MARTY FELDMAN Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Martin Alan Feldman                                                                   
Born: 8 July 1934 London, England                                                           
Died: 2 December 1982 Mexico City, Mexico                                                   
Martin Alan "Marty" Feldman (8 July 1934 – 2 December 1982) was an English                 
writer, comedian and BAFTA award winning actor, notable for his bulging eyes,               
which were the result of a thyroid condition known as Graves Disease.                       
Feldman was born in London's East End, the son of Jewish/Russian immigrants.                 
Leaving school at 15, he started his show-business career as a trumpet player               
but soon turned to comedy.                                                                   
In 1954, Feldman formed a successful writing partnership with Barry Took. For               
British television, they wrote situation comedies such as The Army Game, Bootsie             
and Snudge, and most notably the ground-breaking BBC radio show Round the Horne,             
which starred Kenneth Horne and Kenneth Williams.                                           
The television sketch comedy series At Last the 1948 Show featured Feldman's                 
first on-screen performances. In one sketch first broadcast on 1 March 1967,                 
Feldman harassed a patient shop assistant (John Cleese) for a series of                     
fictitious books, finally achieving success with Ethel the Aardvark Goes                     
Quantity Surveying. The sketch was revived as part of the Monty Python stage                 
show repertoire, and on Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album (both                   
without Feldman).                                                                           
Marty Feldman was co-author, with John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Tim Brooke-Taylor,         
of the "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch, which was written for their television comedy             
series At Last the 1948 Show. The "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch was performed                   
during Amnesty International concerts (by members of Monty Python — once                   
including Rowan Atkinson in place of Python member Eric Idle), as well as during             
Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl and other Monty Python shows and record             
albums. This has led to the "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch now being considered a               
Monty Python sketch, with the origin and co-authorship of the sketch by non-Monty           
Python writers Marty Feldman and Tim Brooke-Taylor being overlooked or forgotten             
by many people. Feldman was also a writer on The Frost Report with several                   
future members of Monty Python.                                                             
Following his success on At Last the 1948 Show, Feldman had a series of his own             
on the BBC called Marty (1968), which also featured Tim Brooke-Taylor, John                 
Junkin and Roland MacLeod and for which he won two BAFTA awards. The second                 
series (made in 1969) was renamed It's Marty (with the second title being                   
retained for the DVD release of the show). In 1974, Dennis Main Wilson (producer             
for the UK television show Till Death Us Do Part) produced a short sketch series             
for Feldman entitled Marty Back Together Again — a reference to reports about             
the star's health. But this series never recaptured the impact of the earlier               
series. The Marty series proved popular enough with an international audience (the           
first series won the Golden Rose Award at Montreaux) to launch a film career.               
His first feature role was in 1970's Every Home Should Have One.                             
Marty Feldman's performances on American television included The Dean Martin                 
Show and Marty Feldman's Comedy Machine. On film, he is best remembered for his             
role as Igor (pronounced "EYE-gore") in Young Frankenstein where, as usual, many             
of his lines were improvised. At one point, Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder)                   
scolds Igor with the phrase "Damn your eyes!" Feldman then turns to the camera,             
points to his already-misaligned eyes, grins and says, "Too late!"                           
Feldman met American comedy writer Alan Spencer on the set of Young Frankenstein             
when Spencer was just a teenager. Spencer was a devout fan of Feldman as both a             
writer and performer. Feldman took Spencer under his wing and offered him key               
guidance that eventually led the young scribe to create the offbeat, critically-acclaimed   
television show Sledge Hammer!.                                                             
He also released one long-playing record called I Feel a Song Going Off (1969),             
re-released as The Crazy World of Marty Feldman. The songs were written by                   
Dennis King, John Junkin and Bill Solly (a writer for Max Bygraves and The Two               
In 1976, Marty Feldman ventured into Italian cinema, starring with Barbara                   
Bouchet in 40 gradi all'ombra del lenzuolo, (Sex with a Smile), a farcical sex               
Feldman appeared in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother and Mel               
Brooks' Silent Movie, as well as directing and starring in The Last Remake of               
Beau Geste. He guest-starred in the "Arabian Nights" episode of The Muppet Show.