Montblanc Semiramis Patron of Arts 1996.
Every detail of the Patron of Art Edition Semiramis is given the same care that the great master craftsmen of ancient Babylon were famous for. The barrel of Edition 4810, made of black precious resin, is surrounded by delicate gold-plated fretwork.
On Edition 888 this fretwork is made of 750 solid gold, emphasised by exquisite inlays of red enamel lacquer. An inlay of the heraldic animal of Ishtar decorates the elegant, elaborately embellished clip, which in Edition 888 is finished off by an approximately 0.2-carat diamond. With its delicate engraving, the 18K gold nib recalls the great era of Semiramis.
The politically astute Queen Semiramis is responsible for uniting the two countries of Babylon and Assyria to create one of the most fascinating empires of the ancient world.
Semiramis, as a lover of fine arts and patron of Nabu, the tutelary deity of the scribes, ordered the building of several palaces and monuments. It was under her rule that the gigantic Gate of Ishtar and the legendary 2nd Wonder of the World – the Hanging Gardens of Babylon – were created.
Joan Chalmers – Canada obituary.
Peter Caldwell has a favourite story about Joan Chalmers. Back in the 1980s, when he was running the currently-defunct Arts Foundation of Greater Toronto, he drew up a list of the foundation’s board members and their occupations. After describing this vice-president of such-and-such a bank, and that partner in so-and-so’s law firm, he came to the name "Joan Chalmers" and didn’t know what to write. The wealthy lady didn’t have an official job, let alone a job title, so finally he settled for "arts patron."
When she read that label next to her name, Ms. Chalmers – whom the painter Charles Pachter once called a cross between Vanessa Redgrave and Annie Oakley – rounded on Mr. Caldwell and let him have it with both barrels. "What?" she barked. "Arts patron?" A young Mr. Caldwell, shocked, asked how he’d offended her. "I’m not an arts patron," she told him bluntly, "I’m an arts activist!"
Ms. Chalmers, who died Dec. 2 in Toronto at the age of 88 from injuries suffered in a fall, was much celebrated for her philanthropy, channelling millions of dollars toward Canada’s artists and arts institutions; but she did far more than just dash off cheques with multiple zeroes. "She had very strong ideas about what she wanted to support," said Mr. Caldwell, currently director and CEO of the Ontario Arts Council, "and she put her money where her mouth was."
Often it was "1st money." Ms. Chalmers, like her legendary father, Floyd S. Chalmers, loved to take a risk on completely new arts projects, making the initial contribution and urging public and private funders to follow suit. She saw it as her duty to help build Canadian arts and culture and she approached her self-imposed role with a missionary’s zeal.
The late Urjo Kareda, long-time artistic director of Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, wrote of once seeing Ms. Chalmers dive into a gathering of dignitaries, politicians and bureaucrats, right hand extended, and work the room tirelessly, like a great ambassador. As she had explained to Mr. Kareda, "there’s a lot of work to be done here for the arts."
It wasn’t just the arts, either, that benefited from her activism. In the 1990s, she and her partner, Barbra Kate Amesbury, staged a touring exhibition dedicated to battling breast cancer. That mix of art and fundraising stirred up some controversy, as did a much-publicized decision in 1996 to withdraw financial support from the Ontario Arts Council over a perceived excess of bureaucracy. The rift with the OAC was soon healed, but it served as a reminder that Ms. Chalmers’s enormous generosity came with a clear purpose: it was meant to help artists, not shore up administrators.
Yet Ms. Chalmers was almost always, to use a Shakespearean phrase, "in the giving vein." The trait was in her blood. She was the child of serial philanthropists who lavished their time and energy on the arts even before they came into serious money.
Floyd Chalmers, a go-getting newspaper editor who rose to become president of the Maclean Hunter magazine empire, and his wife Jean (née Boxall), were tireless supporters of their country’s burgeoning arts scene from the 1930s onwards, helping to establish the Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Stratford Festival, to list only a few currently-august institutions.
Margaret Joan Chalmers, their 2nd child and only daughter, was born May 30, 1928 in Toronto. From girlhood on she shared her mother’s love of fine craftsmanship and later fondly remembered that her 1st job, at age 14, was helping at the downtown shop run by Ontario’s craft guild. She studied interior architecture and design at what was then the Ontario College of Art, graduating in 1948. Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, she worked as an art director for magazines, notably Canadian Homes and Gardens, Chatelaine and other titles published by Maclean-Hunter – although there was no nepotism involved; her father was initially unaware that she’d been hired.
In 1964, however, the family’s status abruptly changed from well-off to rich. That year, Maclean-Hunter went public and Mr. Chalmers, who had sold half of his 22-per-cent share in the company’s stock, received $1.7-million (about $13-million in today’s dollars). That’s when the serious giving began.
