Special Sub-Topic: Famous Randalls in Fact and Fiction
|In English-speaking countries, Randall is a fairly common name, both as a surname and as a given name. Its origins lie in what language?|
Anglo-Saxon. The name Randall is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words "rand," meaning shield, and "wulf," meaning wolf. So a literal translation would be "Shield-wolf."
Variations of the name include Randolph, Rankin, Rawlings, and many others. Randall is the 603rd most popular boy's name in the United States, the 417th most popular in Canada, and the 372nd most popular in Australia. It is also common as a surname; according to the 2000 census, Randall is the 527th most common surname in the United States. In 1998, it was the 426th most common surname in Great Britain.
|No Randall has yet become U.S. President, but several have held important goverment posts. This famous Randall was a Congressman from Pennsylvania. He became Speaker of the House at the young age of 48, and held that position from 1876 to 1881. He played a key role in the disputed presidential election of 1876, and died in office in 1890. Who was he?
Samuel J. Randall. Samuel Jackson Randall was born October 10, 1828 in Philadelphia. Described by one of his contemporaries as "the handsomest man of his generation," Randall was a hard-nosed, practical politician who honed his skills in city and state government before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1863. He rapidly rose to a position of leadership in the Democratic Party. He was elected Speaker of the House in 1876, even though he was often at odds with the party rank-and-file over many issues. He used his postion as Speaker and his intimate knowledge of House rules to prevent a filibuster that would have denied Republican Rutherford B. Hayes the Presidency in 1876. In return, Randall is said to have gotten the Republicans to agree to end Reconstruction in the South, and to support a protective tarrif for American industries. He was considered a leading candidate for the Presidency in 1880 and 1884, although in both cases he failed to secure the Democratic nomination. He lost much of his prestige due to a disagreement with President Cleveland over a tariff issue in 1888, and died of stomach cancer on April 13, 1890. He is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.
|This Randall had a long and successful career as an actor on stage, screen and television, but is probably best remembered for his role as Felix Unger on TV's "The Odd Couple."|
Tony Randall. Alas, Tony wasn't a "real" Randall at all. He was born Arthur Leonard Rosenberg on February 26, 1920 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He starred in many Broadway plays and movies, but gained his greatest fame from his roles in TV series like "Mr. Peepers," "The Odd Couple," and "The Tony Randall Show." At the age of 75, following the death of his first wife, Randall married 25 year-old Heather Harlan. The couple had two children before he passed away from complications following bypass surgery on May 17, 2004.
|This Randall is a country singer. He was a member of Emmylou Harris' backup band, the Nash Ramblers, and was once married to Lorrie Morgan. He is also a successful songwriter, and co-wrote the Country Music Association's 2005 song of the year, "Whiskey Lullabye."|
Jon Randall. Another faux Randall. His birth name is Jon Randall Stewart. It was shortened to Jon Randall by his record company when he signed his first recording contract. He was born February 17, 1969 in Dallas, Texas.
|What name is shared by Richard Derr's character in the movie "When Worlds Collide," Elliott Gould's character in the short-lived TV sitcom "Together We Stand," and a real-life guitarist who has been a member of the British rock bands "Faithless" and Slovo?"|
Dave Randall. In the book "When World's Collide," the character's name was David Ransdell; I have no idea why it was changed for the movie. In the sitcom, Gould played "Dunkin' Dave Randall," a retired basketball player. In addition to playing the guitar, Dave Randall writes most of Slovo's songs.
|Do you like popcorn? Then you should know this Randall who was a famous scientist. Along with Harry Boot and James Sayers, he is credited with perfecting the cavity magnetron, the key component of microwave ovens. He later headed the Biophysics Research Unit at King's College London, where Crick and Watson discovered the structure of DNA. Who was this noted scientist?|
Sir John Randall. Sir John Randall was born March 23, 1905 into a working-class familiy in Lancashire. He was graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Physics in 1925. In 1940, working with Harry Boot and James Sayers, Randall developed the cavity magnetron, the essential component of radar - and microwave ovens! He later headed the Biophysical Reseach Unit at Kings College, London, where much experimental work leading to the discovery of the structure of DNA was conducted. He was knighted in 1962, and died June 16, 1984.
