Born on 19th September 1945 in Sacramento, California, Randolph Mantooth (born Randy DeRoy Mantooth), was the oldest of four children. Growing up he attended San Marcos High School and then Santa Barbara City College. He then received a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. It was there that he chose to change his first name from “Randy” to stage name “Randolph”, keeping his last name. He was discovered in New York by a Universal Studios talent agent while performing the lead in the play Philadelphia, Here I Come for which he won Charles Jehlenger Award for Best Actor.
By 1970, Mantooth began picking up roles in Matt Lincoln, The Bold Ones: The Senator, The Virginian, Vanished, Alias Smith and Jones, Night Gallery, The Bold Ones: The Lawyers, Sarge, McCloud, The Bravos, and Adam-12.
In 1972, Mantooth was cast as paramedic John Gage in Emergency! Emergency! was a massive hit running for six seasons (129 episodes) and six two-hour television movie specials. Mantooth would often perform his own stunts in the series. Upon excepting the role Mantooth was forced to cut his hair in compliance with real LA County Fire Department standards, Mantooth added the phrase: “Make room for a long-haired fireman” to his autograph on technical advisor Jim Page’s copy of the pilot script.
People tell me this all the time…they come up to me and say, ‘You’re my hero,’ I say no. I’m just the face. You’re the body. You do the work. You’re on the front line. Believe me, when I tell you from the bottom of my heart — if you’re a firefighter…an EMT…a paramedic — you’re my hero.
Emergency! would go onto have a lasting impact on Mantooth’s life as he has spoken regularly at Firefighter and EMS conferences and symposia across the United States, while maintaining an active acting career. He is a spokesperson for both the International Association of Firefighters [IAFF] and the International Association of Fire Chiefs [IAFC] for fire fighter health and safety, and honoured over the years with numerous awards and recognition.
Further roles followed in Petticoat Affair, The Seekers, Detective School, Charlie’s Angels, Battlestar Galactica, Project U.F.O., The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Dallas, Murder She Wrote, The Fall Guy, and China Beach.
In 1991, Mantooth was attached to appear in the american / italian coproduction of White Cobra Express. The action movie was supposed to be directed by Jeff Kwitny and produced by Miles O’Keeffe, Chris Trainor, Blaine Beveridge and Aristide Massachessi ( aka Joe D’ Amato ). Based on a script written by Jeff Kwitny and Greg Beal. Randy’s costars would have been Miles O’Keeffe, John Steiner, Ronald Lacey, Henry Silva, Rebecca Lacey, Corinne Clery and Domiziano Arcangeli. The production couldn’t find funding and was never made.
More roles followed in MacGyver, Baywatch, JAG, Walker – Texas Ranger, Diagnosis Murder, ER, Criminal Minds, and Ghost Whisperer. As Charlie Horse, Mantooth played a big part in Sons of Anarchy in the episodes in which he appeared.
In 2015, Mantooth revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer earlier that year and had completed treatment and was heading towards a recovery. He remains actively involved in several charitable causes such as The Make-A-Wish Foundation Western & Central Massachusetts Chapter and has served as a board member of Project 51.
Categories: Heroes of Cult