Family & Companions
Actor John Randolph has played many businessmen, judges (as in "Frances" 1982), officials (the Mayor in "Earthquake" 1974), police chiefs (as in "Serpico" 1973) and authority figures (memorably as Jack Nicholson's father in "Prizzi's Honor" 1985). Prolific on the stage, Randolph started out in one of the Federal Theatre Project's famous "Living Newspapers" which were prevalent during the Depression. He appeared on early TV in the late 1940s and made his feature debut in "The Naked City" (1948), but his career hit a snag in 1951 when he was blacklisted amid the rampant McCarthyist paranoia of the day. It would take almost 15 years for Randolph's career to recover fully. Although over the course of his career Randolph appeared in the original stage productions of "The Sound of Music," "Paint Your Wagon," "The Visit," "Come Back, Little Sheba" and "Command Decision," it took John Frankenheimer's casting of him in the intriguing science-fiction film "Seconds" (1966) to rejuvenate his career. Cast as a middle-aged man who undergoes a special surgical process and emerges looking decades younger (the role was then played by Rock Hudson), Randolph gave a very moving performance and found his own professional second wind. Supporting roles in features thereafter typically cast him as alternately kindly, tense or crusty types, including Beau Bridges' father in "Gaily, Gaily" (1969), Samuel Adams in the Revolutionary War drama short "Independence" (1976) and another mayor in "Iron Maze" (1991). He also supplied the voice of John Mitchell for the acclaimed "All the President's Men" (1976). Stage work continued to offer the veteran actor good opportunities, and Randolph won both a Tony and a Drama Desk Award for his work on Broadway in Neil Simon's "Broadway Bound" (1987). A talented actor whose name eludes many but whose face is usually recognized as that of an old pro, Randolph was ideal for TV, and he kept busy on many TV-movies and in the short-lived series "Lucas Tanner" (1975), "Angie" (1978-80), "Annie McGuire" (1988-89) and "Grand" (1990). Although he only played the role in a few episodes, Randolph certainly received wide visibility as the title heroine's father on the popular sitcom "Roseanne" in 1989. Randolph's subsequent feature credits have included "The Wizard of Loneliness" (1988) and "Sibling Rivalry" (1990).
Cast (Feature Film)
Film Production - Main (Feature Film)
Special Thanks (Special)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Name was changed to Mortimer Lippman when he was 12 by his stepfather, Joseph Lippman (date approximate)
Made Broadway debut in "Medicine Show", a Federal Theatre "Living Newspaper" production helmed by director Jules Dassin
Legally changed name to John Randolph
Served in the US Army Air Forces during WWII; achieved the rank of corporal
Feature film debut, "The Naked City"; played bit part as a policeman
Co-adapted (with Frederic Ewen and Phoebe Brand) an off-Broadway version of James Joyce's novel, "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"
Credited film debut at age 50 in John Frankenheimer's "Seconds"
Played the principal on the TV drama series, "Lucas Tanner", starring David Hartman as a schoolteacher
Played Richie's dad on the short-lived comic adventure series, "Richie Brockelman, Private Eye"
Appeared with wife Sarah Cunningham in leading roles in "Eulogy", a play written especially for them, at New York's Ensemble Studio Theater
Played Roseanne Arnold's father on several episodes of the popular sitcom, "Roseanne"
Played Harris Weldon, owner of a piano factory, on the TV sitcom, "Grand"