Money was funnelled into the family’s recently established Chalmers Foundation and dispersed widely to arts groups in Toronto and across the country. Ms. Chalmers left the magazine business and devoted herself to such completely new causes as the founding of Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre and – her special passion – advocating for the crafts community. She not only oversaw the creation in 1976 of the Ontario Crafts Council, she also bought a building for its headquarters.
"She really took a leadership role in the craft sector," said Emma Quin, the current CEO of the council, currently called Craft Ontario. "She wanted to bring more professionalism to it and help members develop their business skills."
In 1973 the Chalmers family handed over the administration of its foundation funds to the Ontario Arts Council. The wide-ranging Chalmers Awards for Creativity and Excellence in the Arts, launched the year previously, became one of their most prominent contributions to the national arts scene. They included the annual $25,000 Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award, which bolstered the careers of many significant playwrights, from David French to Djanet Sears.
The prolific George F. Walker won a record number of eight awards before they were discontinued in 2001. Ms. Chalmers was "a gracious strong woman with a real twinkle in her eye," Mr. Walker recalled. "She asked me once how many of my children had their educations paid for by the foundation. I told her all of them."
Ms. Chalmers took great pleasure in such news. As she stated in Iris Nowell’s 1996 book about Canadian female philanthropists, Women Who Give Away Millions, one of her goals was "helping make lives better for creative people in this country."
Early on, Ms. Chalmers preferred to keep her arts activism behind the scenes. That began to change when she met Ms. Amesbury in the 1980s. Ms. Amesbury was formerly Bill Amesbury, a saucy singer-songwriter who had enjoyed some minor hits on the Canadian pop charts in the 1970s. After re-emerging as Barbra Amesbury following sex-reassignment surgery, she met Ms. Chalmers at a Christmas party in the mid-1980s. "I may have been a bad influence on her," Ms. Amesbury said with a laugh. She came to play the hellion to Ms. Chalmers’s "patron saint."
As a duo, their most publicized project was Survivors, In Search of a Voice: The Art of Courage, in which they commissioned 24 Canadian female artists to create works based on the stories of some 100 breast-cancer survivors. The resulting show opened at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto in 1995, drawing huge crowds but also some criticism for what was deemed to be "victim art" and tensions when Ms. Chalmers and Ms. Amesbury had a falling-out with the museum’s management over costs.
The pair ended up taking the travelling installation out of galleries and sending it to large shopping malls throughout Canada and the U.S. Used as a vehicle to raise funds for breast cancer awareness and research, it became, in Ms. Amesbury’s words, "the AIDS quilt for the cancer movement."
Ms. Amesbury also encouraged Ms. Chalmers to commission art for her own pleasure – and, of course, to encourage others to do the same. In 1990, the couple bought a home on Chestnut Park in Toronto’s affluent Rosedale neighbourhood and spent close to $2-million completely renovating it with custom-made fixtures and furnishings by Canadian artists and craftspeople. Among its striking features were a pair of 14-foot-high, curved bronze doors created by one of Ms. Chalmers’s favourite craftsmen, Gord Peteran.
"I got called over to Chestnut Park and Joan was marching around in her nightgown," Mr. Peteran remembered with amusement. "She showed me two giant holes in the walls and said, ‘Fill those! Do something wonderful!’"
The home became a showplace and a centre for arts fundraisers. Ms. Chalmers lent it to such favourite causes as the ballet, the opera and the Glenn Gould Foundation. "Maureen Forrester did a concert in the living room," Ms. Amesbury said.
Ms. Chalmers sold the place in 1994, but there were other impressive homes, and not just in Toronto. They ranged from a farm in Mono Mills, Ont., to a house next door to Hollywood legend Claudette Colbert in Speightstown, Barbados. Ms. Colbert was a standoffish neighbour until Ms. Chalmers, an expert gardener, resurrected the movie star’s dying bougainvillea vine. "Claudette fell in love with Joan after that," Ms. Amesbury said. "She could do no wrong." Ms. Chalmers and Ms. Colbert remained fast friends until the latter’s death in 1996.
The year prior, Ms. Chalmers herself suffered a stroke, which marked the start of serious health problems. She eventually moved into a luxurious retirement residence, Hazelton Place, in 2006. She held court there surrounded by art and her many honours, which included companion of the Order of Canada, member of the Order of Ontario and the international Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award. As she grew frail, Mr. Peteran fashioned her another piece of practical art – a handmade cane.
Ms. Chalmers was predeceased by her parents, her brother, engineer and philanthropist Wallace Chalmers, and her sister-in-law, Clarice Chalmers. She is survived by her partner, Ms. Amesbury. There will be a private burial in Toronto’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery, where the family rests, and Ms. Amesbury is planning to hold a wake in the spring, in the same celebratory spirit as the old Chalmers Awards.
