Randolph Mantooth as Johnny Gage in, EMERGENCY!
The Hollywood Show LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 08: Actor Randolph Mantooth poses with his vehicle from 'Emergency' at The Hollywood Show held at Westin LAX Hotel on July 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
It’s hard to believe that Randolph Mantooth, the talented actor we all knew and loved as, Johnny Gage, the young paramedic, on the hit television series, Emergency!, is 72 years old. Growing up, he always knew he wanted to act and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.
Randolph Mantooth was discovered, by chance, by a Universal Studios talent agent while performing on stage in New York.
Mantooth had been cast as the lead role in an on-stage production of, Philadelphia, Here I Come, in the 60s. During his performance, he was discovered by chance by a talent agent from Universal Studios. It wasn’t long before he had signed a contract with iconic studio and moved to sunny California.
Mantooth also appeared in films and daytime soap operas; even being nominated for several Soap Opera Digest Awards.
Gradually, Mantooth found himself being offered roles on dramatic television series including Adam-12 (1968), Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969), McCloud (1970) and Alias Smith and Jones (1971). Audiences loved him, and he was definitely on his way to stardom.
Without a doubt, the most memorable role Randolph Mantooth played was as paramedic, Johnny Gage, on the hit television series, Emergency!
Emergency! first aired in 1972 and was co-created and co-produced by the famous, Jack Webb, so we almost had to know it would be great! If you remember, Webb also gave us the television series, Adam-12 and Dragnet. Emergency! ran for a total of 6 seasons.
Randolph Mantooth played opposite Kevin Tighe in the medical drama/action television series, Emergency!
While Mantooth portrayed, Johnny Gage, Kevin Tighe was his paramedic partner, Roy DeSoto. The pair were paramedics that worked as a team on Squad 51 to serve the good people of Los Angeles, California. They were dedicated to serving the public and never disappointed!
“Rampart, this is Squad 51…” The duo would take out that orange medical kit, work their magic and call ahead to the hospital to alert the emergency room.
The pair were always at the ready to provide paramedic and medical care to victims of fires, auto accidents and just about any other acute and desperate scenario. They would prepare the victim for further treatment at the hospital and were the first line of defense in saving lives. If you were a fan of the show, I don’t have to tell you that they saved the day on just about every episode. They often used unconventional practices but always got the job done!
With all of this in mind, below are some things you may not have known about Randolph Mantooth and his on-screen character.
• When the Emergency! series began, Randolph Mantooth had long(er) hair. I mean… come on…, it was the groovy era! In order to conform to the “look” of his professional paramedic role, he had to have his hair cut to look more the part. After his initial haircut, though, he was allowed to let it grow just a bit.
• Randolph Mantooth is of half Native American and half German descent.
• The onscreen Emergency! characters of Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto were co-workers and very close friends. This detail wasn't exactly a fabrication. The fact is that the 2 men were and are actually best friends in real life.
• Originally, the Emergency! character, Johnny Gage, was called, Jim Page. This was a "nod" and a tribute to a real-life hero who was a police officer. It was very typical of Jack Webb to use names of LAPD officers as a tribute to their service. In the end, the name, Johnny Gage, was used in place of the real-life hero.
• Randolph Mantooth is a staunch advocate of emergency services workers. Additionally, he has been honored by many firefighter/EMT organizations. He has been awarded the “James O. Page Award of Excellence” from the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
While, “the beat goes on,” it is fun and nostalgic to remember the influences of our past. Randolph Mantooth is just one of many!
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