Martin Garner, longtime character actor with numerous TV, film and legit credits, died Sept. 28 of natural causes at the Actors’ Fund Retirement Home in Englewood, N.J. He was 74.
Born in Queens, N.Y., Garner set out to be an actor after a short foray into the Navy. On the G.I. Bill, he was able to study acting at the Actors Studio alongside such emerging thesps as Marlon Brando and former roommate Rod Steiger.
Garner then went on to perform in original Broadway productions including “Seidman and Son,” “The Tenth Man” and “Gideon,” which starred Fredric March. His supporting role in the L.A. cast of “The Tenth Man” earned him a Los Angeles Critics Circle nomination in 1977.
In the early ’70s, Garner moved to Hollywood and began auditioning for film and TV parts. He won roles in numerous features such as “Twilight Zone: The Movie,” “Oh, God! You Devil” and “Chances Are.” His TV resume includes appearances on “Night Court,” “Barney Miller,” “Welcome Back, Kotter” and “The John Larroquette Show” pilot.
Garner is survived by his wife of 46 years, Virginia; one daughter; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.