||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (August 2016)|
Kaplan in 1951
|Born||Marvin Wilbur Kaplan
January 24, 1927
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||August 25, 2016
Burbank, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Brooklyn College|
|Spouse(s)||Rosa Felsenburg (m. 1973; div. 1976)|
Marvin Wilbur Kaplan (January 24, 1927 – August 25, 2016) was an American actor.
Life and career
Marvin Kaplan was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1927. He is probably best known for his recurring role on the sitcom Alice where he portrayed a phone lineman named Henry Beesmeyer who frequented Mel's diner. He was with the cast from 1977 until the series ended in 1985. His first film role was as a court reporter in Adam's Rib (1949).
Kaplan had a regular role in the radio sitcom and later television version of Meet Millie as Alfred Prinzmetal, an aspiring poet-composer. The program ran from 1951-54 on radio and continued on television from 1952-56. In addition, the actor was the voice of Choo-Choo on the 1960s cartoon series Top Cat and had a small role in the 1963 film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World playing a gas station attendant. He co-starred in the 1965 comedy The Great Race. In 1969, he appeared as Stanley on Petticoat Junction in the episode: "The Other Woman". He also made a brief appearance as a carpet cleaner in the 1976 film Freaky Friday.
In 1987, he reprised his role of Choo-Choo for Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats. At the same time, he actively returned to voice-over acting, playing roles in shows such as Garfield and Friends, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Johnny Bravo, and most recently, The Garfield Show in 2011. Kaplan was the commercial spokesperson for the American cologne Eau de Love. In addition to his role on Alice, he played Mr. Gordon on Becker alongside Ted Danson.
For many years, Kaplan was a member of Theatre West, the oldest continually-operating theatre company in Los Angeles. He performed in many plays there and elsewhere. He was also an accomplished playwright and screenwriter.
Kaplan died of natural causes in his sleep on August 25, 2016, aged 89.
- Adam's Rib — Court Stenographer (1949)
- Francis — First Medical Corps lieutenant (1950)
- Key to the City — Newspaper Photographer (1950)
- The Reformer and the Redhead — Leon (1950)
- Angels in the Outfield — Timothy Durney (1951)
- I Can Get It for You Wholesale — Arnold Fisher (1951)
- Behave Yourself! — Max the Umbrella (1951)
- The Fabulous Senorita — Clifford Van Kunkle (1952)
- Wake Me When It's Over — Hap Cosgrove (1960)
- The Nutty Professor — English Student (1963)
- A New Kind of Love — Harry (1963)
- It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World — Irwin (1963)
- The Great Race — Frisbee (1965)
- The Severed Arm — Mad Man Herman (1973)
- Freaky Friday — Carpet Cleaner (1976)
- Midnight Madness — Bonaventure Desk Clerk (1980)
- Saturday Supercade — Shellshock (Frogger-1983) & Sidney Squirrel (Kangaroo-1984)
- Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats — Choo-Choo (1987)
- Wild at Heart — Uncle Pooch (1990)
- Wake, Rattle, and Roll (Fender Bender 500 segment) — Choo-Choo (1990–1991)
- Johnny Bravo — Woody (episode "Going Batty") (1997)
- Becker — Mr. Gordon (4 episodes) (1998–2004)
- Marvin Kaplan at the Internet Movie Database
- Thomas, Nick (January 21, 2016). "Saluting Marvin Kaplan". The Spectrum.
- Langer, Emily (August 28, 2016). "Marvin Kaplan, character actor who won laughs in 'Adam's Rib' and 'Alice', dies at 89". The Washington Post.
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