Born in Brooklyn, New York, actress Randy Graff is a respected presence on the Broadway stage as well as on the screen. A graduate of Wagner College, she first made her mark on Broadway in the musical Grease as a replacement for several of the regular cast members. In 1979 she was a member of the original Broadway cast of Saravà, the musical by Mitch Leigh and N. Richard Nash based on Jorge Amado’s novel Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands.
Playing the poor, hapless Fantine, Graff was a member of the first Broadway production of Les Misérables (1987), the hit musical that won multiple Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score. Two years later she won praise for her portrayal of Oolie and Donna in City of Angels (1989), the comic musical about the process of turning a book into a movie. City of Angels also won several Tonys®, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, and – for Graff’s performance – Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
After a stint as Trina in the Tony Award®-winning musical Falsettos, Graff starred opposite Nathan Lane in Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor (1993), a comedy about an edgy 1950s television variety show. Two years later she was a member of the original cast of another comedy, Ken Ludwig’s Moon over Buffalo (1995), playing the “normal” daughter of a husband-and-wife team of actors, played by Philip Bosco and Carol Burnett. In High Society (1998), a musical based on The Philadelphia Story and the movie High Society, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, she played the tabloid photographer Liz Imbrie.
She began the new millennium with a starring role in A Class Act (2001), a musical by Linda Kline, Lonny Price, and Edward Kleban, based on Kleban’s too-short life. For her performance as Sophie, Kleban’s oldest friend, Graff earned a Tony® nomination, and she can be heard on the 2001 original cast recording. She starred in 2004 as Goldie in a revival of Fiddler on the Roof at the Minskoff Theatre and, in 2008, as Meg Hardy, wife of the Faustian baseball slugger Joe, in a revival of Damn Yankees as part of City Center’s Encores! series.
Among the recordings on which Graff appears is the recent collection Broadway Scene Stealers – The Women, which features her rendition of “You Can Always Count on Me” from City of Angels as well as jewels from many other musicals sung by divas of the Great White Way.
In addition to her work in the theater, Graff has appeared on such television series as Working It Out, Law & Order, Drexell’s Class, Mad About You, Bless This House, and Ed. In the movie version of the musical Rent, she played Mark’s mother.