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Finding aid for the Donald Randolph papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID

  • Title: Donald Randolph papers
    Collection number: 2125
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.75 linear ft.
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1935-1957
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1979
    Abstract: Donald Randolph was a stage, film, television, and radio actor. The collection includes two scrapbooks of programs and clippings documenting a number of projects in which Randolph was involved, photographs, and a small amount of ephemera, correspondence, and writings by Randolph.
    Language of Materials: English
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Creator: Randolph, Donald

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Donald Randolph papers (Collection 2125). Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Stanley Waxman, August 1993.


    Donald Randolph was born in 1906 in Cape Town, South Africa. At the end of his second year of college, he began working for a mattress firm in Chicago, and in his spare time he joined a small theatrical group called the Dill Pickle Club. After moving to Los Angeles, Randolph began acting in 1926, landing a part in the west coast production of “Desire Under the Elms.” His next connection was with the San Bernardino Broadway Players, appearing in a large number of plays throughout California. In 1928 he became the leading man for the Fulton Stock Company in Oakland, California, where he appeared in thirty plays in one season.
    Randolph moved to the east coast to pursue his growing career. He first joined the Jessie Bonstelle Stock Company in Detroit; he then made his Broadway debut in 1932 in "Fatal Alibi," in which he played the family butler. He subsequently appeared in more than 35 Broadway shows in featured and starring roles.
    In 1937 Randolph joined Maurice Evans' Shakespearian Company and for three seasons played Bolingbroke in "Richard III," Horatio in "Hamlet" and the Earl of Worcester in "Henry IV." For his performance as Bolingbroke, he earned him a New York critics honor as the best supporting actor on Broadway between 1937 and 1940.
    Other productions followed, most notably “Angel Street” and in 1941 Randolph appeared with Gertrude Lawrence in the acclaimed "Lady in the Dark."
    During World War II, Randolph entertained the troops in the Mediterranean under the USO. For eight months he directed and performed in “Blithe Spirit,” which also starred Annabella, and for this contribution he received a Civilian Service Emblem.
    In 1946, Randolph returned to the Broadway stage in the starring role of "Life With Father," one of the longest-running Broadway hits in the history of the American theater. After one year, he left Broadway and went to Hollywood where he pursued a film career, appearing in numerous motion pictures, including "Mask for Lucretia, ""Bride of Vengeance," "The Silver Chalice," "The Khyber Patrol," "The Rawhide Years" and "Gunsmoke." In between films, he also appeared in television soap operas and sit-coms, as well as occasional stage appearances in Southern California.
    Randolph served for many years on the board of the Screen Actors Guild and in 1985 he received a Resolution of Commendation for having served more than 20 years on the board of trustees of the SAG-Producers pension and health plans.
    Donald Randolph died on March 16, 1993 in Los Angeles, California. Biographical information provided by donor Stanley Waxman, in 1993.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of two scrapbooks, photographs, and a small amount of material from professional affiliations related to the career of actor Donald Randolph. The two scrapbooks represent Randolph’s career from the 1930s-1950s and consists of clippings, programs, and ephemera. The photographs are mostly stills from theatre and film productions. There are 3 typescript writings that appear to be dramatizations, one written by Randolph; and a small number of items representing Randolph’s professional affiliations including

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection is arranged into the following series:
    • 1. Photographs
    • 2. Scrapbooks and Ephemera
    • 3. Scripts
    • 4. Professional Affiliations.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7163093 

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Randolph, Donald -- Archives
    Actors--United States--Archives.