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Randy Quaid (1950)

Randall Rudy Quaid

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Randall Rudy "Randy" Quaid is an American actor perhaps best known for his role as Cousin Eddie in the National Lampoon's Vacation movies, as well as his numerous supporting roles in films, including his Oscar nominated performance in The Last Detail, Independence Day, Kingpin and Brokeback Mountain. He has won a Golden Globe Award, and has been nominated for an Academy Award, an Emmy Award and a BAFTA Award.


 early life
Randy Quaid was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Juanita Bonniedale "Nita" (née Jordan), a real estate agent, and William Rudy Quaid, an electrician. According to actor Dennis Quaid, Randy's brother, their father was a "frustrated actor". Musician Gene Autry was Randy's grandfather's first cousin. Randy attended Pershing Middle School and Bellaire High School. Quaid has a half brother, Buddy John Quaid and a half sister, Brandy Kaye Quaid.

 acting career
Quaid has appeared in over 90 movies. Peter Bogdanovich discovered him when Quaid was a student at the University of Houston, and he received his first exposure in Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show. His character escorts Jacy Farrow to late-night indoor skinny-dipping at a swimming pool. It was the first of his several roles directed by Bogdanovich and/or based on the writings of Larry McMurtry.

Quaid's first major role was in the critically acclaimed The Last Detail . He played a young US Navy sailor on his way to serve a harsh sentence for stealing $40 from an admiral's wife's pet charity. Jack Nicholson played the Navy sailor assigned to transport him to prison. Nicholson's character eventually becomes his friend and mentor, helping him experience different aspects of life before he goes behind bars.

Quaid was nominated for a Golden Globe, BAFTA and an Academy Award for his role in The Last Detail. He was also nominated for an Emmy and won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years. He was featured in two science fiction movies, Independence Day and the unsuccessful Martians Go Home. Other movie roles include Kingpin, where he played the lovable Amish bowler Ishmael alongside Woody Harrelson and Vanessa Angel, a loser father in Not Another Teen Movie, and an obnoxious neighbor to Richard Pryor's character in Moving. He played the lead role in the HBO movie Dead Solid Perfect, a golfer trying to make it on the PGA Tour. He also appeared in the National Lampoon Vacation movies as Cousin Eddie to Chevy Chase's Clark W. Griswold. Shortly after starring in National Lampoon Christmas Vacation, Randy Quaid was also featured in Days of Thunder as comical NASCAR car owner and successful car salesman Tim Dailand, a determined businessman who expects his team to be top-notch for fans and sponsors. Quaid had a pivotal supporting role in Brokeback Mountain as an insensitive rancher.

Quaid received both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for his 2005 portrayal of talent manager Colonel Tom Parker in the critically acclaimed CBS television network mini-series Elvis. Quaid's other television appearances include a season as a Saturday Night Live cast member (1985–1986), the role of real-life gunslinger John Wesley Hardin in the miniseries Streets of Laredo and starring roles in the short-lived series The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire and Davis Rules (1991–1992), as well as the two part TV film adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men, playing the character of Lenny. He was featured in the highly-rated TV movies Category 6: Day of Destruction and Category 7: The End of the World and starred in Last Rites, a made-for-cable Starz/Encore! premiere movie.

Quaid also voiced the animated Colonel Sanders character in radio and television commercials for fast-food restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken. Quaid's voice-over work also included a guest role in The Ren and Stimpy Show (as Anthony's father in the second season episode, "A Visit to Anthony").

Recurring characters on Saturday Night Live
Quaid played a number of recurring characters on Saturday Night Live, including:
  • The Floating Head: A Rod Serling-esque character in The Twilight Zone parody, "The Limits of the Imagination"
  • Rudy Randolph, Jr.: A pitchman dressed as a cowboy who sells irregular merchandise or treasures from dictators (e.g., Ferdinand Marcos's clothes). Often paired with Rudy Randolph III The name is a spin on Quaid's real name.

In 2004, Quaid appeared on stage undertaking the starring role of Frank in the world premiere of Sam Shepard's The God of Hell produced by the New School University at the Actors Studio Drama School in New York. In The God of Hell Quaid's portrayal of Frank, a Wisconsin dairy farmer whose home is infiltrated by a dangerous government operative who wants to take over his farm, was well-received and reviewed by New York City's top theatre critics. It also marked the second time that Quaid starred in a Shepard play, the first being the long running Broadway hit True West.

In February 2008, a five-member hearing committee of Actors' Equity Association, the labor union which represents American stage actors, banned Quaid for life and fined him more than $81,000. The charges that brought the sanctions originated in a Seattle production of Lone Star Love, a Western-themed adaptation of Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, in which Quaid played the lead role of Falstaff. The musical was scheduled to come to Broadway, but producers cancelled it.

According to the New York Post, all 26 members of the musical cast brought charges that Quaid "physically and verbally abused his fellow performers" and that the show closed rather than continuing to Broadway because of Quaid's "oddball behavior". Quaid's lawyer, Mark Block, said the charges were completely false, and that one of the complaining actors had said the action was actually driven by "the producers who did not want to give Randy his contractual rights to creative approval ... or financial participation ..." Block also said that Quaid had left the union before the musical started, making the ban moot, and that Quaid had only participated in the hearing because he wanted due process. Quaid's own statement on the charges was "I am guilty of only one thing: giving a performance that elicited a response so deeply felt by the actors and producers with little experience of my creative process that they actually think I am Falstaff."

 music career
Quaid has also performed musical work, primarily through his band Randy Quaid & The Fugitives. The group released its first single, "Star Whackers", in March 2011. An accompanying film, Star Whackers, was premiered by the Quaids in Vancouver on April 23, 2011.

 personal life
Quaid married Ella M. Jolly on May 11, 1980 in Los Angeles. Ella and Randy have a daughter, Amanda Marie Quaid, born May 29, 1983. Randy and Ella were divorced on June 20, 1985. He married Evi Motolanez on October 5, 1989 at a Montecito, California resort; in attendance were his brother Dennis, actress Meg Ryan, and Amanda Quaid, Randy Quaid's six-year-old daughter.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Randy Quaid", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.