Kenneth Mars, who delighted moviegoers with zany performances in Mel Brooks’ films such as “The Producers” and “Young Frankenstein” died over the weekend from pancreatic cancer, family members said. He was 75.
Perhaps his most memorable role was in Brooks’ original 1968 version of “The Producers,” where he took on the role of playwright Franz Liebkind, a Nazi enthusiast
who was seeking backers for his play “Springtime for Hitler.”
Brooks also tapped Mars for his 1974 film, “Young Frankenstein,” which included Peter Boyle and Gene Wilder.
Most of his early career was in television.
He debuted in the 1962 sit-com “Car 54, Where Are You?” as a book publisher. The show starred Fred Gwyenne as Officer Francis Muldoon.
He appeared on such television hit television series as “Gunsmoke,” “Get Smart,” “McMillan & Wife” and “The Bob Crane Show.”
He played a marshal tracking the title characters in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969) and a Croatian musicologist in the Barbra Streisand comedy “What’s Up, Doc?” (1972), according to The New York Times.
He also appeared in two Woody Allen films, “Radio Days” (1987) and “Shadows and Fog” (1991).
He is survived by two daughters, Susannah Mars Johnson and Rebecca Mars Tipton and six grandchildren.