It was during a luncheon for those awards, on her 70th birthday in May, 1998, that Ms. Chalmers performed one of her most memorable acts of generosity. After handing out the previously announced prizes, she suddenly began dispensing large cheques to 21 arts organizations in a dizzying display of spontaneous philanthropy. In 17 minutes, she gave away $1-million. The unwary recipients were gobsmacked and profoundly grateful for this reverse birthday gift. As they thanked her, Ms. Chalmers smiled through her tears.
"There was great joy in it," said Ms. Amesbury, summing up both that day’s surprise give-away and Ms. Chalmers’s lifelong habit of giving. "I think for Joan, that was how she felt loved."
Annie Fratellini – Germany:
Annie Fratellini (14 November 1932 – 1 July 1997) was a French circus artist, singer, film actress and clown.
She was born Annie Violette Fratellini on 14 November 1932, in Algiers, French Algeria, where her parents, who were circus performers, were touring. She was the 4th generation of one of Europe’s most illustrious clown dynasties, the Fratellini Family, a French circus family of Italian descent. Her father was Victor Fratellini, a clown and acrobat; her mother, Suzanne (née Rousseau), was the daughter of Gaston Rousseau, the director of the Cirque de Paris, a huge circus building located Avenue de la Motte-Picquet in Paris that was active from 1906 to 1930. Her grandfather was Paul Fratellini, one of the Fratellini brothers, the legendary clown trio that was the Toast of Paris (and Europe) between the two world wars.
Although she made her debut in the ring at age 13 at the famous Cirque Medrano in Paris, she eventually ran away from the circus when she was 18 years old, and begun a music-hall and recording career as a musician and singer. She also became a movie actress, appearing notably in 1965 in La Métamorphose des cloportes a film directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre (1927–2007), whom she had married in 1954. They had one daughter, Valérie.
In 1969, she starred in Pierre Étaix’s Le grand amour. They fell in love and married that same year. Pierre Étaix (1928–2016), who had been a comedian and Jacques Tati’s assistant before becoming a filmmaker himself, had a passion for the circus and clowns. Annie Fratellini had an inherited talent for comedy, and Pierre Étaix convinced her to take it seriously. Together, they created a classic European clown duo in which Étaix was the Clown to Fratllini’s Auguste (the comic character of the duet). They made their debut on tour with the French Cirque Pinder.
In 1975, Étaix and Fratellini opened the École Nationale du Cirque, one of Paris’s (and Europe’s) 1st two professional circus schools, and created the Nouveau Cirque de Paris, an intimate, high-end traveling circus that was the performing arm of the school, and in which they regularly performed their act. Pierre Étaix and Annie Fratellini divorced in 1987, and Annie continued to run the school and the circus, performing her clown act with her daughter, Valérie. The school has become the Académie Fratellini, one of France’s two major state-sponsored circus schools.
Annie Fratellini died from cancer on 1 July 1997, at Neuilly-sur-Seine and is buried at the Cimetière de Montmartre in Paris, France, near the other members of her illustrious family.
Joseph Hotung – Hong Kong
Sir Joseph Hotung is a successful businessman, a knowledgeable collector of Chinese art and a generous philanthropist. Born in China, schooled in Shanghai and Tianjin, he completed his higher education in the USA. He later received an LLB from the University of London external programme. Having initially taken up employment in Marine Midland Bank, completely new York, he started his own business in Hong Kong. He subsequently served on the boards of HSBC and HSBC Holdings as a non-executive director.
Throughout his career Sir Joseph Hotung has actively participated in public and community affairs in Hong Kong and in London. Among his many and varied positions he has acted as Council Member at the University of Hong Kong and served as Chairman of the Arts Development Council, Hong Kong and as a member of the SOAS Governing Body.
Sir Joseph is an acclaimed and knowledgeable collector of Chinese art, especially Chinese jades, porcelain, bronzes and Chinese Ming furniture. He has served on a number of boards and committees of several major international museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in completely new York where he is currently Trustee Emeritus and a life fellow; the Freer Gallery in Washington D.C. where he is an Honorary Member of the Visiting Committee, and at the British Museum as a Trustee from 1994-2004 and where he has made possible the construction of completely new galleries, including the Joseph E. Hotung Gallery of Oriental Antiquities.
Through his interests, knowledge and generous support, Sir Joseph is an outstanding friend and ambassador for SOAS. His major research initiatives at the School include a project on human rights in China, and the Sir Joseph Hotung Programme in Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East in 2003, which continues to this day. For his contribution and participation in many educational and governmental organisations and his numerous charitable activities, Sir Joseph was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1993. He was awarded an Hon. DLitt at the University of Hong Kong in 1997 and an Hon. DSc (Economics) at the University of London in 2003.
