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Randy Quaid

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Title: Randy Quaid  
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Subject: Brokeback Mountain, Home on the Range (2004 film), National Lampoon's Vacation (film series), No Man's Land (1987 film), Texasville
Collection: 1950 Births, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, 21St-Century American Male Actors, American Emigrants to Canada, American Male Film Actors, American Male Television Actors, American Male Voice Actors, American People of English Descent, American People of French Descent, American People of Irish Descent, American Prisoners and Detainees, American Sketch Comedians, Applicants for Refugee Status in Canada, Bellaire High School (Bellaire, Texas) Alumni, Best Miniseries or Television Movie Actor Golden Globe Winners, Cajun People, Conspiracy Theorists, Fugitives, Immigrants to Canada, Living People, Male Actors from Houston, Texas, University of Houston Alumni
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Randy Quaid

Randy Quaid
Quaid in 2008
Born (1950-10-01) October 1, 1950
Houston, Texas, United States
Residence Montreal, Quebec, Canada (since 2013)
Alma mater University of Houston
Occupation Actor
Years active 1971–2009
Relatives Dennis Quaid (brother)

Randy Quaid (born October 1, 1950) is an American actor. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award and an Academy Award for his role in The Last Detail. Quaid also won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy Award for his portrayal of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years. Quaid is well known for his roles in the National Lampoon's Vacation movies, Brokeback Mountain, Independence Day and Kingpin.


  • Family 1
  • Acting career 2
    • Film 2.1
    • Television 2.2
      • Recurring characters on Saturday Night Live 2.2.1
    • Theater 2.3
  • Music career 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Legal issues 5
    • Brokeback Mountain lawsuit 5.1
    • Alleged failure to pay hotel bill 5.2
    • Alleged illegal occupancy 5.3
    • "Star Whackers" and Canadian exile 5.4
    • Vermont arrest 5.5
  • Filmography 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Through his father, Quaid is related to cowboy movie star Gene Autry.[1]

Acting career


Quaid has appeared in over 90 films. 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 (played by Cybill Shepherd) to a late-night indoor skinny-dip at a swimming pool. It was the first of several roles directed by Bogdanovich and/or based on the writings of Larry McMurtry. Other Peter Bogdanovich Films he appreared in are What's Up, Doc? and Paper Moon, Quaid's first major critically acclaimed role was in the The Last Detail (1973). He played Larry Meadows a young United States 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 starring role as a 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 an Academy Award, Golden Globe,and a BAFTA for his role in The Last Detail. Quaid also had a supporting role in the 1978 feature Midnight Express, playing Jimmy Booth a hapless American in a hellish Turkish prison.

Quaid performed opposite Charles Bronson in the 1975 action film of a Mexican prison escape Breakout, based on actual events. Quaid was also the lead in the comedy Martians Go Home and Cold Dog Soup and played the King of Spain in Goya's Ghosts.

Quaid's best known starring roles include the 1996 film Kingpin alongside Woody Harrelson and Vanessa Angel, where he played the Amish bowler Ishmael, as well as his role as pilot Russell Casse in blockbuster science fiction film Independence Day, released the same year. He previously starred in Quick Change with Bill Murray in 1990. Quaid also appeared in the National Lampoon's Vacation film series as Cousin Eddie, jovial redneck relative to Chevy Chase's Clark Griswold. Shortly after appearing in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Quaid was featured in Days of Thunder as a NASCAR car owner and successful car salesman Rick Dallen, a determined businessman who expects his team to be top-notch for fans and sponsors. Quaid had a pivotal supporting role in Brokeback Mountain (2005) as an insensitive rancher. Quaid starred in Real Time, an independent film that opened Slamdance Film Festival in 2008.[2]


Quaid received both Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award[3] nominations for his 2005 portrayal of talent manager Colonel Tom Parker in the critically acclaimed CBS television network miniseries Elvis. He was nominated for an Emmy Award and won a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years. Quaid's other television appearances include a season as a Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast member (1985–1986), the role of gunslinger John Wesley Hardin in the miniseries Streets of Laredo and starring roles in the short-lived series The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire (2003) and Davis Rules (1991–1992), and the two part television film adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men, playing the character of Lenny. He was featured in the highly rated television films 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 voiced the character Colonel Sanders in radio and television commercials for fast-food restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken. Quaid's voice-over work also included Capitol One Credit Card, US Air, Miller Beer and a guest role in The Ren and Stimpy Show (as Anthony's father in the second season episode, "A Visit to Anthony"). He narrated the 2006 PBS series Texas Ranch House.

