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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Tony RandallTONY RANDALL (1920-2004), born Ira Leonard Rosenberg, was a wonderful comedian of film, stage, radio and TV. It was through watching a television show that aired from 1970 to 1975 that I was introduced first to Tony Randall. His portrayal of Felix Unger in "The Odd Couple", surpassed Jack Lemmon's on-screen portrayal. When I hear the name Felix Unger, I envision Tony Randall. After learning his name, I saw him in several films and on many television shows. I especially liked it when he appeared on quiz shows and talk shows. He was always charming, funny and smart. This is a rare combination.

In later years, I was fortunate to tape one of his best interviews. It's become my favorite interview of all-time. Tony had married for the second time. His first wife of many years had died previously. He felt very blessed to have found love twice in his life. This was a very happy Tony. He had just had his first child at the age of 77 and felt so humbled and thankful to be a father, so late in life. He was intelligent, witty, loving and utterly captivating. I know there must be a lot of people who can't imagine any woman fifty years younger marrying a man this much older than she, but I thought to myself, I would never grow tired of talking to him. How I wish I could have known him. He was truly beautiful. I was very sad when he died. I do know how fortunate he felt to have found what so many others think isn't possible.

Tony Randall may not have won any Oscars or Tonys. He was never nominated for Academy Awards. He was however nominated for five Tony Awards for performances he did on Broadway. Regardless of no wins, he is a winner in my heart. To this day, I cannot watch one of his comedic performances without laughing and feeling so incredibly endeared to him. His natural responses to the world around him are superb. Tony Randall once said, "Comedy's a serious business. You've got to be true and funny, and not look as though you're trying." Tony Randall accomplished that.

Haven't you seen Pillow Talk (1959)?
Pillow Talk (1959)I just love him as Jonathan Forbes, the man who wants to marry Jan Morrow (played by Doris Day), but she's just not interested. This is my favorite Tony Randall film. I laugh at the same parts every time.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

The Brass Bottle (1964) Here Tony plays Harold Ventimore in this Burl Ives classic about a man who finds a genie in a bottle. It's fun.
Lover Come Back (1961) Tony plays Peter 'Pete' Ramsey in this second Rock Hudson and Doris Day classic. It's hilarious.
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? aka Oh! For a Man! (UK) (1957) Tony plays Rockwell P. Hunter/Himself/Lover Doll in this film where Tony finally gets the girl.
Send Me No Flowers (1964) Tony plays Arnold Nash in the last of three Rock Hudson and Doris Day films. I like all three of these films.

*Contributed by: "Elizabeth Van Cleve Randolph" Date: Wed, Jul 26 2006 / 09:19:27 PST