Why did the Randall series end? There's a couple different scenarios. One is that Monogram needed to do some budget pruning. Part of their cost-cutting was to eliminate in-house productions and contract with outside companies to bring in films at lower costs. They did this with producer George W. Weeks and the Range Busters. There was also some scuttlebutt that Fred Scott, the onetime "Silvery Voiced Buckaroo" at Spectrum Pictures, was to star in a new series, but that never materialized. There is some evidence that Randall didn't like doing westerns ... or didn't like working for Monogram ... or felt he could do more or better or different elsewhere.
Whatever the case, Monogram and Jack Randall parted company after twenty two films, and the Randall finale, WILD HORSE RANGE, arrived at the theaters in the Summer of 1940. Jack's starring career also ended with that film, and subsequent screen roles were minor and infrequent ... and under a different name. Les Adams identified several films where Randall worked as "Allen Byron": he was in DANGER! WOMEN AT WORK (PRC, 1943), a Sam Newfield quickie where Randall/Byron shared the lead with Warren Hymer; he was in GIRLS IN CHAINS (PRC, 1943), a prison drama directed by Edgar Ulmer; and in CRY HAVOC (MGM, 1944), a tale of WW2 military nurses on Bataan.
Merrill McCord's book includes many comments from people who knew and worked with Randall, and a common thread was that he was a prankster, a playboy, a hard drinker, a ladies man.
He was romantically linked to onetime silent star Louise Brooks as well as Glenda Farrell, Carole Lombard, others.
He was married twice: very briefly to cowboy film heroine Louise Stanley and then to Barbara Bennett, the sister of film stars Constance and Joan Bennett. Louise Stanley played the female lead in five of Jack's films and had been married to leading man Dennis O'Keefe. Barbara Bennett was the wife of singer Morton Downey, Sr. Merrill has many pages devoted to Barbara's divorce from Downey, as well as the animosity (battles) between her former husband and Randall.
Jack Randall did not serve in the military during World War II. Circa 1943, he and Barbara had exited Hollywood and were in New York working on the stage. Later, Jack got involved with the USO and did some tours and shows.
Some sources (incorrectly) note that Randall passed away from a heart attack or head injury while filming THE ROYAL MOUNTED RIDES AGAIN serial in 1945 at Iverson's Ranch in Chatsworth, California. Western/serial fan Bob Siler, who has a copy of Randall's death certificate, communicated to me that: "according to Jack Randall's death certificate, he was thrown from his horse and hit a tree ...". Merrill's book includes many details on Randall's death, including various accounts of what happened (the horse spooked when a paper blew in front of the animal; or Randall lost control of the horse while trying to catch his hat which had blown off during the ride). What is known is that Randall had been hired to play the main heavy and he hadn't done any extensive horseback riding for about five years. He died as a result of a injury suffered in a horse riding mishap during the filming of a running insert. His ride was filmed three times, and the accident occurred on that third try. Merrill also confirms that the accident occurred at Ray Corrigan's ranch, not Iversons. Lastly, the coroners report noted the cause of death was a severe chest injury with broken ribs and punctured lung (and no mention of a heart attack or blow to the head).
The Forest Lawn (cemetery) people have been very helpful, and provided the following burial information on both Randall brothers: Addison Owen Randall, aka Allen Byron Randall, is interred at Garden Crypt 104 in Gardens of Memory at Forest Lawn - Glendale. Robert Randall is interred at Crypt 102, Gardens of Memory, at Forest Lawn - Glendale.
Scott Groll, who has provided scores of photos on Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website, sent the following photos of the grave markers for Jack Randall, and his brother Robert Randall (Bob Livingston), at Forest Lawn - Glendale. Thanks also to Phil Cohen for the newspaper article below on the death of Jack Randall.
(Courtesy of Scott Groll)
(Courtesy of Scott Groll)
(Courtesy of Phil Cohen)
Above article appeared in a Camden, New Jersey newspaper on July 17, 1945.
|Information from Randall's death certificate: Addison Owen Randall, AKA Allen Byron, was killed in a riding accident at the Corrigan Ranch, Chatsworth, Los Angeles County, California on July 16, 1945 at about 5:30 p.m.|
An autopsy was performed and cause of death was "lacerations of left lung with pulmonary hemorrage" and "multiple fractures of left ribs (3 to 9)". The coroner's investigation determined that his death was an "accident" and he was "thrown from horse, hit tree, while making picture".
You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral and check the California Death Records database. There you will find a record for Addison Owen Randall, born 5/12/1906, Mother's maiden name of Langdon, and he passed away on 7/16/1945.
The Motion Picture Herald and Boxoffice polls were conducted from about the mid 1930s through the mid 1950s. With a few exceptions, the annual poll results would list the Top Ten cowboy film stars. In most cases, the winners were what you would expect - Autry, Rogers, Holt, Starrett, Hoppy, etc. Jack Randall never achieved a Top Ten ranking in those polls (though he did place among the next tier of western heroes, in the 11th-20th spots).
What about Monogram in the post-Randall period circa 1941: Tex Ritter and the Range Busters were still there along with two new series - one starred Tom Keene and the other was the Rough Riders trio with Jones, McCoy and Hatton.
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Jack Randall and his brother Robert Randall/Bob Livingston. Click below:
Addison "Jack" Randall: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0709526/
Robert Randall / Bob Livingston: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0515292/