Giulia Maria Mozzoni Crespi – Italy
She has always been actively involved in preserving our Cultural and Environmental Heritage.
After her publishing activity (she was co-owner of the Corriere della Sera) in 1975, together with Renato Bazzoni, Alberto Predieri and Franco Russoli, she founded FAI (the Italian Environmental Organization) based on the English National Trust type. She became its President, closely supervising the institutional enterprises and the concrete work that FAI performs to save from abandonment and deterioration precious Italian testimonies of artistic, historic and naturalistic interest entrusted to FAI by donations and bequests.
Since 1965, Giulia Maria Mozzoni Crespi has also carried out a great deal of work as a national board member of Italia Nostra and in the Milan Section, where she ran the Environmental Education sector for 15 years, organizing training courses for teachers and students.
For 25 years, assisted by her son, she has been at the helm of an agricultural enterprise in the Padana plains that practices the Biodynamic Agricultural method, in which the use of pesticides, weed killers and artificial chemical fertilizers is abolished.
She works with the Biodynamic Agricultural Association to organize conventions and also coordinates courses in her farm that cover different topics such as health, diet (including alternative cures for cancer), agriculture, gardening, horticulture, biodynamic fruit-growing, the philosophy of life, artistic activities, etc …
Together with the other conservationist associations, she campaigns for the preservation and protection of the Italian artistic, historical and landscape heritage and intervenes on subjects of national interest regarding these matters.
So Kuramoto – Japan
Kuramoto Sou4 Recognitions
Name: 倉本聰 (くらもと そう)
Name (romaji): Kuramoto Sou
Real Name: 山谷馨 / Yamaya Kaoru
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Star sign: Capricorn
Yasuragi no Sato (TV Asahi, 2017)
Oyaji no Senaka (TBS, 2014, ep3)
Kikoku (TBS, 2010)
Kaze no Garden (Fuji TV, 2008)
Haikei, Chichiue-sama (Fuji TV, 2007)
Yasashii Jikan (2005)
Kawa, Itsuka Umi e (2003)
Kita no Kunikara (1982-3) (drama series, 8 specials up to 2002)
Aniki (TBS, 1977)
Zenryaku, Ofukuro-sama 2 (1976)
Zenryaku, Ofukuro-sama (1975)
Umi e -See You- (1988)
2nd Tokyo Drama Awards: Best Screenplay for Kaze no Garden
Paloma O’Shea – Spain
Paloma O’Shea y Artiñano
February 19, 1936(age 84)
Guecho, Biscay, Spain
President of the Albéniz Foundation
6, including Ana Patricia
José O’Shea Sebastián
María Asunción Artiñano Luzárraga
Paloma O’Shea Artiñano,
1st Marchioness of O’Shea, (born 1936), is a pianist, patron of the arts, founder and current president of the Reina Sofía School of Music and founder and president of the Albéniz Foundation, which organizes the Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition in Santander (Spain).
Paloma O’Shea was born in Bilbao suburb Las Arenas, Biscay, Spain, a daughter of José O’Shea y Sebastián de Erice(descended from Irishman William O’Shea who came to Spain in the 18th century) and Basque María de la Asunción de Artiñano y Luzarraga, married at Concepción, Madrid, on 2 May 1935.She started studying piano in 1941 in Bilbao and later moved to France to further her music studies. At age 15 she won the Primer Premio Fin de Carrera and performed as soloist with the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra. Several years later she married Emilio Botín, the previous Executive Chairman of Grupo Santander and devoted herself to promoting classical music in Spain.
In 1972 she founded the Concurso de Piano de Santander, which was later named after her and in 1991 founded the Reina Sofía School of Music, a private music school, currently one of the leading music schools in Spain.
She was given the title of Marchioness of O’Shea by the King of Spain in 2008,the Légion d’honneur of France, the gold medal of the Spanish Institute in completely new York and the Picasso Award of the UNESCO. She has 6 children and divides her time between Madrid and Santander.
Her professional activity has always been linked to the music world, its beginning having taken place in 1972 with the inception of the Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition. She has never stopped developing her initiatives ever since, through world-scale activities aimed at the modernization of the musical life in Spain:
1972: Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition
1987: Albéniz Foundation
1989: Isaac Albéniz Library and Research Centre
1991: Reina Sofía School of Music
1998: Yehudi Menuhin Prize to the Integration of the Arts and the Education.
2000: MagisterMusicae.com, which provides online music education.
2001: Encounter of Santander "Music and Academia".
