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Barney Martin, Original Mr. Cellophane, Dies at 82

By New York City
Barney Martin(Photo © AP/Jennifer Glassman PR)
Barney Martin
(Photo © AP/Jennifer Glassman PR)
Barney Martin, an actor with numerous film and stage credits who is best known for having played Jerry Seinfeld's father on the popular Seinfeld TV series, died of cancer on Monday in his Los Angeles home. He was 82.

Among theatergoers, he is remembered for his performance in the original 1975 production of the John Kander-Fred Ebb musical Chicago. Martin played Amos Hart, the long-suffering husband of merry murderess Roxie Hart (Gwen Verdon) and introduced the song "Mr. Cellophane." His other Broadway credits include All American (1962), How Now, Dow Jones (1967), All Over Town (1974), and The Roast (1980).

Martin was born in Queens on March 3, 1923, and served in the Air Force during World War II, before working as a New York police detective for 20 years. In the 1950s, he began writing for such comedy shows as Name That Tune and The Steve Allen Show. He first made a splash as an actor in Mel Brooks's 1968 film The Producers. Martin appeared in a number of other films and televisions series, including The Tony Randall Show, Arthur, and Sydney, before taking the role of complaining Florida retiree Morty Seinfeld on the long-running NBC-TV hit series.

Martin is survived by his wife Catherine, his son Donald, two grandsons, and two great-grandsons.


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