Barney Martin

Actor
Best known as Morty Seinfeld, the lumpy, loveable, penny-pinching father of Jerry Seinfeld on the pop culture touchstone "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1990-1998), character actor Barney Martin brought a unique mixture of clever ... Read more »

Filmography

Actor (40)

Bush Bikes 2002 (Movie)

(Actor)

Disney/Pixar's Buzz Lightyear of Star Command 2000 - 2002 (TV Show)

Voice

Inside TV Land 1999 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Murder in Small Town X 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Noah Knows Best 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

George & Leo 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Promised Land 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Seinfeld 1991 - 1992, 1994 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Sex and the Silver Screen 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Narrator

Murder, She Wrote 1986 - 1989, 1991 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

Sisters 1986 - 1987, 1991 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Wayans Bros. 1991 - 1996 (Tv Show)

Actor

Daddy Dearest 1993 - 1994 (Tv Show)

Actor

Major Dad 1991 - 1994 (Tv Show)

Actor

Sky High 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Sydney 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Morton's By the Bay 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog 1989 (Movie)

Rudy (Actor)

Arthur 2 On The Rocks 1988 (Movie)

Ralph Marolla (Actor)

Deadly Weapon 1988 (Movie)

(Actor)

For Love or Money 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Zorro and Son 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Arthur 1981 (Movie)

Ralph Marolla (Actor)

Number 96 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

A Dog's Life 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Hot Stuff 1979 (Movie)

Kiley (Actor)

The Tony Randall Show 1976 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Movie Movie 1977 (Movie)

Motorcycle Cop (Actor)

Charly 1968 (Movie)

Hank (Actor)

The Producers 1967 (Movie)

German Officer in Play (Actor)

Love With the Proper Stranger 1963 (Movie)

Sidney (Actor)

I Married a Monster (TV Show)

Actor

It Happened One Christmas (TV Show)

Actor

Killer in the Mirror (TV Show)

Actor

Moviola: The Silent Lovers (TV Show)

Actor

Moviola: This Year's Blonde (TV Show)

Actor

Sam (TV Show)

Actor

Splash, Too (TV Show)

Actor

Us (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (1)

The Steve Allen Show 1955 - 1969 (TV Show)

Writer

Biography

Best known as Morty Seinfeld, the lumpy, loveable, penny-pinching father of Jerry Seinfeld on the pop culture touchstone "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1990-1998), character actor Barney Martin brought a unique mixture of clever comedy and Everyman earnestness to his roles on stage, screen and television for over four decades.

Born March 3, 1923, in the New York City borough of Queens, Martin served as a navigator in the Air Force during World War II, flying some 40-plus missions. After his discharge, he followed his father to the force, enjoying a 20-year career as a New York City police detective and demonstarting a talent for making deputy police commissioners laugh during presentations. His knack for joke-telling earned him a spot writing speeches for various officials, and a second career was born. In the 1950s, he began writing on the side for comedy shows such as "Name That Tune" and "The Steve Allen Show," where he met Mel Brooks, who coaxed Martin into performing. By the end of the '50s, his robust frame got him a job as a stand-in for Gleason.

He appeared in the original "Candid Camera" and landed a small part as a juror in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Wrong Man" (1956). After an appearance in the film "Charly" (1968), Brooks cast Martin in "The Producers" (1968). That role launched Martin into Broadway theater, where he appeared in several musicals, including "South Pacific," "The Fantasticks," All American" and "How Now Dow Jones." He created the role of Roxy's unappreciated husband, Amos Hart, in the celebrated "Mr. Cellophane" sequence in the original Bob Fosse production of the renowned musical "Chicago" in 1975. He subsidized his theater work with TV guest stints on such series as "The Odd Couple," "Happy Days" and "Barney Miller."

In 1981, Martin received his most popular screen role, playing Liza Minnelli's matter-of-fact father Ralph Marolla in "Arthur," opposite comic Dudley Moore. The actor also appeared in several television series in the the '80s and early '90s, primarily in sitcoms including "The Tony Randall Show" (where he was a regular), "Major Dad," "Full House," "The Golden Girls," "The Wonder Years," "Murphy Brown" (as the father of reporter Frank Fontana), "Diff'rent Strokes" and "Night Court." He also took dramatic roles on "21 Jump Street," "Murder She Wrote," "Hill Street Blues," "St. Elsewhere" and "Sisters." The actor was also cast in regular roles in several series that failed to catch on, including "Number 96" (NBC, 1980-1981), "Zorro and Son" (CBS, 1983) in a dual role as brothers Napa and Sonoma, the Valerie Bertinelli sit-com "Sydney" (CBS, 1990) and the Don Rickles sit-com "Daddy Dearest" (Fox, 1993). He also had a recurring role on the ABC family dramedy "Life Goes On" in 1991 and 1992.

When he landed his career-defining stint on "Seinfeld," Martin was the third actor to play the part of Seinfeld's father and became the one most identified with the role of the Florida retiree, appearing in 23 episodes between 1991 and 1998. Among the more notable episodes involving his character was one in which Morty and his wife, Helen, played by Liz Sheridan, were the stars of their Florida condo association's annual show. There was also the episode in which Morty invents the "Executive," a beltless trench coat that Kramer wanted to sell. Martin, long skilled in comedy, immensively enjoyed his late-career run on the popular series, saying in 1998: "Playing Jerry's dad was like having whipped cream on top of a mountain of ice cream." Post-"Seinfeld," the actor remained largely retired prior to his death in 2005.

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