“As you live your life, you learn that the things you give away are the only
things you really can keep. There’s a reward in giving away things.
You can hold on to them that way.”

Bio & Filmography

Marvin Kaplan’s successful career spans decades – and he’s still drawing acclaim

Biography

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."

Career Highlights

Film

A New Kind of Love
Adam’s Rib
Delirious
Freaky Friday
Hollywood Vice Squad
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Revenge of the Nerds
The Great Race
The Nutty Professor
Wild at Heart
Witchboard II

Television

Adam 12
Alice (series regular for 8 years)
Ally McBeal
Becker
Cagney and Lacey
Charlie’s Angels
CHiPS
ER
I Dream of Jeannie
MacGyver
McHale’s Navy
Meet Millie (3½ years series regular)
Mod Squad
My Three Sons
The Red Skelton Hour
The Young and the Restless 

Writing/Producing

A Good House for a Killing (2011)
Elijah
Watch Out for Slick (2010)

Animation
Garfield and Friends
The Smurfs
Top Cat (voice of Choo-Choo)

Theater

Jews
Awake and Sing
Can-Can
Faces of Love
God’s Favorite
Last of the Red-Hot Lovers
Little Shop of Horrors
Mornings at Seven
Next!
Norman, Is That You?
Oklahoma!
Sound of Music
The Odd Couple
The Price (2011)
The Sunshine Boys
The Visit (2011)
Thicker Than Water
Trial of Othello
Wizard of Oz

Complete Filmography

Click to view Marvin Kaplan’s complete filmography.

"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

 

 

Headshot 3
Show Your Support For:
Film and Theatre

Buy Marvin's "Grey Comedy" film:
Watch Out For Slick

Buy Now


Show Your Appreciation

Memorial 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.


Donate to the Kaplan - Loring
Foundation

If you would like to make a donation in honor of someone please send us a message after your donation is complete.

Donate Now

Download the Kaplan-Loring Foundation Mission Statement.

© Marvin Kaplan. All rights reserved worldwide