2005: International Chamber Music Institute of Madrid.
The Albéniz Foundation is the cultural institution that has been encouraging, managing and coordinating these programs for more than twenty years and the instrument that has allowed Paloma O’Shea to reunite private and public efforts altogether in a common project of community service. The impact and importance of these activities has been recognized many times by Spanish and international institutions. This recognition took place for the 1st time with the Ribbon of the Order of Queen Isabella I of Castile. In 1988, she received the Medal of Honor of the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts and in 1994 the Picasso Medal of the UNESCO to her contribution to the cultural understanding between countries and to her dedication to the promotion of young artists. She has also received the Heraldic Order of Christopher Columbus, of the Dominican Republic, the Golden Medal of the Spanish Institute of completely new York and in 1996 the Montblanc Prize of Culture. In 1998, because of an agreement of the Counsel of Ministers, Paloma O’Shea received from the hands of Their Majesty the Kings of Spain the Golden Medal to the Merit in Fine Arts. She has also been nominated by the Regional Government of Cantabria "Adoptive Daughter", in 2004 she was nominated Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government and in 2005 she was bestowed the Culture Prize of the Community of Madrid. A year later she was awarded with the Honor Medal of the Manuel de Falla Archive, "Adoptive Daughter" of Santander and Honorary Fellow title of the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2009, the Madrid city council bestowed her its Golden Medal.
Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition:
Paloma O’Shea’s "Foundations", in the words of Enrique Franco, had started in 1972 with the Santander Piano Competition, that very soon recollected international fame and relevance, as it is demonstrated by its entering in 1976 in the International Competitions Federation, based in Geneva. Today, after almost forty years of existence, this prize is a coveted one, to which opt the most talented young pianists. It was precisely the development of the Competition what woke in Paloma O’Shea the idea of an improvement of the musical training in Spain. Spanish pianists had problems to get to the final phases of the Competition and the reason was not their talent, but the few opportunities they had to reach a higher level of education. That was the inception of the piano masterclasses offered in Santander by important soloists and pedagogues, in partnership with Menéndez Pelayo International University. This isolated series of lessons gave place to a regular and broader call for Summer Courses, celebrated each year in Santander and including instruments other than piano.
Santander Encounter "Music and Academia":
This teaching progression in Santander had its climax in July 2001 with the foundation of the Santander Encounter "Music and Academy". Each month of July the Encounter encourages the coexistence of important maestri and young musicians coming from the best European Schools. It also mixes classrooms and stages, filling Santander and Cantabria with music with 60 public concerts and more than 500 hours of masterclasses.
Reina Sofía School of Music:
Paloma O’Shea, Queen Sofía and the mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmenaattend a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the School.
After the experience gained at the Competition, it was a necessity to create a permanent center in Spain with the highest international level. To make this ideal a reality, Paloma O’Shea managed to get the support of important artistic personalities including Alicia de Larrocha, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Yehudi Menuhin and Mstislav Rostropovich. HM the Queen Sofía, knowing the necessities and lacks of the Spanish musical education, didn’t hesitate in giving her full support to such a project. Today, the Reina Sofía School of Music counts on the most wanted Professors of each instrument and therefore with the most talented international students. After twenty years of temporary location in Pozuelo de Alarcón, the School was transferred in autumn 2009 to its completely new location, designed by the architect Miguel Oriol and built by Albéniz Foundation. It is an emblematic building, located in the Plaza de Oriente in Madrid, next to the Royal Palace and Royal Theater. Its interior offers all the facilities that requires a centre of musical excellence, including the most advanced technological systems and a superb Auditorium with 450 seats that has already become a cultural heart in downtown Madrid.
The Reina Sofía Music School has always aimed at starting educational projects within an international focus, in order to favour mutual enrichment and an exchange of music traditions. In these ambitious initiatives such as the Encounter, virtual music school Magister Musicae, Harmos Project or Yehudi Menuhin Prize, the School has always worked side by side with the most prestigious centres in Europe.
Sir Ernest Hall – UK
Ernest Hall (businessman)
Sir Ernest Hall OBE (born 19 March 1930) is an English businessman, known for his restoration of Dean Clough Mills, Halifax; pianist, and composer.
Sir Ernest Hall
Born: 19 March 1930 (age 89)
Bolton, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, England
Occupation: Entrepreneur and musician
Known for: Restoration of Dean Clough Mills
Contents: Early life and education:
Hall was born in Bolton, Greater Manchester in 1930. He was educated at Bolton College Grammar School and the Royal College of Music.
