National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day March 21- Barney Martin

0 Comments 21 March 2012


Barney Martin’s TV acting resume reads like a ‘best of the best’ catalog for American television. For example:

  • The Golden Girls
  • Full House
  • Seinfeld
  • Sydney (still trying to figure out how this series didn’t take off??)

But as the NOR took a deeper dive into Martin’s story we found there are some valuable lessons to learn.

#1 – Be An Opportunist…Not A Schlub

We live in America people. Despite what the 22% living below the poverty line will tell you THIS is the land of opportunity… do everything you can to take it. In essence, try not to be a schlub. No one likes a schlub.

Take Barney here. Before getting into acting he spent 20 years as a detective on the NYPD staff. Rumor has it he used to make the deputy commissioners bust a gut with his presentations. Turns out someone on the staff had a friend in show biz, word got out about Barney and vis-à-vis he gets a part time job writing for the Steve Allen show…60 years later he’s a DPD. This can happen to you! So screw your head on straight.

#2 – Very Few Things Are What They Seem

Martin once commented that many Jewish Seinfeld fans told him how much his character reminded them of their father. Martin in fact was of Irish Catholic extraction. People tell me I look exactly like Brad Pitt…but I was born in Rhode Island NOT Oklahoma. Go figure!

On a closing note if anyone has a picture of Barney Martin and Estelle Getty please contact me immediately.

Its obit time!

Barney Martin, 82; Veteran Actor Played Father on ‘Seinfeld’


March 24, 2005|From a Times Staff Writer

Barney Martin, a film, television and stage actor who became known to millions of TV viewers in the 1990s as Jerry Seinfeld’s dad on the popular “Seinfeld” show, has died. He was 82.

Martin died Monday of cancer at his home in Studio City.

Martin was a New York City police detective who used humor to spice up speeches for deputy commissioners when he started in show business by writing on the side in the 1950s for “Name That Tune” and “The Steve Allen Show.” He began acting in the 1960s, and Mel Brooks cast him in the “The Producers” in 1968. In 1981, he played Liza Minnelli’s father in “Arthur.” Continue

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.

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