John Randolph was a New York-born actor who appeared in Escape from the Planet of the Apes playing the role of the Chairman of the President's Committee of Inquiry. He reprised the role briefly in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
Randolph supported radical causes such as better housing for war veterans, for striking miners in Harlan County, and against the death penalty for Willie McGee and for convicted spies, Ethel Rosenberg and Julius Rosenberg. After serving in the United States Army Air Force during World War II, he was branded a member of the Communist Party and appeared in front of the 'House of Un-American Activities Committee' in 1955, refusing to name names. As a result, Randolph was blacklisted and could not appear in Hollywood movies or on television. Among others blacklisted and denied work for many years were future Apes actors Kim Hunter, John Ireland, Victor Kilian and Jeff Corey, and screenwriters Michael Wilson and Howard Dimsdale. Randolph retained his radical political views and was an active member of the Screen Actors Guild, Amnesty International, Council of American-Soviet Friendship, Medical Aid to El Salvador and Artists Against Apartheid.