Sue Randall

Marion Burnside Randall (October 8, 1935 – October 26, 1984),[1] who acted under the name Sue Randall, was an American actress best known for her role as the kindly Miss Alice Landers, Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver's elementary school teacher in the CBS and ABC sitcom Leave It to Beaver.

Sue Randall
Edd Byrnes Kookie Sue Randall 77 Sunset Strip 1964.JPG
Randall with Edd Byrnes in 77 Sunset Strip
Born
Marion Burnside Randall

(1935-10-08)October 8, 1935
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedOctober 26, 1984(1984-10-26) (aged 49)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Years active1955–1967
Spouse(s)
  • Peter Blake Powell (1957–?) (divorced) (2 children)
  • James J. McSparron (?–1984) (her death)
Children2

Early life and educationEdit

Born in Philadelphia, Sue Randall was the daughter of Roland Rodrock Randall,[2] a prominent real-estate consultant, She began acting on stage at the age of 10 in a production of the Alden Park Players.[3] In 1953 she completed her early education at the Lankenau School for Girls in the Germantown District of Philadelphia and then moved to New York, where she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, graduating with honors.[3][4]

Film and television careerEdit

 
Sue Randall and Jim Hutton in "And When the Sky Was Opened", a 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone

Randall's credited TV debut came in the 1955 episode "Golden Victory" of the series Star Tonight.[citation needed] She was one of the actresses who had the role of Diane Emerson in the television version of Valiant Lady (1953-1957).[5] In 1954, she also portrayed Diane Emerson on the CBS drama Woman with a Past.[5]:1189

Randall appeared in other television productions before portraying Ruthie Saylor, a reference-desk worker, in the 1957 film Desk Set starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Randall's reoccurring role as a teacher on Leave It to Beaver spanned the years 1958 to 1962, when the actress was in her twenties. She appeared in 28 episodes of the popular sitcom after replacing Diane Brewster, who played Miss Canfield during the first season and in the 1980s television movies based on the series. Randall's first appearance as Miss Landers was in the Leave It to Beaver episode "Ward's Problem", which originally aired on October 16, 1958.[citation needed]

Primarily, Randall's roles on television were as a featured actor or supporting character, often in Westerns. For example, she was cast as Kathy O'Hara, an aspiring concert pianist, in the episode "The Mysterious Stranger" (February 17, 1959) on the ABC/Warner Brothers series Sugarfoot. She was cast in "Judgment Day" (October 11, 1959) on the ABC series The Rebel as Elaine, the daughter of a man sentenced to hang.[citation needed]

In the late 1950s, producers cast Randall as a co-star with actress Theodora Davitt in a proposed weekly sitcom titled Up on Cloud Nine.[6] A pilot for this comedy was completed, but no potential sponsors opted to buy or underwrite the series about "the daffy misadventures" of two airline stewardesses.[7] In the pilot episode's storyline, described by one later reviewer as "painfully unfunny", Randall and Davitt's characters insult passengers and frighten them while in flight by mistakenly preparing their plane for a crash landing.[8]

Randall appeared in other series, including CBS's The Twilight Zone, Have Gun – Will Travel, Gunsmoke, Bat Masterson, The Aquanauts, Pete and Gladys, and Hennesey, NBC's Bonanza and The Man and the Challenge, and ABC's The Real McCoys, The Dakotas, 77 Sunset Strip, The Fugitive, and The Rifleman. In addition, she made three guest appearances on Sea Hunt in 1961. That same year she also guest starred as Ellen in the episode "The Secret Life of James Thurber", based on the works of the American humorist James Thurber, in the CBS anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson. She made two guest appearances on Perry Mason, both times as the defendant: Betty Wilkins in the 1960 episode, "The Case of the Ill-Fated Faker," and Arnell Stiller, alias Amy Scott, in the 1964 episode, "The Case of the Garrulous Go-Between".[citation needed]

Randall appeared also in five episodes of the long-running, syndicated western anthology Death Valley Days.[citation needed] Her last performance in that series was in 1966, when she was cast as Carrie Huntington in the episode "The Courtship of Carrie Huntington"[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Randall was married to James J. McSparron.[2]

Later years and deathEdit

Randall retired from her television acting career at an early age. Her last credited television performance did, in fact, occur in 1967. She played the part of "Ruth" in an episode of Vacation Playhouse, a summer replacement series that showcased a variety of unsold pilots.[citation needed]

Randall returned to Philadelphia in 1969 and began working in administrative roles with professional organizations.[2] She participated in telethons and other charitable events to raise money to support programs and research battling arthritis, multiple sclerosis, blindness, and poor childhood education.[9]

A heavy smoker, Randall died of lung cancer on October 26, 1984, at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, aged 49.[3]

FilmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1957 Desk Set Ruthie Saylor

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Rubin, Steven (2017). Twilight Zone Encyclopedia. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1-61373-891-7. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Mass tomorrow for Sue Randall". The Philadelphia Inquirer. November 2, 1984. p. 34. Retrieved July 15, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ a b c "Miss Landers, 49, Of 'Leave It To Beaver' Dies Of Cancer". Tyrone Daily Herald. Pennsylvania, Tyrone. United Press International. October 29, 1984. p. 7. Retrieved June 23, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  
  4. ^ Germantown High School registry, Lankenau School for Girls (now closed), 1953.
  5. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 1136. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  6. ^ A five-minute segment of the pilot episode of Up on Cloud Nine can be viewed on YouTube.
  7. ^ Lott, Rod (December 2015). TV Turkeys: The World's Worst Television Shows (1987). Video review featured on Flickattack.com; retrieved March 6, 2017.
  8. ^ Fullmp4movie "TV Turkeys -Up on Cloud Nine- Belly Bongo Commercial Video", MrJadedtom, 2012; retrieved March 7, 2017.[unreliable source?]
  9. ^ "One-Timers Only The Rifleman", Biographical information about Sue Randall contained on website devoted to the television series The Rifleman; retrieved March 7, 2017.[unreliable source?]

External linksEdit