cast on Mr. Peepers and working with Fred Coe and Wally Cox
Tony Randall on playing Felix Unger on The Odd Couple
Tony Randall starring in The Odd Couple
Tony Randall starring in The Tony Randall Show
Tony Randall on starring on Love, Sidney

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Tony Randall on appearing in The United States Steel Hour's "Holiday on Wheels" with Sid Caesar and various variety shows
Tony Randall on appearing on Bob Hope Specials

Talk Shows

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Tony Randall on creating the National Actors Theater, and on making cameos on Late Show with David Letterman
People

Sid Caesar

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Tony Randall on appearing in The United States Steel Hour's "Holiday on Wheels" with Sid Caesar and various variety shows

Fred Coe

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Tony Randall on being cast on Mr. Peepers and working with Fred Coe and Wally Cox
Tony Randall on producer Fred Coe

Wally Cox

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Tony Randall on being cast on Mr. Peepers and working with Fred Coe and Wally Cox

Doris Day

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Tony Randall on appearing in the feature film "Pillow Talk" with Doris Day and Rock Hudson

Bob Hope

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Tony Randall on appearing on Bob Hope Specials

Rock Hudson

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Tony Randall on appearing in the feature film "Pillow Talk" with Doris Day and Rock Hudson

Jack Klugman

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Tony Randall on working with Garry Marshall and Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple

Delbert Mann

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Tony Randall on working with Delbert Mann

Garry Marshall

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Tony Randall on working with Garry Marshall and Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple
Tony Randall on Garry Marshall's week-to-week involvement in the production of The Odd Couple

Penny Marshall

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Tony Randall on the co-stars of The Odd Couple including Al Molinaro and Penny Marshall

Al Molinaro

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Tony Randall on the co-stars of The Odd Couple including Al Molinaro and Penny Marshall

Jerry Paris

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Tony Randall on the rehearsal process of The Odd Couple, and working with directors like Jerry Paris

All Interviews

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