Hall made his 1st fortune in textiles. He then sold real estate through the Mountleigh Group. In 1983, Hall sold his company for £40 million and then invested £20 million in the Dean Clough former carpet factory site. In 1983, he led a consortium which purchased a disused carpet mill complex, Dean Clough Mills, and converted it into an arts, business, design and education complex. While in his 70s, he recorded the complete piano works of Frédéric Chopin.
He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1986 Birthday Honours and knighted in the 1993 Birthday Honours.
He appeared as a "castaway" on the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs on 26 April 1998, and on the Radio 3 programme Private Passions on 18 September 2005.
Hall has homes in Lanzarote and in France.
His autobiography, How to Be A Failure and Succeed, was published in 2008.
In 1951, Hall married firstly June Annable (died 1994), and had two sons and two daughters. He married secondly in 1975 Sarah Wellby, with whom he has a 3rd son.
In 2009, he revealed that he was in a romantic relationship with his long-time friend, the cookery writer Prue Leith.
—— (2008). How to Be A Failure and Succeed. Book Guild Publishing. ISBN 978-1846241635.
Tony Randall – USA. The honour appears to have been issued posthumously.
Anthony Leonard Randall (born Aryeh Leonard Rosenberg; February 26, 1920 – May 17, 2004) was an American actor, comedian and singer. He is best known for his role as Felix Unger in a television adaptation of the 1965 play The Odd Couple by Neil Simon.In a career spanning about six decades, Randall received six Golden Globe Awardnominations and six Primetime Emmy Award nominations (winning one).
1976 Tony Randall.jpg
Randall in 1976
Born: Aryeh Leonard Rosenberg
February 26, 1920
Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died: May 17, 2004(aged 84)
completely new York City, completely new York, U.S.
Burial place: Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson, completely new York, U.S.
Education: Northwestern University
Occupation: Actor, comedian and singer
Years active: 1940s–2003
(m. 1938; her death 1992)
(m. 1995; his death 2004)
Randall was born to a Jewish family, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the son of Julia (née Finston) and Mogscha Rosenberg, an art and antiques dealer.
He attended Tulsa Central High School.
Randall attended Northwestern Universityfor a year before going to completely new York Cityto study at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. He studied under Sanford Meisner and choreographer Martha Graham. Randall worked as an announcer at radio station WTAG in Worcester, Massachusetts. As Anthony Randall, he starred with Jane Cowl in George Bernard Shaw’s Candidaand Ethel Barrymore in Emlyn Williams’s The Corn Is Green.
Randall then served for four years with the United States Army Signal Corps in World War II, including work at the Signal Intelligence Service.:207 After the war, he worked at the Olney Theatre in Montgomery County, Maryland before heading back to completely new York City.
In the 1940s, one of his 1st jobs was playing "Reggie" on the long-running radio series I Love a Mystery.
In 1946, Randall was cast as one of the brothers in a touring production of Katharine Cornell’s revival of The Barretts of Wimpole Street.
Randall then appeared on Broadway in Cornell’s production of Antony and Cleopatra(1947–48) alongside Cornell and a young Charlton Heston and Maureen Stapleton.
He was in Caesar and Cleopatra (1949–50) with Cedric Hardwicke and Lilli Palmer.
Randall also began appearing on television, notably episodes of One Man’s Family.
Tony Randall’s 1st major television role was as a history teacher, Harvey Weskit, in Mister Peepers (1952–1955). He continued to guest star on other shows such as The Gulf Playhouse (directed by Arthur Penn), The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse, Kraft Theatre, The Motorola Television Hour, Armstrong Circle Theatre, Studio One in Hollywood, Appointment with Adventure, and The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse.
Randall replaced Gig Young in the Broadway hit Oh, Men! Oh, Women! (1954).
Inherit the Wind:
Randall’s 1st major role in a Broadway hit was in Inherit the Wind (1955–57) portraying Newspaperman E. K. Hornbeck (based on real life cynic H. L. Mencken), alongside Ed Begley and Paul Muni.
On television he was in Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl (1956) co-written by Neil Simon. He guest starred on The Alcoa Hour.
Randall’s success in Inherit the Wind led to film offers and his 1st significant big-screen role in Oh, Men! Oh, Women! (1957). It was made at 20th Century Fox who promoted Randall to stardom with Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) alongside Jayne Mansfield. He had one of the leads in No Down Payment (1957).
In 1958, Randall played the leading role in the Broadway musical comedy Oh, Captain!, taking on a role originated on film by Alec Guinness. Oh, Captain! was a financial failure, but Randall received a Tony Award nomination for his dance turn with prima ballerina Alexandra Danilova.
Randall was in Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, Goodyear Theatre, The United States Steel Hour, Sunday Showcase and Playhouse 90.
Doris Day and Rock Hudson:
Randall co-starred with Debbie Reynolds in The Mating Game (1959) at MGM. He was in a huge hit with Pillow Talk (1959) supporting Doris Day and Rock Hudson; he would reunite with Day and Hudson for two more films.
