Randy Quaid Biography

Randy Quaid, a Golden Globe recipient and Academy Award-nominated actor, has left an indelible mark on the world of television and cinema. With standout performances in films such as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘Independence Day’, as well as his portrayal of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson in ‘LBJ: The Early Years’, Quaid has proven his versatility and talent. Notably, he gained recognition at a young age, earning an Oscar nomination for his role in ‘The Last Detail’. However, despite his early success, Quaid’s career has faced setbacks due to controversies and legal battles.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Randy Randall Rudy Quaid
  • Age: 73 Years, 73 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Evi Quaid (m. 1989), Ella Jolly (m. 1980–1989)
    • Father: William Rudy Quaid
    • Mother: Juanita Bonnie
    • Siblings: Buddy John Quaid, Dennis Quaid
    • Children: Amanda Marie
  • Born Country: United States
  • Quotes By Randy Quaid
  • Actors
  • Height: 6’4″ (193 cm), 6’4″ Males
  • Ancestry: American Canadian, British American, Irish American, French American
  • City: Houston, Texas
  • U.S. State: Texas
  • More Facts
  • Education: University Of Houston

Childhood & Early Life

Randy Quaid was born as Randall Randy Quaid in Houston, Texas, to William Rudy Quaid and Juanita Bonniedale Quaid. He attended Pershing Middle School and Bellaire High School after which he graduated from University of Houston, with a major in drama.


He got his first break while studying at the University of Houston, when he was spotted by director Peter Bogdanovich, who cast him in his film, ‘The Last Picture Show’. In 1973, he bagged the role of ‘Larry Meadows’, a young sailor in ‘The Last Detail’. In 1978, he appeared in the American-British film, ‘Midnight Express’, which was directed by Alan Parker. The film was based on Billy Hayes’s book of the same title.

From 1985 to 1986, he was a regular on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and played a number of recurring characters including, ‘the floating head’, and ‘Rudy Randolph.’ He also appeared as the loathsome ‘Cousin Eddie’ in the National Lampoon’s Vacation’ films- ‘Vacation’, ‘Christmas Vacation’, ‘Vegas Vacation’ and the television film, ‘Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure’. In 1987, he was awarded a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson on NBC’s television mini-series, ‘LBJ: The Early Years’. In 1988, he played the lead role in the HBO film, ‘Dead Solid Perfect’. In the same year, he also starred in the comedy film, ‘Moving’. In 1990, he starred in David Odell’s comedy film, ‘Martians Go Home, however, the film didn’t do well at the box-office. From 1991 to 1992, he played the role of ‘Dwight Davis’, a widowed school principal in the American comedy sitcom, ‘Davis Rules’. In 1996, he appeared in the American military science fiction film, ‘Independence Day’ and the comedy film ‘Kingpin’. In 2001, he played the role of ‘Mr Briggs’ in the American parody film ‘Not Another Teen Movie’, directed by Joel Gallen. In 2004, he acted in Sam Shepard’s stage play, ‘The God of Hell’, a critically acclaimed play produced by the New School University, New York. The same year, he appeared in the CBS mini-series, ‘Category 6: Day of Destruction’. In 2005, he earned a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award nomination for his role as ‘Colonel Tom Parker’ in ‘Elvis’, a critically acclaimed biographical mini-series based on the life of music icon, Elvis Presley. He appeared in the Academy Award-nominated 2005 film, ‘Brokeback Mountain’, as ‘Joe Aguirre’, an insensitive rancher. He is also a member of the musical band ‘Randy Quaid & The Fugitives’. The band released its first single ‘Star Whackers’ in 2011.

Major Works

In 1973, he appeared in the Academy Award-nominated film, ‘The Last Detail’, which was screened at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. The movie won numerous awards and received positive reviews from the National Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Circle. In 2005, he appeared in ‘Brokeback Mountain’, a movie that occupies 11th spot on the list of ‘Highest-grossing romance films of all time’. It also received the prestigious ‘Golden Lion Award’ at the Venice Film Festival. It was the highest grossing film in the U.S. that year, earning $178.06 million at the box-office.

Awards & Achievements

In 1988, he received the Golden Globe Award in the category, ‘Best Actor in a Mini-series or Television film’ for ‘‘LBJ: The Early Years’. On October 7, 2003 he received a star on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame’ at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Satellite Award, ‘Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television’ for ‘Elvis’.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1980, he married Ella Marie Jolly and they had a daughter, Amanda Marie. The couple divorced on August 24, 1989. On October 5, 1989, he married Evi Motolanez at ‘The San Ysidro Ranch’ resort, California. The couple adopted two children together.


In 2009, this Golden Globe recipient was arrested along with his wife after being accused of burglary and failure to pay a hotel bill in California. This American film and television actor sought asylum in Canada with his wife, after he claimed that his life was at risk due to threats from a celebrity-murdering group called ‘Hollywood star whackers’.

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