Actor Tony Randall, born Rosenberg, dies at 84

new york (ap) | Tony Randall who served as a fussy foil for Rock Hudson and Doris Day, David Letterman and Johnny Carson and, most famously, Jack Klugman on “The Odd Couple,” has died at 84 after a long illness.

Born Leonard Rosenberg, Feb. 26, 1920, in Tulsa, Okla., Randall attended synagogue as a child and was an avid supporter of Yiddish theater throughout his life.

The actor had been hospitalized since December when he developed pneumonia after heart bypass surgery. He died in his sleep Monday night, May 17, at NYU Medical Center. His wife, Heather Harlan Randall — who had made him a father for the first time at age 77 — was by his side.

Broadway’s marquee lights were being dimmed in his honor Tuesday, May 18.

“Tony Randall’s passion for live theater was unmatched,” Jed Bernstein, president of the League of American Theatres and Producers, said in a statement. “He was a vociferous advocate for the proposition that serious plays are the lifeblood of our culture.”

He was best known, though, for playing fastidious photographer Felix Unger opposite Klugman’s Oscar Madison on “The Odd Couple,” the sitcom based on Neil Simon’s play and movie.

Randall’s other famous television persona was as a fixture on late-night talk shows, appearing on Letterman’s “Late Night” and “Late Show” more than 100 times. He also had more appearances than any other actor on Carson’s “The Tonight Show,” according to his publicist, Gary Springer.

He was married to his college sweetheart, Florence Randall, for 54 years until she died of cancer in 1992.

In 1995, Randall married Harlan, who was 50 years his junior. He met her through his National Actors Theatre, where she was an intern; then-New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani performed the ceremony.

The couple had two children: 7-year-old Julia Laurette and 5-year-old Jefferson Salvini. Randall told AP Radio that he couldn’t believe he’d become a father for the first time in his 70s. editor Nate Bloom contributed to this report.