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Ron Randell


Film, Broadway and TV actor Ron Randell died June 11 of complications from a stroke Los Angeles. He was 86.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Randell began a career in Australian radio at the age of 17 and moved into Australian theater with appearances in “There’s A Girl In My Soup,” “Of Mice & Men” and “The Voice of the Turtle.”

In 1946, he starred in the motion picture “Smithy,” the story of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith’s historic Australia/Los Angeles flight. Retitled “Pacific Adventures” in the U.S., it caught the eye of Columbia Pictures czar Harry Cohn, who signed Randall to a film contract and brought him to Hollywood.

His U.S. film debut was “It Had to Be You” in 1947 and he went on to appear in more than 30 films, including “The Sign of the Ram,” “The Loves of Carmen,” “Lorna Doone,” “Mississippi Gambler,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “I Am A Camera,” “The Story of Esther Costello,” “King of Kings,” “The Longest Day” and “Exposed.”

He continued acting on Broadway as well, beginning in 1949 with “The Browning Version,” “Harlinquinade,” “Candida” and “Mrs. Warren’s Profession,” then was cast by Joshua Logan to star in “The World of Susie Wong.”

His last Broadway productions were “Sherlock Holmes” and “Bent.”

Randell also worked in British theater and television, as host of interview show “On the Town” and BBC’s “What’s My Line” and appearing in TV series “The Vice” and “OSS.”

On American TV, he was a frequent gueststar in such series as “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza,” “Mission Impossible,” “Bewitched,” “Wild Wild West,” “The Rebels” and in daytime series “As the World Turns,” “One Life to Live,” “General Hospital” and “Search for Tomorrow.”

Randell is survived by his wife of 48 years, actress Laya Raki.

Donations may be made to The Actors’ Fund of America, 729 Seventh Avenue, N.Y. 10019.

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