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Marty Feldman Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (17) | Personal Quotes (11)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 8 July 1933London, England, UK
Date of Death 2 December 1982Mexico City, Mexico  (heart attack following food poisoning)
Birth NameMartin Alan Feldman
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

"I am too old to die young, and too young to grow up," he told a reporter -- a week before he died. This beloved comedian, who poked fun at himself as well as others, was born Marty Feldman, on July 8, 1933, in London, England. The son of immigrants from Kiev, Marty spent his childhood in the poverty-stricken London East End and left school at the age of 15, hoping for a career as a jazz trumpeter (his appearance in a Variety show earned him the title "the worst trumpeter in the world"). He had just started his comedy career, as a writer for BBC radio programs and TV shows in the late 1950s, when he married Lauretta Sullivan in January 1959 (they would stay married until his death in 1982). There's a saying: "Your face is your fortune"; Marty had received a double-whammy. His nose was mangled in his youthful years in a boxing match; his walleyed orbs were the result of both a hyperactive thyroid and a botched operation after a car accident before his 30th birthday, in 1963. American audiences first saw Marty in Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers in London (1968), where he did comedy skits with Susie Ewing and the Golddiggers. He appeared in a number of movies, his most-remembered role being that of Igor (pronounced: Eye-gor) in Young Frankenstein (1974). Besides acting, he made his directorial debut in The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977). Beloved and popular, it seemed Marty was to enjoy a long career in the entertainment field. However, he died of a massive heart attack, caused by shellfish food poisoning, while filming Yellowbeard (1983) in Mexico City, on December 2, 1982... he was only 49.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: kdhaisch@aol.com

Spouse (1)

Lauretta Feldman (14 January 1959 - 2 December 1982) (his death)

Trade Mark (1)

Huge, bulging eyes

Trivia (17)

Died in Mexico City of shellfish poisoning on the last day of filming a scene from Yellowbeard (1983), in which he was supposed to die. A double completed the death scene. His illness was discovered by filmmaker friend Michael Mileham who had also suffered from the same poisoning but survived.
Buried in Forest Lawn near his idol, Buster Keaton
Interred at Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California - Garden of Heritage, Lot 5420
When presenting the 1976 Live Action Short Oscar, he called the two winning producers to the stage, threw the statue to the floor, then handed a shard of the award to each one. He said, "It said, 'Made in Hong Kong' on the bottom."
Despite persistent published reports. Marty Feldman was NOT the brother of actress Fenella Fielding. The two are not related in any way.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 157-158. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
In his DVD commentary for Young Frankenstein (1974), director Mel Brooks provides a further explanation for Marty Feldman's early death. According to Brooks, who worked with him on Young Frankenstein and Silent Movie (1976), Feldman smoked about half a carton of cigarettes (four or five packs) a day as well as drank copious amounts of black coffee (the tannic acid in coffee, which can be partly neutralized by milk, in some studies has been found to increase the risk of heart attack). Feldman was also a vegetarian and compensated for the lack of meat in his diet by eating large amounts of eggs and dairy products on a daily basis which may have clogged his arteries. The high altitude of Mexico City (over 7,000 feet above sea level) with the air about 10% thinner, where Feldman was filming most of Yellowbeard (1983), would have added still more stress by forcing his heart and lungs to work harder. The food poisoning that Feldman and Michael Mileham contracted would only have been the final straw, which would explain why Mileham survived, and Feldman didn't.
Subject of a novelty song by Bruce Baum. The song was a parody of the hit "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes ("All the boys think she's a guy / she's got Marty Feldman eyes").
His wife Lauretta asked him to marry her, when he supposedly made no move to do so, after nine months of daily dating.
Liked to play soccer and also enjoyed watching Baseball, calling it, "Cricket on speed".
Had a number of absurd and varied jobs in his youth. These included being a kitchen hand, message boy for an advertising agency, jazz musician in clubs, greyhound racetrack tipster, and an assistant to an Indian fakir in his side-show acts.
Was deported from Paris for vagrancy as a teenager when he pretended to be an innocent youth, impressed with the work of an American sculptor pretending to be French. Feldman, working on commission for the sculptor, lured gullible tourists as customers.
Liked to write poetry and, as a teenager, was even introduced to famous poet Dylan Thomas. Thomas reportedly told the young Feldman that he had talent, thus he continued to write.
According to various sources, Feldman was known to get physically sick when having to watch screenings of his own work or performance.
Befriended a young teen who crashed the Young Frankenstein (1974) set named Alan Spencer and offered encouragement to his writing career. The young scribe eventually created the TV show Sledge Hammer! (1986).
In A Clockwork Orange, when Alex (Malcolm McDowell) returns home from prison one of the smaller headlines in the newspaper his father is reading says: "Marty Feldman's Wife Banned".
Suffered from Graves' disease during his early childhood in which, after a botched surgical operation, his condition resulted in his eyes being more protruded and misaligned (strabismus).

Personal Quotes (11)

The pen is mightier than the sword, and is considerably easier to write with.
I don't want to be a director. I want to direct. There's a difference.
Comedy, like sodomy, is an unnatural act.
I won't eat anything that has intelligent life, but I'd gladly eat a network executive or a politician.
Money can't buy poverty.
I like to be by myself, reading, wandering about art galleries. I like solitude, walking.
I do not disbelieve in anything. I start from the premise that everything is true until proved false. Everything is possible.
I don't know any jokes, which is embarrassing. I wish I did.
To have an effect on the audience, that's the most enjoyable thing I think, you know? To convey a real emotion, to communicate something more than information. To be able to move an audience in some way; either to laughter or proverbially to tears. Days when you feel you've done it, when you've done a good scene, you know it.
I don't enjoy anything while I'm doing it. I enjoy having done things, though.
I do have a lot of violence in me, though. It's usually directed against objects. When I'm angry I may throw or kick something. But the last time I kicked something I almost sprained my toe, and when I threw a bottle, it smashed all over me. I really shouldn't do those things.

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