RIP Kenneth Mars

I always hate to update this blog for the sake of an obituary but I feel the need to mark the passing of Kenneth Mars. Best known for his roles in the Mel Brooks films The Producers and Young Frankenstein as well as the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle, Mars was one of those actors I don’t think I appreciated enough until he was gone. Thinking about it now, there is nobody who does the kind of work he did.

Mars had a unique line in comedy Germans/Europeans, but not of the stereotypical variety. Mars, simply put, was loveable; even when playing a deranged Nazi playwrite, Mars found humanity within the character, the incongruous romantic streak to his heart which made the character so appealing.

To pigeonhole Mars as an actor who played Germans would be misleading, off the top of my head I can think of a very fine dramatic performance of his from the James Stewart detective series Hawkins, but here are a selection of my favourite performances of his.

If anybody can find a good clip of his role in Malcolm in the Middle, I’d be very grateful.


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