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Actor John Randolph dies at age 88

Tony-winner played Hanks' grandfather in 'You've Got Mail'
/ Source: The Associated Press

John Randolph, a prolific, Tony-winning character actor who played Roseanne’s father in “Roseanne” and Tom Hanks’ grandfather in “You’ve Got Mail,” has died. He was 88.

Randolph died Tuesday at his home in Hollywood, his family said.

Though his film career was hobbled in the 1950s because of the blacklist, he chalked up dozens of roles in later decades.

He played a police chief in 1973’s “Serpico,” appeared in the 1974 TV movie “The Missiles of October” and was Roseanne’s father in several episodes of “Roseanne.” His grandfather role in the 1998 “You’ve Got Mail” was one of his last.

In 1987, Randolph won a Tony Award for his role as a grandfather in Neil Simon’s play “Broadway Bound.”

He was in the original New York stage productions of “The Sound of Music,” “Paint Your Wagon” and “The Visit,” and appeared in local plays until four years ago.

He was often stopped on the street by people who asked if they knew him, said his daughter-in-law, Kate Randolph. “He’d say, 'Yes, I’ve been in your living room many times,”’ she said.

Born in New York City, Randolph described himself as an “old radical” and became politically active in the 1930s. He rallied for convicted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and later marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

He refused to answer questions when called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955 and was blacklisted from Hollywood for years, during which time he performed in plays in and around New York.

He is survived by two children, a granddaughter and a brother.