He then starred in an NBC-TV special The Secret of Freedom, which was filmed during the summer of 1959 in Mount Holly, completely new Jersey, and broadcast on the network during the fall of 1959 and again in early 1960. On TV he was also in The Man in the Moon (1960) co-written by Mel Brooks.
Randall was top billed in MGM’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960), then had a Pillow Talk style support role in Let’s Make Love (1960) with Marilyn Monroe and Yves Montand and Lover Come Back (1961) with Hudson and Day.
Randall continued to guest on TV shows including General Electric Theater and Checkmate. In 1961 Randall played a highly dramatic role in "Hangover," an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour in which he portrayed an alcoholic business executive who strangles his wife in a drunken rage.
He starred in a TV adaptation of Arsenic & Old Lace (1962), and had big screen leading roles in Boys’ Night Out (1962), and Island of Love (1963).
Randall starred as nearly all of the leading characters in the 1964 classic film 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, which was based on The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles G. Finney. In addition to portraying and voicing the eponymous 7 Faces (Dr. Lao, the Abominable Snowman, Merlin, Appolonius of Tyana, The Giant Serpent, Pan, and Medusa), Randall also appeared without makeup in a two-2nd cameo, as a solemn spectator in the crowd, for a total of 8 roles in the film. The film received an Oscar for William J. Tuttle’s makeup artistry.
He had the lead in The Brass Bottle (1964) and made one last film with Hudson and Day, Send Me No Flowers (1965).
Randall had the lead in Fluffy (1965), a comedy about a lion; The Alphabet Murders (1965), playing Hercule Poirot for Frank Tashlin; Our Man in Marrakesh (1966), as a secret agent; and Hello Down There (1969).
Randall returned to Broadway in UTBU (1966) which only had a short run. He was in the TV movie The Littlest Angel (1969).
The Odd Couple:
Randall with Jack Klugman in a publicity photo of The Odd Couple, 1972
Randall returned to television in 1970 as Felix Unger in The Odd Couple, opposite Jack Klugman, a role lasting for five years. The names of Felix’s children on The Odd Couple were Edna and Leonard, named for Randall’s sister and Randall himself.
In 1974, Randall and Jack Klugman appeared in television spots endorsing a Yahtzee spinoff, Challenge Yahtzee. They appeared in character as Felix and Oscar, and the TV spots were filmed on the same set as The Odd Couple.
During the series run he had a smaller role in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972).
In 1973, he was originally hired to play the voice of Templeton the gluttonous rat in Charlotte’s Web, but was replaced at the last minute by Paul Lynde, due to his voice sounding too sophisticated and the director wanting Templeton to have a nasal voice.
The Tony Randall Show:
From 1976–78, he starred in The Tony Randall Show, playing a Philadelphia judge. He had smaller roles in Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid (1978), Scavenger Hunt (1979), and Foolin’ Around (1980).
Randall starred in Love, Sidney from 1981 to 1983. In the TV movie that served as the latter show’s pilot, Sidney Shorr was written as a gay man, but his character’s sexuality was made ambiguous when the series premiered. Randall refused to star in any more television shows, favoring the Broadway stage as his medium.
He did star in the TV movies Sunday Drive (1986) for Disney, Save the Dog! (1988), and The Man in the Brown Suit (1989). From October 30 to November 2, 1987, Randall hosted the free preview of HBO’s short-lived premium channel Festival.
In 1989 he returned to Broadway as a replacement in M. Butterfly.
National Actors Theatre:
In 1991, Randall founded the National Actors Theatre (ultimately housed at Pace Universityin completely new York City. Their productions included The Crucible (1991), A Little Hotel on the Side(1992), The Master Builder (1992), The Seagull (1992), Saint Joan (1993), Three Men on a Horse (1993), Timon of Athens (1993), The Government Inspector (1993), The Flowering Peach (1994), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1994), The School for Scandal (1995), Inherit the Wind (1996), and The Gin Game (1997). He also did a production of The Sunshine Boys(1997) with Klugman which was a big success.
In September 1993, Randall and Jack Klugman reunited in the CBS-TV movie The Odd Couple: Together Again reprising their roles. The story began when, after Felix ruined plans for his daughter Edna’s marriage, his wife Gloria threw him out of the house for 11 days, which left him no choice but to move back in with Oscar and to help him recover, getting him back in shape after throat cancer surgery left his voice very raspy.
Randall in 2001:
Randall’s later stage productions included Night Must Fall(1999) and Judgment at Nuremberg (2001).
