Wednesday, July 3, 2024

The Late Great Martin Mull

Actor and comedian Martin Mull, who starred on the TV show Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and played Colonel Mustard in the cult classic Clue (1985), died on June 27 2024 at the age of 80. He had been suffering from a long illness.

Martin Mull was born on August 18 1943 in Chicago. His father was a carpenter while his mother was an actress and director. When he was two years old his family moved to North Olmstead, Ohio. He was 15 years old when his family moved to New Canaan, Connecticut. He wanted to be a painter and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1965. In 1967 he earned a Master of Fine Arts from the same school. He paid his way through college by forming bands, which is how he entered the entertainment industry.

In fact, for the first part of the Seventies he was best known as a musical comedian. He wrote the country song "A Girl Named Johnny Cash" for Jane Morgan. In 1972 his self-titled, debut album was released. During the Seventies he released several more albums, including Martin Mull and His Fabulous Furniture in Your Living Room (1973), Normal (1974), Days of Wine and Neuroses (1975), I'm Everyone I Ever Loved (1977), Sex and Violins (1978), and Near Perfect/Perfect (1979).

He made his acting debut on television in 1976 playing Garth Gimble and later his twin brother Barth on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. He continued to play Barth on the Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman sequels Fernwood 2 Night and America 2 Night. In the Seventies he guest starred on the shows Wonder Woman, Laugh-In, and Taxi. He made his move debut in FM in 1978. He appeared in the moves Serial (1980) and My Bodyguard (1980).

In the Eighties Martin Mull starred on the sitcom Domestic Life, which he also  co-created with Steve  Martin, Howard Gerwirtz, and Ian Praiser. He made several appearances as himself on It's Gary Shandling's Show and starred in the sitcom His & Hers. Martin Mull guest starred on the TV shows Square Pegs, George Burns Comedy Week, Tall Tales & Legends, Fast Times, D.C. Follies, The Magical World of Disney, TV 101, and The Golden Girls. He appeared in the movies Take This Job and Shove It (1981), Private School (1983), Mr. Mom (1983), Flicks (1983), Growing Pains (1984), Clue (1985), O.C. and Stiggs (1985), The Boss' Wife (1986), Rented Lips (1987), Home is Where the Heart Is (1988), Cutting Class (1989), Think Big (1989), Ski Patrol (1990), and Far Out Man (1990).

In the Nineties he starred on the TV shows The Jackie Thomas Show, Roseanne, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. He was a regular voice on the animated series Family Dog. He guest starred on the shows Get a Life, Dream On, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, The General Motors Playwrights Theatre, The Larry Sanders Show, L.A. Law, Burke's Law, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, The Drew Carey Show, Life...and Stuff, Over the Top, The Simpsons, The Nanny, Sin City Spectacular, Family Guy, The Wild Thornberrys, Twice in a Lifetime, Recess, Just Shoot Me!, and The Geena Davis Show. He appeared in the movies Ted & Venus (1991), The Player (1992), Dance with Death (1992), Miracle Beach (1992), Movies Money Murder (1993), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Mr. Write (1994), Eddie & Pen (1996), Jingle All the Way (1996), Zack and Reba (1998), and Attention Shoppers (2000).

In the Naughts Maritn Mull  was a voice on the animated series Teamo Supremo, Danny Phantom, and American Dad!. He was a regular on the show The Ellen Show and 'Til Death. He guest starred on the shows Dexter's Laboratory, Kristin, Less Than Perfect, Greeting from Tucson, Reba, Life with Bonnie, Half & Half, Reno 911!, Crumbs, Thick and Thin, The War at Home, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Gary Unmarried, My Boys, and Eastwick. He appeared in the movies The Year That Trembled (2002), Come Away Home (2005), Relative Strangers (2006), and Killers (2010).

Two and a Half Man, Dads, Veep, Life in Pieces, I'm Sorry, Arrested Development, The Cool Kids, and The Ranch. He guest starred on the shows Working Class, Mad Love, Franklin & Bash, Psych, Community, NCIS: Los Angeles, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bless This Mess, and Bob's Burgers. He appeared in the movies And They're Off (2011), and A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018).

In the Twenties Martin Mull guest starred on the shows Grace and Frankie, Maggie, Not Dead Yet, and The Afterparty.

Martin Mull was a remarkable talent. While many actors will be best remembered for one or two roles, Martin Mull played so many brilliant roles that it is like that each individual person will remember him for something different from other people. On Mary Hartman Mary Hartman he played the rather unpleasant, abusive Garth Gimble and his twin brother,, talk show host Barth Gimble on the show's two sequels. He was Colonel Mustard in the movie Clue, a military officer who had engaged in war profiteering. On Arrested Development he played incompetent private detective Gene Parmesan who regularly worked for Lucille Bluth. (Jessica Walter). One of his many guest appearances I best remember is the one he made in the Golden Girls episode "Snap Out of It," in which he played an aging and agoraphobic hippie named Jimmy. Martin Mull certainly had a gift for comedy. Furthermore, he could play a wide variety of characters.

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