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/The Outer Limits parody, "The Limits of the Imagination".
  • Rudy Randolph, Jr.: A pitchman from Abilene, Texas, dressed as a cowboy who sells irregular merchandise (e.g., furniture from the Gulf Coast that smells like dead bodies) or treasures from dictators (e.g., Ferdinand Marcos's clothes). Often paired with Rudy Randolph III (played by Robert Downey, Jr.) The name is a spin on Quaid's real name. The character probably came from Quaid's childhood: When Quaid was growing up in the Houston area in the 1960s, local western singer Utah Carl had a television show every Saturday on KTRK, with commercials from Gulf Coast Furniture Warehouse in Alvin, Texas.


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 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 representing 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 false, and that one of the complaining actors had said the action was driven by "the producers who did not want to give Randy his contractual rights to creative approval ... or financial participation ..." Block said that Quaid had left the union before the musical started, making the ban moot, and that Quaid only participated in the hearing because he wanted due process.[4] Quaid's 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."[5]

Music career

Quaid has performed musical work, primarily through his band Randy Quaid & The Fugitives. The group released its first single, "Star Whackers", in March 2011.[6] An accompanying film, Star Whackers, was premiered by the Quaids in Vancouver on April 23, 2011.[7]

Personal life

Quaid was married to Ella Marie Jolly on May 11, 1980 and they had a daughter, Amanda Marie Quaid, born May 29, 1983. They were separated on September 9, 1986 and divorced August 24, 1989.

Quaid met Evi Quaid (née Motolanez) in December 1987 on the set of the film, Bloodhounds of Broadway, in which Madonna starred. They wed[8] on October 5, 1989 at the San Ysidro Ranch, a Montecito, California resort. His brother Dennis, actress Meg Ryan, and Randy's six-year-old daughter Amanda were in attendance.[9]

Quaid is also a trained general aviation pilot.[10]

Legal issues

Brokeback Mountain lawsuit

On March 23, 2006, Quaid, who played rancher Joe Aguirre in Brokeback Mountain, filed a lawsuit against Focus Features (LLC), Del Mar Productions (LLC), James Schamus, David Linde and Does 1–10 alleging that they intentionally and negligently misrepresented Brokeback Mountain as "a low-budget, art house film with no prospect of making money" in order to secure Quaid's professional acting services at below-market rates. The film had grossed more than $160 million as of the date of his lawsuit, which sought $10 million plus punitive damages.[11] On May 5, Quaid dropped his lawsuit. Quaid's publicist said that he decided to drop the lawsuit after Focus Features agreed to pay a bonus. Focus Features denies making such a settlement.[12]

Alleged failure to pay hotel bill

On September 24, 2009, Quaid and his wife were arrested in Texas for allegedly defrauding an innkeeper, for burglary, and conspiracy in California. The arrest stemmed from an earlier incident in which the Quaids had allegedly left a Santa Barbara, California hotel with a balance due of approximately $10,000. The two were released on bail that evening.[13] Evi Quaid provided a handwritten statement to the celebrity news site TMZ after the arrest claiming that the bill had been paid. A copy of a cashier's check for $5,546.96 dated September 22, 2009 accompanied the note.[14]

The Quaids made arrangements to appear in court in Santa Barbara but failed to do so. On October 29, the Santa Barbara District Attorney's Office requested bench warrants for their arrest and extradition from Texas.[15] Although subsequent arrest warrants were quashed, after the Quaids failed to appear at court on April 12 and 13, 2010, $40,000 in bail was forfeited and arrest warrants for the couple were issued again on April 14, 2010.[16][17]

The Quaids appeared in court with their attorney Robert Sanger on April 26, 2010 after missing several court appearances. The Quaids were briefly detained in custody on April 26, 2010 and released after processing. On April 28, 2010, Sanger resolved the case with Senior Deputy District Attorney Arnis Tolks. The case was dismissed against Randy Quaid for lack of evidence. Evi Quaid pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of defrauding an innkeeper. She was granted probation for three years. She was required to serve 240 hours of community service.[18][19]