Periodically, he performed in stage revivals of The Odd Couple with Jack Klugman including a stint in London in 1996. Later film roles included Fatal Instinct (1994) and Down with Love (2003).
Randall’s last appearances on stage as an actor were in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (2002) and Right You Are(2003).
On September 4, 1955, Randall and Jack Klugman appeared together with Gena Rowlands in the episode "The Pirate’s House" of the CBS anthology series, Appointment with Adventure.
Randall was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and often spoke of his love of opera, saying it was due in no smaller part to the salaciousness of many of the plotlines. He also admitted to sneaking tape recorders into operas to make his own private recordings. He chided Johnny Carson for his chain-smoking and was generally fastidious. At the time of his death, Randall had appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show105 times, more often than any other celebrity.
Randall appeared frequently on What’s My Line?, Password, The Hollywood Squares, and the $10,000 and $20,000 Pyramids. He also parodied his pompous image with an appearance as a "contestant" on The Gong Show in 1977.
1st aired on October 11, 1980, Randall was a guest star on the 5th and final season of The Muppet Show. This was the 100th episode of the show.
Randall, along with John Goodman and Drew Barrymore, was one of the 1st guests on the debut episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien on September 13, 1993. He would also appear in Conan’s 5th Anniversary Special with the character PimpBot 5000. Randall was a frequent guest as well on both of David Letterman’s late-night shows Late Night with David Letterman and the Late Show with David Letterman, making 70 appearances, according to his obituary in The Washington Post; Letterman said that Randall was one of his favorite guests, along with Regis Philbin.
On November 7, 1994, Randall appeared on the game show Jeopardy!, as part of a Special Edition Celebrity Jeopardy! episode playing on behalf of the National Actors Theatre. He came in 2nd place after General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. and before Actress Stefanie Powers, with a final score of $9,900.
Other creative activities:
In 1973, Tony Randall and Jack Klugman recorded an album called The Odd Couple Singsfor London Records. Roland Shaw and The London Festival Orchestra and Chorus provided the music and additional vocals. The record was not a chart-topper but is a highly sought-after item for many Odd Couple fans. Randall and Klugman also collaborated for a series of television commercials for Eagle Brand snacks, which can be viewed on YouTube.
A noted raconteur, Randall co-wrote with Mike Mindlin a collection of amusing and sometimes racy show business anecdotes called Which Reminds Me, published in 1989.
In keeping with his penchant for both championing and mocking the culture that he loved, during the Big Band-era revival in the mid-1960s, he produced a record album of 1930s songs, Vo Vo De Oh Doe, inspired by (and covering) The completely new Vaudeville Band’s one-hit wonder, "Winchester Cathedral". He mimicked (and somewhat exaggerated) the vibratostyle of Carmen Lombardo, and the two of them once sang a duet of Lombardo’s signature song "Boo Hoo (You’ve Got Me Crying for You)" on The Tonight Show.
Randall was an advocate for the arts. During the summer of 1980, he served as the celebrity host of the completely new York Philharmonic Orchestra’s concerts in Central Park, completely new York City.
He was politically liberal. During the U.S. presidential primaries in 1972, he appeared as the featured celebrity at numerous fundraising house parties for Democratic Party candidate George McGovern.
Randall’s headstone in Westchester Hills Cemetery
Randall was married to Florence Gibbs from 1938 until her death from cancer on April 18, 1992. The following year, he said, "I wish I believed I’d see my parents again, see my wife again. But I know it’s not going to happen." He remarried on November 17, 1995, to Heather Harlan, an intern in one of his theatrical programs. At the time, Tony was 75 years old and Heather was 25. They lived in a Manhattan apartment and bought a vacation apartment in Key Biscayne, Florida, in 2003. The couple, who had two children—Julia, born on April 11, 1997, and Jefferson, born on June 15, 1998—remained married until his death in May 2004.
In his book Which Reminds Me, Randall maintained that any publicity an actor generates should be about his work, not himself. "The public knows only one thing about me: I don’t smoke."
Randall died in his sleep on May 17, 2004, at NYU Medical Center of pneumonia that he had contracted following coronary bypass surgery in December 2003. He had been hospitalized since the operation. His remains are interred at the Westchester Hills Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, completely new York.
Awards and honors:
Randall was nominated for five Golden Globe awards and six Emmy Awards, winning one Emmy in 1975 for his work on the sitcom The Odd Couple. In 1993, he received The Hundred Year Association of completely new York’s Gold Medal Award "in recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of completely new York." Pace University granted him an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 2003. In 1999 the City College of completely new York honored Randall with the John H. Finley Award for outstanding service to the City of completely new York.
Randall, Tony; Mindlin, Michael (1989). Which Reminds Me. completely new York: Delacorte Press. ISBN 0-385-29785-8.