|Actor Steve McQueen starred in a TV western about a bounty hunter in the old West. What was his character's name?|
Josh Randall. "Wanted: Dead or Alive" aired from 1958 to 1961. It starred Steve McQueen as Josh Randall, a bounty hunter whose favorite weapon was a sawn-off Winchester carbine. It was this role that made McQueen a star and a household name.
|Our next Randall was a boxer, and one of the most famous men of his day. He ruled the ring in the 1810s and 1820s, and retired undefeated. His nickname was the "Nonpareil." He was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.|
Jack Randall. Jack Randall was born November 25, 1794 in the St. Giles area of London. Physically, he was a small man, only 5'6" tall and weighed 140 lbs. But he was a giant in the ring. He so dominated the British boxing scene in the early 19th century that he was universally known as "the Nonpareil," and was the first acknowledged champion to retire undefeated, despite the fact that he usually fought opponents who outweighed him by 20 pounds or more. In an era where many bouts were simple slugfests, Randall relied on ring science and superior defensive skills. Observers noted that after many fights in which his opponent was beaten into a bloody pulp, Randall was practically unmarked.
He is also given credit for inventing the one-two, or combination, punch. One of his most famous victories was over Abie Belasco, in 1817. In the only fight in his career which in which he was the underdog in the betting, Randall needed only eight rounds to dispose of the great Jewish champion, whom he throughly dominated. Randall was noted for his good sportsmanship in the ring; he did not use the questionable tactics some boxers of the day employed, would not hit a downed or crippled opponent, and treated his adversaries with great respect. He is mentioned in the works of many of the prominent English writers of his day, and was so popular with the public that he actually appeared on the stage, recreating some of his famous victories. He died in London on March 12, 1828. His long overdue induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame came in 2005.
|I was one of the first "singing cowboys." Although I'm little remembered now, my chiselled good looks made the girls swoon back in the 30s. I was perhaps more famous for my romantic off-screen exploits than my acting; my conquests included Louise Brooks, Carole Lombard and many others. I was married to Constance Bennett's sister. My brother Bob was another famous actor in Western films. I died when I fell off my horse while making my last picture.|
Jack Randall. A little tricky, I know. Another Jack Randall. Actually, his real name was Addison Owen Randall, and he was born in San Fernando, California on May 12, 1906. His older brother, Bob Livingston (real name Robert Edward Randall), was one of the original "Three Mesquiteers," in the famous Republic Pictures series.
Randall started his career with RKO, but in 1937 signed a contract with Monogram Pictures, which cast him as one of the first "singing cowboys." Randall starred in 22 Westerns for the company, but was let go in 1940. He appeared in a few supporting roles in 1940's, sometimes under the name "Allen Byron." A co-worker remembered that in Hollywood, Randall was regarded as a "prankster, a playboy, a hard drinker and a ladies' man."
On July 16, 1945, Randall was filming a serial for Universal Pictures called "The Royal Mounted Rides Again." During a chase scene, his hat blew off, and as he lunged to retrieve it, he fell off his horse and into a tree. He died from severe chest injuries as a result of the fall, and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, next to his brother, Bob Livingston.
|This character appeared as the villian in Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series. He is a cruel, sadistic, bisexual ne'er-do-well.
Black Jack Randall. The success of Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series escapes me. Her books concern the adventures of one Claire Randall (nee Beauchamp) who is somehow transported through time by walking through the stones of a megalith, and who winds up in 18th century Scotland. There she becomes involved with a Highlander named Jamie Fraser, and also meets Black Jack Randall, the supposed great-great-great-great grandfather of her 20th century husband, Frank. This Randall manages to torture and rape both Claire and Jamie, and do a number of other nasty things as well, before he meets his death at the Battle of Culloden. One of her books contains a chapter entitled "Damn All Randalls."
As it turns out, Black Jack isn't her husband's ancestor after all; Jack's somewhat nicer brother, Alexander, is his actual progenitor. The "Outlander" books are filled with sex, violence, torture, perversion, murder, etc., which appear to make them quite popular with female readers.
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