Alleged illegal occupancy

On September 18, 2010, in

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^ "Slamdance Opening Premiere Night of "Real Time", Jan. 18, 2008. Archived from the original (offsite link)
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  8. ^ Sanz, Cynthia, and Kristina Johnson. "Randy Quaid, Back from His Vacation, Finds Peace at Home", People, December 18, 1989
  9. ^ "Actor Randy Quaid Secretly Married," San Francisco Chronicle, October 12, 1989, p. E6
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  33. ^ Randy Quaid Speaks To Vancouver Media. Part 1 on YouTube. Retrieved Nov. 15, 2010
  34. ^ Randy Quaid Speaks To Vancouver Media. Part 2 on YouTube. Retrieved Nov. 15, 2010
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Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Last Picture Show Lester Marlow
1972 What's Up, Doc? Professor Hosquith
1973 The Last Detail Meadows Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
1973 Paper Moon Leroy
1973 Lolly-Madonna XXX Finch Feather
1974 The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz Virgil
1975 Breakout Hawk Hawkins
1976 Bound for Glory Luther Johnson
1976 The Missouri Breaks Little Tod
1977 The Choirboys Dean
1978 Midnight Express Jimmy Booth
1978 Three Warriors Ranger Quentin Hammond
1980 Guyana Tragedy Clayton Ritchie Television film
1980 The Long Riders Clell Miller
1980 Foxes Jay
1981 Heartbeeps Charlie
1981 Of Mice and Men Lenny Small Television film
1983 National Lampoon's Vacation Cousin Eddie
1984 The Wild Life Charlie
1985 Fool for Love Martin
1985–1991 Saturday Night Live Various TV series (19 episodes)
1985 The Slugger's Wife Moose Granger
1986 The Wraith Sheriff Loomis
1987 LBJ: The Early Years Lyndon Baines Johnson Television film
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1987 No Man's Land Vincent Bracey
1987 Sweet Country Juan
1988 Moving Frank Crawford
Cornell Crawford
1988 Caddyshack II Peter Blunt
1988 Dead Solid Perfect Kenny Lee Television film
1989 National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Cousin Eddie
1989 Bloodhounds of Broadway Feet Samuels
1989 Out Cold Lester
1989 Parents Nick Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
1990 Texasville Lester Marlow
1990 Quick Change Loomis
1990 Days of Thunder Tim Daland
1990 Martians Go Home Mark Devereaux
1990 Cold Dog Soup Jack Cloud
1991 Heavy Fuel (Dire Straits) Stagehand Music Video
1991–1992 Davis Rules Dwight Davis TV series (29 episodes)
1992 Frankenstein The Monster
1993 Freaked Elijah
1993 Curse of the Starving Class Taylor
1993 The Ren & Stimpy Show Anthony's dad TV series (1 episode: "A Visit to Anthony")
1994 Major League II Johnny Uncredited
1994 The Paper Michael
1994 Next Door Lenny Television film
1995 Bye Bye Love Vic Damico
1995 Ed McBain's 87th Precinct: Lightning Detective Steve Carella
1996 Get on the Bus Tennessee State Trooper Uncredited
1996 Kingpin Ishmael
1996 Independence Day Russell Casse
1996 The Siege at Ruby Ridge Randy Weaver
1996 Last Dance Sam Burns
1997 Vegas Vacation Cousin Eddie
1998 Hard Rain Mike Collins
1998 Bug Buster George Merlin
1998 Sands of Eden Lenny Television film
1999 Last Rites Jeremy Dillon
1999 Purgatory Doc Woods/Doc Holiday Television film
1999 The Debtors Unknown
1999 P.U.N.K.S. Pat Utley
1999 The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns Jack Woods Television film
2000 The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle Cappy von Trapment
2001 Not Another Teen Movie Mr. Briggs
2002 The Adventures of Pluto Nash Bruno
2002 Frank McKlusky, C.I. Madman McKlusky
2003 Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure Cousin Eddie
2003 Black Cadillac Charlie
2003 Grind Jock Jensen
2003 Carolina Ted
2003 Kart Racer Vic Davies
2003 The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire Chief Hank Shaw TV series (7 episodes)
2003 Milwaukee, Minnesota Jerry James
2004 Home on the Range Alameda Slim
2004 Category 6: Day of Destruction Tornado Tommy Dixon
2005 Brokeback Mountain Joe Nominated—Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2005 Elvis Tom Parker Television film
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
2005 The Ice Harvest Bill
2005 Category 7: The End of the World Tornado Tommy Dixon
2006 Goya's Ghosts King Carlos IV
2006 Treasure Island Kids: The Battle for Treasure Island Captain Flint
2008 Real Time Reuban
2009 Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach Coach Lou Tuttle
2011 Star Whackers Himself Screened in 2011, but not yet commercially released[39]


