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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Remembering John McMartin 1929 - 2016

Actor John McMartin, who recently died at age 86, appeared in 24 Broadway productions, including The Conquering Hero (1961), Sweet Charity (1966) with Gwen Verdon, Follies (1971), Don Juan (1972), Happy New Year (1980), A Little Family Business (1982), Show Boat (1994), High Society (1998), Into the Woods (2002), Grey Gardens (2006), Anything Goes (2011) and All The Way (2014). He received five Tony Award nominations - one for Best Featured Actor in a Play (Don Juan), two for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Sweet Charity, High Society), and two for Best Actor in a Musical (Show Boat, Into the Woods).

Other theatre credits include the 1959 Off-Broadway musical, Little Mary Sunshine, the 1965 Frank Loesser musical, Pleasures and Palaces (which opened and closed in Detroit), and the 2001 Goodman Theatre production of the Kander and Ebb musical, The Visit (opposite Chita Rivera).

He reprised his Broadway role as Oscar Lindquist in the 1969 film version of Sweet Charity (opposite Shirley MacLaine). Other film credits include What's So Bad About Feeling Good? (1968), All the President's Men (1976), Blow Out (1981), Pennies from Heaven (1981), Legal Eagles (1986), Who's That Girl (1987) and Kinsey (2004).

McMartin also played Morgan Fairchild's father in the fifth season of CBS's Falcon Crest (1985-86) and Linda Hamilton's father in the first two seasons of CBS's Beauty and the Beast (1987-89).

Below I've selected some videos to celebrate John McMartin's life and career.

Sweet Charity (1969)

Follies (1971) and The David Frost Show on June 23, 1971 (McMartin enters at 52:00)

Cheers on May 4, 1989 (with Kirstie Alley)

Sondheim! The Birthday Concert (which was filmed in March 2010)


joel65913 said...

I didn't know his Broadway work very well, and I've blocked most of the film version of Sweet Charity from my memory because I hated it so much, but I've seen him in dozens and dozens of episodic TV series and different movies including All the President's Men just this evening.

Although I was familiar with his name he was one of those character actors that fell into the category of "Hey! It's that guy!" Instantly recognizable though perhaps not someone you were able to name. He had a wonderfully distinctive voice, somewhat scratchy with a hitch in it. Yet another loss in this year that has been loaded with them.

Marc Harshbarger said...

Well, Joel, we will have to agree to disagree about Sweet Charity (I like the movie). Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Mr. McMartin.