John Randolph Biography

Birthday: 1915-06-01
Place of Birth: New York City, New York
Height: 6' (1.83 m)
Wiki Biography: Veteran performer John Randolph was a Tony Award-winning character actor whose union and social activism in the '40s and '50s caused him to be blacklisted during the McCarthy era. The balding performer may not have been a household name, but he was a regular face in movies and TV for over four decades. The son of Russian and Romanian immigrants, he was born Emanuel Cohen in the Bronx. When his father died and his mother remarried, his stepfather, Joseph Lippman, renamed him Mortimer. He began his dramatic training in the '30s, studying under Stella Adler and changing his name to the less ethnic moniker of "John Randolph". He served in the Army Air Force during WWII and married actress Sarah Cunningham in Chicago in 1945 while performing in Orson Welles's stage production of "Native Son". They had two children, Martha and Harrison. After the war, Randolph become one of the original members of the Actors Studio. After making his film debut with The Naked City (1948), his passionate, outspoken leftist views and defense of other accused figures led to Randolph and his wife being blacklisted. In 1955, they were both called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and pleaded the Fifth Amendment. Although Randolph lost many jobs during this 15-year blacklist, he continued to find work onstage, mainly in New York. Finally, director John Frankenheimer broke the Hollywood blacklist after casting Randolph, along with fellow "marked" actors Will Geer and Jeff Corey, in Seconds (1966), in which he played a disillusioned older man surgically made to look decades younger (now played by Rock Hudson). Randolph continued to flourish in films and TV following this breakthrough with important roles in Serpico (1973), Frances (1982), Prizzi's Honor (1985) and You've Got Mail (1998), along with the TV movies The Missiles of October (1974) (TV) and "Lincoln" (1975) (mini). He also played the recurring role of Roseanne's father on her popular sitcom. In 1987, he was the recipient of both Tony and Drama Desk awards for his close-to-home portrayal of a Communist, left-wing grandfather in Neil Simon's "Broadway Bound". Randolph continued his activism into the 1980s, heading the Council of American-Soviet Friendship, a cultural exchange organization. He died of natural causes at age 88.

John RandolphPhotos & Pictures


TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Serpico 1973 Crime
Richie Brockelman, Private Eye Mr. Brockelman 1978 Crime
Doctors Private Lives Irv 1978 Drama
Annie McGuire Red McGuire 1988 - 1988
Grand Harris Weldon 1990 Comedy
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
Seconds Arthur Hamilton 1966 0, Game Show
Pretty Poison 1968 Comedy, Crime, Romance
There Was a Crooked Man... 1970
Escape from the Planet of the Apes Commission Chairman 1971 0, Sport, 0
Little Murders 1971 Comedy
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Commission Chairman 1972 0, Sport, 0
The Judge and Jake Wyler 1972 Drama
Serpico 1973 Crime, Drama
Backstairs at the White House Sen. Fall 1979 Drama, History
As Summers Die 1986 Drama
The Wizard of Loneliness Doc 1990 Drama
Sibling Rivalry Charles Turner Sr. 1990 Comedy
Iron Maze Mayor Peluso 1991 Drama, Thriller
A Foreign Field Waldo 1993
The Hotel Manor Inn Gus 1997
A Price Above Rubies 1998
The Dogwalker Ike 2002 Comedy, Drama, Romance