Randall was born Stanley Goldstein on August 20, 1937 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Prior to becoming a writer, Randall worked as an advertising copywriter. In 1977, Randall had his only screen acting role as J. M. Bedford in the short-lived television comedy series On Our Own, which he also created. The same year, Randall published the thriller novel The Fan, about an aging actress stalked by a psychotic young man. The novel won an Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and was adapted into the 1981 feature film of the same name starring Lauren Bacall and Michael Biehn. In 1984, Randall began producing the network series Kate & Allie, and also served as a writer of 34 episodes. Randall later wrote the screenplay for the television film David’s Mother (1994), which earned him one Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries and a further three nominations in the same category.