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Ron Randell, 86; Actor Who Appeared in 'It Had to Be You,' Dozens of Films

June 18, 2005|From Staff and Wire Reports

Ron Randell, 86, an Australian-born actor whose long career included movies, television, radio and Broadway, died June 11 of complications from a stroke at a care facility in Los Angeles, a spokesman for the family said.

Born in Sydney, Randell was 17 when he began a career in radio. He moved into theater and in 1946 played the lead in "Smithy," about real-life Australian aviation pioneer Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith.

That led to a Hollywood movie contract, and the following year Randell appeared in "It Had to Be You."

He went on to appear in dozens of films over the next 35 years, including "Follow the Boys," "The Longest Day," "King of Kings" and "The She-Creature." He played Cole Porter in "Kiss Me, Kate." Randell also had starring roles as fictional detectives Bulldog Drummond and Lone Wolf in several 1940s films and starred in the short-lived TV spy series "O.S.S." in 1957.

He made dozens of guest appearances on British and American TV shows, including "Bewitched," "Mission: Impossible," "Bonanza" and "Gunsmoke." On stage, he appeared on Broadway in such productions as "Bent" and "The World of Susie Wong."

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