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Ross Martin Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (12)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Gródek Jagiellonski, Lwowskie, Poland [now Horodok, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine]
Died in Ramona, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameMartin Rosenblatt
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Grodek, Poland, Ross Martin grew up on New York City's Lower East Side. He spoke Yiddish, Polish, and Russian before even learning English and later added French, Spanish, and Italian to his amazing repertoire.

Despite academic training (and receiving honors in) business, instruction, and law, M. Martin chose a career of acting. His first film was the George Pal production Conquest of Space (1955). Soon after, he caught the eye of Blake Edwards who cast him in a number of widely varied roles, culminating with a fantastic part in The Great Race (1965).

Ross somehow managed a series in between, the short-lived Mr. Lucky (1959). With the release of The Great Race (1965), CBS cast him in what was to become his most famous part, Secret Service agent Artemus Gordon in The Wild Wild West (1965), opposite Robert Conrad. Perhaps the show's cancellation in 1969 was for the best - he suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 1968.

Afraid to take the risk of having a lead actor with a heart condition, the networks snubbed him with regards to a lead role, yet he appeared as a guest star in an amazing number of programs, not all dramatic masterpieces. Yet Ross loved to act, and took every role which came his way. Ross Martin collapsed while playing tennis, the heart condition finally taking its toll on July 3rd, 1981.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Kristin Sabo

Spouse (2)

Olavee Lucile Parsons (10 September 1967 - 3 July 1981) ( his death)
Muriel B. Weiss (17 June 1941 - 15 March 1965) ( her death) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

His ability at speaking many different languages and doing many different accents
Chameleonic acting skills

Trivia (12)

In Columbo: Suitable for Framing (1971), many a viewer notes the marvelous interplay between Martin and Peter Falk. This is to be expected; Martin was Falk's acting instructor in years past. The two also worked together in The Great Race (1965).
His wife Olavee Grinrod, died February 3, 2002.
Had two daughters: Phyllis, Rebecca; one son, George.
A singer on Broadway, he played Nathan Detroit in a Broadway touring company of "Guys and Dolls" in the 1950s.
An accomplished musician, he was a violin virtuoso at age 8, playing solo with the junior symphony orchestra.
His natural ability for dialects led him to radio while in his 20s, performing on three daytime radio serials at once, including the part of a 62-year-old Viennese gent. At one time, the prolific actor was a regular in eight separate major series on all the different networks. He ended up with his own radio program, "The Ross Martin Show.".
One half of a vaudeville comedy duo from 1937-1941 called "Ross & West." His partner was Bernard West.
With a penchant for playing villains, he received a Golden Globe nomination for his terrifying role in Experiment in Terror (1962). As a promotion and publicity stunt for the film, Columbia chose to withheld the identity of Martin from the press until the film opened. It helped bring interest to the film, but in the long run, hurt the unknown Martin.
At the time of his death in 1981, Martin and Robert Conrad were in the planning stages of another "Wild, Wild West" TV series.
Best remembered by the public for his co-starring role as "Artemus Gordon" in The Wild Wild West (1965).
He is interred in Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
Was separated from first wife Muriel at the time of her death; they had one daughter together. He later adopted his second wife's son and daughter.

Personal Quotes (2)

On the hazards of a job requiring changes in appearance: "I went home one afternoon to pick up a script without bothering to change, and a half an hour later the Beverly Hills Police were at my door because a neighbor had reported a suspicious stranger lurking around Ross Martin's house. I had to peel off my beard to prove who I was."
On ad-libs: "I've been allowed to add a bit of dialogue to the characters now and then, just to help the illusion. When I portrayed a German count, there was a scene where a tough dived at me from the stairway. I side-stepped him and ad-libbed, Have a nice trip.' I was allowed to keep it in.

"Later, one man grabbed me from behind and another came at me from the front. I added, 'That's no way to treat an old man.' That was left in too. [From the 1st season B&W Episode "The Night of the Burning Diamond."]

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