Character actor Kenneth Mars dies at 75

Noted for 'Young Frankenstein,' 'Producers' roles

Character actor Kenneth Mars, best known for roles in “Young Frankenstein” and the original film version of “The Producers,” died Saturday of pancreatic cancer in Granada Hills, Calif. He was 75.

In Mel Brooks’ 1974 comedy “Young Frankenstein,” Mars played the police inspector with a malfunctioning prosthetic arm; in Brooks’ earlier, 1968 film “The Producers,” Mars was the Nazi playwright who creates “Springtime for Hitler.”

Mars employed a Mitteleuropean accent once again for Peter Bogdanovich’s 1972 Barbra Streisand starrer “What’s Up, Doc?,” playing a Yugoslavian with dubious motives.

Mars also racked up dozens of television series, including CBS’ 1967-69 series “He and She”; late ’70s syndicated effort “Fernwood Tonight”; and, more recently, “Malcolm in the Middle,” in which he portrayed Otto Mannkusser for 27 episodes.

In addition, he did a significant amount of voiceover work for animation, starting with TV’s “The Jetsons” in the early 1960s and including the “Little Mermaid” film and TV series; the made-for-video “The Land Before Time” pic series; and several videogames.

The Chicago native also appeared in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and a pair of Woody Allen films, “Radio Days” (in which he played a bearded, heavily accented rabbi) and “Shadows and Fog.”

Survivors include two daughters and six grandchildren.

Services will be private.

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