Randee Heller: Mad Men’s Maddening Secretary

Randee Heller
If you watch Mad Men, than you know that Don Draper’s new secretary, the clueless Ida Blankenship, is a fun addition to the show.

The actress who plays her, Randee Heller, tells USA Today that the attention has “been such a surprise. I’ve been in this business for 40 years — you do a show and you don’t know what’s going to come of it. The accolades have been fun.”

She loves that the character “doesn’t have any agenda — she’s not trying to climb the proverbial ladder, she’s not following the rules. She doesn’t know there are rules.”

Heller hadn’t seen the show before her audition. “I didn’t know anything. I was just doing what was on the page, an older secretary with a strong New York accent,” she says. She quickly caught up though with the help of TiVo to “get the tone and the characters.”

Best known for playing Ralph Macchio‘s mom in the original Karate Kid, series creator Matt Weiner had no idea who she was but that “when you see someone working that much, you don’t worry about them melting down or freezing up on the job.”

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