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Tony Randall, father of two

May 18, 2004 @ 9:54am

Last night I posted an entry about Norwegian Independence Day and referenced the opening lines from the Odd Couple tv show. I had the theme song running through my head the rest of the night. I even tried singing it out loud - or at least making the horn noises - to make it go away.

When I woke up the song was gone and so was Tony Randall. He died in his sleep last night.

Today, the Odd Couple theme song and portions of that famous intro were played on teasers for news shows, news shows, the radio and even on ESPN's Sports Center. ESPN did a "Top Ten Sports Odd Couples" to pay tribute to Tony Randall. It included odd couples from Larry Brown and Allan Iverson to Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman. It was a stretch to call it a "tribute" and many of the couples were not really people you would think of as odd couples. Shaq and Kobe? Why not Muggsy Bogues and Manute Bol?

So that song is back in my head tonight and I've been thinking about Tony Randall's kids. Randall was married to his college sweetheart, Florence Randall, for 54 years until she died of cancer in 1992. Three years later he married a National Actors Theatre intern who was 50 years younger than him.

When I heard that Tony Randall had his first child with her at the age of 77, my first thought was that he wasn't going to be around for much of this kid's life. No high school graduation. No college graduation. No weddings. Today his two children are seven and five.

I had the same thought in 2000, when Scotty from Star Trek (James Doohan) had his third child. He was 80.

Today I saw pictures of Randall at a baseball game with his son. It made me sad. When I was five, my grandparents were in their fifties. Both of my grandmothers are now in their mid-seventies and have been great-grandmothers for years.

Will all of these kids remember their fathers better from TV Land and the Sci Fi Channel than they do from real life?

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