Martin Mull

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Martin Mull
Martin Mull.jpg
Performing at the Boarding House in San Francisco, 1976 Photo: David Gans
Born Martin Eugene Mull[1]
(1943-08-18) August 18, 1943 (age 71)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Education New Canaan High School
Alma mater Rhode Island School of Design
Occupation Actor, comedian, painter, musician
Years active 1972–present
Home town North Ridgeville, Ohio
Spouse(s) Kristin Johnson
(1972–1978),
Sandra Baker
(1978–1981),
Wendy Haas
(1982–present)
Children Maggie Mull

Martin Eugene Mull (born August 18, 1943)[2] is an American actor who has appeared in many television and film roles. He is also a comedian, painter, and recording artist. As an actor, he first became known in his role on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and its spin-off Fernwood 2 Night. Among his other notable roles are Colonel Mustard in the 1985 film Clue, Leon Carp on Roseanne, and Willard Kraft on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

Early years and education[edit]

Mull was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Betty, an actress and director, and Harold Mull, a carpenter.[3] He moved with his family to North Ridgeville, Ohio, when he was two years old. They stayed there until he was 15 years old, when his family moved to New Canaan, Connecticut, where he attended and graduated from public high school.[4] He studied painting and went on to graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in painting.

Acting career[edit]

Mull's first well known acting role was as Garth Gimble in the 1976 television nighttime absurdist soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. This led to work in the spin-off comedy talk shows Fernwood 2 Night (1977) and America 2-Night (1978), in which he played talk show host Barth Gimble (Garth Gimble's twin brother), opposite Fred Willard, as sidekick Jerry Hubbard.

In 1979, he appeared in the Taxi episode "Hollywood Calling". Mull created, wrote for and starred in the short-lived 1984 CBS sitcom Domestic Life, with Megan Follows playing his teenaged daughter. In one episode of The Golden Girls, he played a hippie who was afraid of the outside world. He had a long-running role as Leon Carp, Roseanne Conner's gay boss (and later business partner) on the TV series Roseanne.

During the 1980s, Mull starred in a series of commercials for Michelob and Pizza Hut, and in a series of television and radio commercials for Red Roof Inn. He appeared in the Pecos Bill episode of the Shelley Duvall TV series Tall Tales & Legends. Mull voiced the role of The Evil Cad on the 1995–97 animated series Freakazoid! He also did the voice of Vlad Masters/Vlad Plasmius, the main villain in Danny Phantom.

Mull has appeared as a guest star on the game show Hollywood Squares, appearing as the center square in the show's final season, from 2003 to 2004. In late 2004 and in 2013's Netflix-produced Season 4, he portrayed Gene Parmesan, a private investigator, on the TV series Arrested Development. During 2008 and 2009, Mull guest starred in two episodes of the television series Gary Unmarried as Allison's father.[5]

Mull also starred in the Fox sitcom, Dads.

A caricature of Martin Mull in front of Hollywood Hills Amphitheater at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

Musical career[edit]

Throughout the 1970s, and especially in the first half of the decade, Mull had a career as a musical comedian, performing satirical and humorous songs both live and in recordings. Notable live gigs included opening for Randy Newman and Sandy Denny at Boston Symphony Hall in 1973,[6]Frank Zappa at Austin's Armadillo World Headquarters in 1973 and for Bruce Springsteen at the Shady Grove Music Fair in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in October 1974. His self-titled debut Album, released by Capricorn in 1972, featured many note-worthy musicians, including Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Levon Helm from The Band, Keith Spring of NRBQ and Libby Titus.[7]

"Dancing about Architecture"[edit]

Elvis Costello attributes the well-known phrase "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" to Martin Mull.[8][9]

Artistic career[edit]

Mull has been a painter since the 1970s, and has had his work appear in group and solo exhibits throughout that time. He participated in the June 15, 1971 exhibit "Flush with the Walls" in the men's room of the Boston Museum of Art to protest the lack of contemporary and local art in the museum.[10] His work often combines photorealist painting, and the pop art and collage styles.[11] He published a book of some of his paintings, titled Paintings Drawings and Words, in 1995. One of his paintings was used on the cover for the 2008 Joyce Carol Oates novel My Sister, My Love.[12] Another painting, owned by Steve Martin titled After Dinner Drinks (2008), was used for the cover of Love Has Come For You, an album by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Twice divorced, Mull is married to singer Wendy Haas. The two have a daughter, Maggie.[14][15][16][17]

In a 2010 interview on The Green Room with Paul Provenza, Mull identifies himself as an atheist, saying "I certainly don't begrudge someone else their choice to follow whatever they do, it's just for me, it doesn't make a lot of sense. I think more harm has come to this planet through organized religion, probably, than any single situation that we've invented."[18]

