“Hitler. There was a painter. He could paint an entire apartment in one afternoon. Two coats!”

Comic actor Kenneth Mars died Saturday at the age of 75 from pancreatic cancer.

Watch him above in his hilarious turn as Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind in Mel Brooks’ The Producers. He also had memorable roles in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, What’s Up Doc?, Paper Moon, Young Frankenstein, The Parallax View, Night Moves, Fletch and Radio Days.

3 Responses to “Kenneth Mars, Actor: 1936 – 2011”

  1. Craig: This passing resonates with me in a very big way, sad to say. I happen to be a PRODUCERS maniac (oddly enough though, I didn’t care for the Broadway show, because of lame music) and only watched the film for the umteenth time right before the Lang festival began. I showed it to a few friends. Anyway, Mars was priceless in the role you rightly offer up here. He had some of the film’s greatest lines (again as you note) ‘he could dance the pants off Churchill!!!”

    His sadistic smile in the audience while everyone was appalled hearing and watching the “Springtime For Hitler” number is priceless.


  2. Yes — Mars was great in The Producer.

    Another notable actress who died recently is Betty Garrett, who was a member of Orson Welles’s Mercury Theater and went on to a career in film. She would’ve had a brighter career but for the fact that she and her husband, Larry Parks, were blacklisted during the McCarthy era. She did come back in the 1970s, appearing on All in the Family. She also toured. The fact that we don’t know more about her is speaks volumes about the far-reaching effects of McCarthyism.

  3. A truly funny character actor.


Leave a Reply

Tiny Subscribe to Comments

  • LiC on Twitter

  • Archives

All material copyright 2007-2012 by Craig Kennedy unless otherwise stated