Tony Randall passed away from complications from pneumonia in May 2004 following bypass surgery. The 83 year-old actor left behind a 33 year-old widow and two children aged six and seven. His widow has been active supporting the theater with the money that Randall left her, and she hasn’t spoken much about their relationship since his death. Heather Randall is now being more open about what went on behind closed doors with her elderly husband. She told Marie Claire in an interview that they had a regular sex life and that she wasn’t with him because she has daddy issues. Randall’s widow said he was a devoted husband and father and suggests that she chose him because he treated her so well. Heather was just 20 when she was working as an understudy in the play The School for Scandal, in which Randall starred. She married him three years later and they had two children together and a very happy marriage:
Everyone had an opinion. “Did his friends think I was a gold digger at first? Well, I remember one or two women telling him he was an old fool . . . and I’m sure people said and continue to say things behind my back,” Heather laughs. “But I don’t hear most of it.” As for his real friends — Garry Marshall, Jack Klugman, Eli Wallach — “I don’t think anything like that ever occurred to them.” Heather is still very close to these Hollywood legends. “If they thought I was a jerk, I would think they would have dropped me like a hot potato.” Once, she read a blog that said something like, “[Heather Randall] inherited his fortune when he died — which was her aim.” “That kinda stung,” she adds. As for her friends, one initially tried to convince her that she was making a mistake, but a few years later, “she thought I made a great choice…”
And, of course, there was the question everyone wanted to ask but didn’t.
“This is all too funny,” Heather says, when I finally work up the courage to ask it. “I always imagine what it would be like to go on Howard Stern, because I know the first thing he would ask is, ‘What is it like to give an 80-year-old a blow job?’ I know this is hard for people to grasp, but sex was not a problem. We had frequent sex until he went into the hospital. It was just a normal part of our married life, and it was happy, and we took care of each other that way until the end.”
[From Marie Claire via The Huffington Post]
I like how she says “we took care of each other that way,” as if sex was a comforting thing. It sounds kind of sweet. Heather told a funny story about how Tony Randall was such an old fogey that he didn’t know who Billy Joel was when he approached him on the street.
Not to say their age difference didn’t cause problems. Heather, who is very athletic, was not going to be mountain climbing with him, after all. Randall was an opera aficionado; Heather loved pop. “He was mortally offended by stupidity and, of course, most of our pop culture is that. He would have hated Britney Spears now with all his heart,” she says. “He hated rock and was completely clueless. One day he came home and said, ‘Do you know somebody named Billy Joel? He approached me on the street and said he was a big fan. He acted like I should know him.’ And I’m like, ‘You idiot!’”
As for all the people who criticize her for having a husband old enough to be her grandfather, Heather says that she has a couple of things to tell them:
“The first thing I’d say is, ‘You weren’t there!’ The second thing is, to all the women who have been used, abused, dicked over, dumped, cheated on, and stolen from: ‘Who wouldn’t want a successful, smart, wonderful man who worshiped the ground you walked on?’”
She had two children with Randall and it really sounds like she loved and cherished him. It seems weird to us, but to each his own I guess. She was 20 when she met him, and the Marie Claire article says that they didn’t get together until two years later, after Randall’s first wife passed away from cancer. It’s all a bit odd, and you wonder what was going through each of their heads. 22 is very young still and you really don’t have many life experiences at that point. Heather’s philosophy is that you should take love where and when it’s possible because it’s all fleeting anyway. Tony really wanted children and he also got that chance very late in life.
Tony and Heather Randall and their two children are shown below at the Ice Age premiere at Radio City Music Hall on 4/14/02, Their kids look grumpy! Thanks to PRPhotos.