He was born in New York City. In the 1930s he was active in politics, and in 1955 the House Un-American Activities Committee blacklisted him after he refused to answer questions related to the Cold War Communist scare.
He was in the original New York stage productions of The Sound of Music, Paint Your Wagon, and The Visit. One of his last movie roles was in 1998 as Tom Hanks's grandfather in You've Got Mail, but perhaps he is best known for playing the father of main character Charlie Partana in Prizzi's Honor.
He was often stopped on the street by people who asked if they knew him. He would reply Yes, I've been in your living room many times.
Randolph appeared in early episodes of the TV sit-com Seinfeld as Frank Costanza, George Costanza's father. He was later replaced by Jerry Stiller. In 1995, the scenes where Randolph appeared were re-shot with Stiller. The re-shot versions are shown in syndication in the United States. The original versions, with Randolph, can be seen outside of the US.
John Randolph Facts
|Emanuel Hirsch Cohen
|June 1, 1915
|New York, New York, USA
|Date of death
|February 24, 2004 (age 88)
|The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
|Friday the 13th
|Ride the High Country
|Dracula: Complete Legacy Collection
|Coming to America
|The Great White Hype