Tony Randall's widow Heather has largely laid low since his death at 2003 at age 84. But now Heather, 36, is speaking up. She's president of the board of the New York Theatre Workshop and is raising their kids, Julia, 10, and Jefferson, 9.
But, she opened up to Marie Claire.
"Did his friends think I was a gold digger at first? Well, I remember one or two women telling him he was an old fool . . . and I'm sure people said and continue to say things behind my back," Heather laughs. "But I don't hear most of it." As for his real friends -- Garry Marshall, Jack Klugman, Eli Wallach -- "I don't think anything like that ever occurred to them." Heather is still very close to these Hollywood legends. "If they thought I was a jerk, I would think they would have dropped me like a hot potato."
"I always imagine what it would be like to go on Howard Stern, because I know the first thing he would ask is, 'What is it like to give an 80-year-old a blow job?' I know this is hard for people to grasp, but sex was not a problem. We had frequent sex until he went into the hospital. It was just a normal part of our married life, and it was happy, and we took care of each other that way until the end."
"I don't think he knew people thought that [he was gay]," Heather says. "It just wouldn't have occurred to him. He was very secure in his masculinity, which is why he wasn't afraid to play effeminate roles. He was the first person on TV to play a lead character who was gay, in the series Love, Sydney, and then there was Felix Unger" -- from The Odd Couple -- "who was, you know, a woman," Heather says.
Read the whole interview
CORRECTION: This post mistakenly listed Tony Randall as founder of the New York Theatre Workshop.