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2011 Oliver's Ghost Clive Rutledge
2010 Killers Holbrook
2006 Relative Strangers Jeffry Morton
2004 A Boyfriend for Christmas Martin Grant
1998 Richie Rich's Christmas Wish Richard Rich Sr.
1997 Beverly Hills Family Robinson Doug Robinson
1996 Jingle All the Way D.J.
1994 How the West Was Fun Bart Gifooley
1993 Mrs. Doubtfire Justin Gregory
1992 Miracle Beach Donald Burbank
1990 Far Out Man Dr. Leddledick
1990 Ski Patrol Sam Marris
1988 Rented Lips Archie Powell
1985 O.C. and Stiggs Pat Coletti
1985 Clue Colonel Mustard
1985 California Girls Elliot
1984 Bad Manners Warren Fitzpatrick aka: Growing Pains
1983 Private School (film) Pharmacy Guy
1983 Mr. Mom Ron Richardson
1981 Take This Job and Shove It Dick Ebersol
1980 My Bodyguard Mr. Peache
1980 Serial Harvey Holroyd
1978 FM Eric Swan

Television[edit]

Television
Year Title Role Notes
2015 Community George Perry
2013 Dads Crawford
2013 Psych Highway Harry episode "100 clues"
2010 'Til Death Whitey / Mr. White 12 episodes
2008–2013 Two and a Half Men Russell, the pharmacist 6 episodes
2008 My Boys Dr. Clayton episode "Opportunity Knocks"
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Gideon Hutton
2007 The War at Home Principal Fink
2005–2011 American Dad! Father Donovan 10 episodes
2004–2013 Arrested Development Gene Parmesan 4 episodes
2004–2007 Danny Phantom Vlad Plasmius/Vlad Masters 16 episodes
2004 Reno 911 Jim Kringle
2003 Reba Dr. Todd episode: "Encounters"
2002 Dexter's Laboratory M.A.R. 10 episode: 'Lab on the Run'
2001 That '70s Show voice of Donna's journal episode: 'Eric's Drunken Tattoo'
2001–2002 The Ellen Show Himself 18 episodes
1997–2000 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Willard Kraft 73 episodes
2000 Family Guy Mr. Harris episode "If I'm Dyin', I'm Lyin'"
1998 The Simpsons Seth episode: 'D'ohin' in the Wind'
1993 Family Dog (TV series) Skip Binsford
1992–1993 The Larry Sanders Show himself
1991–1997 Roseanne Leon Carp 46 episodes
1991 Get a Life Sandy Connors
1990 The Golden Girls Jimmy episode: 'Snap Out of It'
1985 The History of White People in America Himself
1977 Wonder Woman Hamlin Rule
1977 Fernwood 2 Night Barth Gimble
1976–1977 Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Garth Gimble

Discography[edit]

  • Martin Mull (1972)
  • "Dueling Tubas" (Single) charted at #92 on Billboard's Hot 100 (1973)
  • Martin Mull and His Fabulous Furniture In Your Living Room! (1973)
  • Normal (1974)
  • In The Soop With Martin Mull (also with: Ed Wise and Les Daniels) (1974)
  • Days Of Wine And Neuroses (1975)
  • I'm Everyone I've Ever Loved (1977)
  • No Hits, Four Errors- The Best Of Martin Mull (1977)
  • Sex & Violins (1978)
  • Near Perfect/Perfect (1979)
  • Mulling it Over- A Musical Ouvre-View of Martin Mull (1998)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://mivoice.flightpathcreative.com/pdfs/issue-31-5.pdf
  2. ^ "Today in history". The New York Times. Associated Press. 2014-08-18. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Martin Mull". Patterson & Associates. Retrieved 2006-09-17. 
  5. ^ FutonCritic.com page on Gary Unmarried
  6. ^ http://www.learningace.com/doc/5522258/4b3a3c254d6c5346578e77192425c261/n24 The Tech, (May 11, 1973)
  7. ^ http://theband.hiof.no/albums/martin_mull.html, The History of the Band, (March 2013)
  8. ^ "Writing About Music". Quote Investigator. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  9. ^ "Quotes Uncovered: Dancing About Architecture". Freakonomics. Retrieved 2012-04-10. 
  10. ^ Cook, Greg (June 15, 2011). "Local Artists Commemorate -and re-stage -a legendary protest". The Phoenix. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Martin Mull, Artnet
  12. ^ Format Follies, Pt. 3, Christopher Currie, Furious Horses (blog), April 1, 2009
  13. ^ Neale, April (2013). "Steve Martin's 'Love has Come For You' celebrates Martin Mull's artistry, tour dates (VIDEO)", MonstersAndCritics.com.
  14. ^ "Martin Mull Biography", IMDB.com.
  15. ^ Wojciechowski, Michele "Wojo" (2013). "FOX’s Dads Star Martin Mull: The Accidental Comedian", Parade.CondeNast.com.
  16. ^ "Martin Mull Biography", TvGuide.com.
  17. ^ Lavin, Cheryl (1994). "Martin Mull", ChicagoTribune.com.
  18. ^ The Green Room with Paul Provenza, July 15, 2010 

External links[edit]