Broadway Theatres Dim Lights May 18 in Honor of Tony Randall

News   Broadway Theatres Dim Lights May 18 in Honor of Tony Randall
Broadway will mourn the loss of theatrical star Tony Randall May 18 by dimming the lights on all marquees at 8 PM.

As is tradition, the lights will dim for one minute at 8 PM.

Tony Randall, the star of a string of 1950s Doris Day films and the 1970s television sitcom "The Odd Couple," who late in life realized a dream by founding the National Actors Theatre, died May 18 in his sleep yesterday evening at NYU Medical Center due to complications from a prolonged illness, a spokesman said.  He was 84 years old. The indefatigable Randall worked unto the last. On Dec. 7, 2003, he opened and starred in Luigi Pirandello's Right You Are, in which he played a pivotal role.

It was the most recent production for the NAT, which was founded by Randall in 1991. Throughout its turbulent history, the company struggled and, on several occasions, seemed on the brink of dissolution. But Mr. Randall, a well-beloved figure in the entertainment world, and an inexhaustible promoter, cajoler and fund-raiser, always managed to forge on somehow.

In all, the NAT produced 16 productions on Broadway. In recent years, it abandoned costly Times Square for the smaller and more secure environs of Pace University in downtown Manhattan.

To much of the world, Tony Randall was Felix Unger, the lovable, finicky neat freak who played opposite Jack Klugman's slovenly Oscar Madison in the television series "The Odd Couple," which was based on Neil Simon's comedy. He won an Emmy Award for his portrayal. Mr. Randall cultivated an equally indelible persona on talk shows and through innumerable personal appearances. This man was a cultivated, sophisticated raconteur, nattily decked out in snazzy sport coat and tie. He was jittery and hyperactive like Felix, but less neurotic, warmer, and armed with a devilish, self-deprecating self of humor.

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