Oscars 2024: Temple University professors remember alum Da'Vine Joy Randolph as 'huge talent'

Da'Vine Joy Randolph is up for an Oscar for her role in "The Holdovers."

ByCaroline Goggin KFSN logo
Monday, February 26, 2024
Temple professors remember Da'Vine Joy Randolph as 'huge talent'
Oscars 2024: Temple University professors remember alum Da'Vine Joy Randolph as 'huge talent'

PHILADELPHIA -- Before actress Da'Vine Joy Randolph made it big in Hollywood, the Philadelphia native made a home at Temple University.

"I feel incredibly fortunate to have been here while she was here," said Peter Reynolds, the head of musical theater/assistant chair at Temple University.

During her time at Temple, Randolph was heavily involved in the musical theater program.

She played the witch in "Into the Woods." That was the first musical Reynolds directed at the university. He said he will never forget Randolph's first audition.

"I remember so clearly everyone in the room, my colleagues, saying, 'Who is that? Wow. That is a huge talent'," Reynolds said.

Randolph's talent was on full display during her time at Temple. She also starred in "Ma Rainey" and "Our Lady of 121st Street."

Doug Wager, a professor of theater at Temple, worked closely with Randolph on "Our Lady of 121st Street."

"She created a character that is larger than life, which she is any way in daily life," he said.

Wager said Randolph won an award that year for a scene from that play. He said she also won the "Irene Ryan" award for best actress, which is a national recognition.

Philadelphia native favored to win Oscar for Best Supporting Actress

"She's a shining example of what you can do with an opportunity just walking into an audition into a university from nowhere," he said.

Randolph quickly became a success story after she graduated from Temple in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater, Film & Media Arts.

She debuted on Broadway, and she went on to star in several television shows and films.

Now, the 37-year-old is up for an Oscar for her role in "The Holdovers."

Randolph plays cafeteria matron Mary Lamb, whose son recently died in the Vietnam War.

She stays back at the boarding school, cooking for the so-called "holdovers" stuck on campus during Christmas break.

Randolph has already won a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice Award, and a Screen Actors Guild award for her role in the film.

Her former professors at Temple say that's a testament to her natural talent, hard work and drive.

"I'm thrilled but not surprised," Reynolds said. "She's been special since the first day I met her."

"It's what you live for in this business. With somebody like Da'Vine, you can only thank the Lord that you had a hand in guiding her toward achieving her ability to work at the height of her creative potential. I couldn't be prouder," Wager said.

Temple students and staff will be cheering for Randolph during their Oscars Watch Party on Sunday, March 10 at the Temple Performing Arts Center.

March 10 is Oscar Sunday! Watch the 2024 Oscars live on ABC.

Red carpet coverage starts at 1 p.m. ET 10 a.m. PT with "Countdown to Oscars: On The Red Carpet Live." At 4 p.m. ET 1 p.m. PT, live coverage continues with "On The Red Carpet at the Oscars," hosted by George Pennacchio with Roshumba Williams, Leslie Lopez and Rachel Brown.

Watch all the action on the red carpet live on ABC, streaming live on OnTheRedCarpet.com and on the On the Red Carpet Facebook and YouTube pages.

The 96th Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, begins at 7 p.m. ET 4 p.m. PT, an hour earlier than past years.

The Oscars are followed by an all-new episode of "Abbott Elementary."