Upon release, the Quaids said they'll stay in Lincoln, Vermont, to care for Evi's ailing father and address the charges in California. Quaid stated he wants to "live like a normal Vermonter, do some leaf peeping," and maybe even join the Lincoln volunteer fire department.[47] “We are innocent of all the charges in Santa Barbara,” he added.[46]

Quaid had been living in Montreal since 2013 under immigration detention in Laval, Quebec[42] until his conditional release by the Immigration and Refugee Board on October 8, 2015 under the condition that he return to the US within two weeks.[43] The next day, Quaid was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Vermont at the Highgate Springs port of entry while trying to cross into the United States from Canada.[44] On October 15, Quaid was released into Vermont without conditions, though still subject to arrest should he travel to another state.[45] Moments after reducing bail from $500,000 to $50,000, Judge Alison Arms "made a new discovery, suddenly reversing her decision, and let the Quaids go free immediately."[46] Documents for "a fugitive-from-justice charge that the Quaids failed to appear in court in California"[47] had been submitted "before the failed appearance was charged so it couldn't have been appropriate,” said Quaids’ Vermont attorney Peter Langrock. Quaid had not been concerned while jailed, saying: “I've always known the facts for what they are, and they've always been in our favor.” This is why we crossed the border into Vermont, because we knew Vermont would be able to see the truth,” said Quaid’s wife, who grew up in the state.[46]

Vermont arrest

The "star whackers" theory has attracted the interest of film industry critics and gossips,[40] as well as conspiracy theorists who propose that the "whackers" are responsible for the deaths of other Hollywood workers such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and David Carradine.[41]

In 2011, Evi produced a low-budget docudrama, Star Whackers, starring Randy, which ruminated upon the allegedly existent criminal conspiracy. Described as "drugged-out dreck" by Vancouver Sun film critic Peter Bernie,[39] the film screened at least once, but has not been commercially released.

On October 22, 2010, Quaid and his wife sought protection under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, after being arrested in the Kerrisdale neighborhood of Vancouver.[28] Subsequently, they applied for refugee status on the grounds that they fear for their lives in the United States, claiming that numerous actors have died under mysterious circumstances committed by the "Hollywood star whackers".[29] They were granted bail on the condition of $10,000 bond pending further Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada hearings.[30] However, due to their failure to deposit the required bond with the court for several days, they remained in custody of the Canada Border Services Agency.[31] They were released on October 27 after the discovery that Evi Quaid is a "prima facie Canadian citizen".[32][33][34] On July 15, 2011 an attempt to extradite Randy and Evi Quaid from Canada failed when the U.S. Department of Justice turned down a request from the Santa Barbara County district attorney calling for the Quaids to be returned to California to face the felony burglary charges dating from the September 2010 incident.[35] As a result, Quaid and his wife would be subject to arrest in the United States.[36] In January 2013, Canadian immigration officials denied Randy Quaid's request for permanent resident status in Canada[37] while leaving open the option to challenge this decision in Canadian Federal Court.[38]

"Star Whackers" and Canadian exile

They were booked for felony residential burglary under section 459 of the California Penal Code (459PC), and misdemeanor entering a non-commercial building without consent (602.5 PC). Evi Quaid was also booked for misdemeanor resisting arrest (148PC). Their bail was set at $50,000 each. On September 19, 2010 they posted bail and were released.[22] On October 18, 2010, bench warrants for the Quaids were issued following their failure to appear for a hearing on the burglary charges.[23] Their bail was subsequently raised to $500,000 each.[24] The bail was forfeited in November 2010.[25] The company that posted bail for the Quaids lost a court case in January 2012 to prevent the forfeiture.[26] On April 11, 2014 it was ruled that Randy Quaid's bond will be rescinded due to a procedural error.[27]

[21] The Quaids are accused of more than $5,000 in damage that they are said to have caused to the guest house.[20]

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