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John McMartin

  • Birthplace: Warsaw, Indiana
  • Birthday: November 18
Date of passing: 
July 06, 2016

John McMartin was an actor worked widely in theater, film and television over the course of a career that spanned six decades.

John McMartin was an actor worked widely in theater, film and television over the course of a career that spanned six decades.

Born in Indiana, McMartin grew up in Minnesota. Upon graduation from high school he enlisted in the Army, where he developed an interest in performing after appearing in various service productions. After being discharged he found work with a summer stock company in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and, later, at the long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Connecticut. He then moved to New York, where, through his friendship with actress Eileen Brennan, he scored a role in the Off Broadway operetta Little Mary Sunshine. The 1959 show was a hit, and McMartin received a Theater World Award, an accolade for younger theater performers. Others who received the honor that year included Warren Beatty, Carol Burnett, Patty Duke, Jane Fonda and Dick Van Dyke.

In the years that followed he worked steadily on the New York stage and in 1966 he garnered praise for his performance in the musical Sweet Charity. He went on to forge a memorable association with composer Steven Sondheim, with roles in Sondheim's Follies and Into the Woods.

His film credits included the big-screen adaptation of Sweet Charity, as well as What's So Bad About Feeling Good?, Thieves, All the President's MenBrubaker, Blow Out, Pennies from Heaven, Legal Eagles, Who's That Girl and Kinsey.

He also had an extensive television resume. In addition to regular roles on the series Falcon Crest and Beauty and the Beast, he had guest roles on dozens of other shows, including As the World Turns, East Side/West Side, Medical Center, Marcus Welby, M.D., The Parttridge Family, Hawaii Five-O, The Bob Newhart Show, Love, American Style, The Rockford Files, Hart to Hart, Magnum, P.I., The Golden Girls, Cheers, Murder, She Wrote, Coach, Frasier, Oz, Law & Order, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and many others.

McMartin died on July 6, 2016, in New York City. He was 86.

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