"I recognize that I’m a very lopsided human being!
I’m very committed to my craft: writing, acting, theater, and film.
I have a good life, but I made it for myself. You gotta make it for yourself."
Bio & Filmography
Marvin Kaplan’s successful career spans decades – and he’s still drawing acclaim
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Marvin Kaplan is an actor, writer, and producer devoted to theater and film. Discovered by Katharine Hepburn in 1949, he landed his first film role in Adam’s Rib, starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, and Judy Holliday. Marvin was unforgettable as the court stenographer who asks Spencer Tracy, in his trademark deadpan style, how to spell "Pinky," a private pet name for Hepburn’s character that Tracy had accidentally used in court. Click to read how Katharine Hepburn discovered Marvin and acted as his "agent" for this role.
Thanks to his deadpan delivery in his native Brooklyn accent, Marvin landed parts as a comedian and character actor in a wide variety of films, theater, live television, radio, commercials, and animation. Perhaps best known for his recurring role on the 1970s CBS series Alice, Marvin portrayed a phone company employee named Henry Beesmeyer who frequented Mel’s Diner. From 1952-1956, he had a regular role in the TV sitcom Meet Millie as Alfred Prinzmetal, an aspiring poet-neighbor. In the 1960s cartoon series Top Cat, Marvin was the voice of Choo-Choo.
Other career highlights include roles in the 1963 madcap comedy It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (Marvin played a gas station attendant opposite Arnold Stang and Jonathan Winters in the classic gas station sequence); Blake Edwards’ 1965 comedy The Great Race alongside Tony Curtis, Peter Falk, Jack Lemmon, and Natalie Wood; and the 1963 comedy, A New Kind of Love, starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
Marvin served as AFTRA Los Angeles Local President for eight years and Performers’ Governor on the Television Academy. He is a member of the California Artists Radio Theatre, Motion Picture Academy, Theatre West, and Academy of New Musical Theatre.
Today, Marvin is extremely active in theater and film. An engaged, creative, and talented writer, actor, and producer, Marvin Kaplan wrote and produced an award-winning full-length film in 2010, Watch Out for Slick. He regularly writes, produces, and acts in plays throughout the Los Angeles area, particularly California Artists Radio Theatre and Theatre West. In fact, a review of Sol Saks’ Faces of Love play at Theatre West notes, "Marvin Kaplan is an instantly recognizable actor, and a crowd favorite. … the piece works best when it lets Kaplan showcase his comic abilities."
FilmA New Kind of Love
Hollywood Vice Squad
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Revenge of the Nerds
The Great Race
The Nutty Professor
Wild at Heart
Alice (series regular for 8 years)
Cagney and Lacey
I Dream of Jeannie
Meet Millie (3½ years series regular)
My Three Sons
The Red Skelton Hour
The Young and the Restless
Writing/ProducingA Good House for a Killing (2011)
Watch Out for Slick (2010)
Garfield and Friends
Top Cat (voice of Choo-Choo)
Awake and Sing
Faces of Love
Last of the Red-Hot Lovers
Little Shop of Horrors
Mornings at Seven
Norman, Is That You?
Sound of Music
The Odd Couple
The Price (2011)
The Sunshine Boys
The Visit (2011)
Thicker Than Water
Trial of Othello
Wizard of Oz
"Marvin Kaplan is an instantly recognizable actor, and a crowd favorite. … the piece works best when it lets Kaplan showcase his comic abilities."
– Review of Faces of Love at Theatre West, Los Angeles
Show Your Support For:
Buy Marvin's "Grey Comedy" film:
Watch Out For Slick
Show Your AppreciationMemorial gifts for Marvin can be sent to the Kaplan-Loring Foundation, designed to educate aspiring actors and writers in the field of comedy. P.O. Box 1577, Burbank, CA 91507.
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