Martin Mull, ‘Clue’ and ‘Arrested Development’ Star, Dies at 80

Martin Mull earned an Emmy nomination in 2016 for his guest role as political aide Bob Bradley in “Veep.” Recently, he appeared on “The Afterparty,” “Not Dead Yet,” and “Grace and Frankie.”

Martin Mull
Comedian and actor Martin Mull passes away at 80.

Martin Mull, the versatile comic musician and actor renowned for his roles in the 1970s TV series “Fernwood 2 Night,” as Colonel Mustard in “Clue,” and on shows like “Arrested Development” and “Roseanne,” passed away on Thursday at the age of 80.

His daughter, Maggie, shared the news on Instagram, expressing her sorrow: “I am heartbroken to share that my father passed away at home on June 27th, after a valiant fight against a long illness. He was known for excelling at every creative discipline imaginable and also for doing Red Roof Inn commercials. He would find that joke funny. He was never not funny. My dad will be deeply missed by his wife and daughter, by his friends and coworkers, by fellow artists and comedians and musicians, and—the sign of a truly exceptional person—by many, many dogs. I loved him tremendously.”

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Martin Mull earned an Emmy nomination in 2016 for his guest role as political aide Bob Bradley in “Veep.” Recently, he appeared on “The Afterparty,” “Not Dead Yet,” and “Grace and Frankie.”

In 2015, Mull guest-starred on NBC‘s “Community” as George Perry, Britta Perry’s father, and on CBS’s “Life in Pieces.” From 2008-2013, he played Russell, a drug-dealing pharmacist, on “Two and a Half Men” and portrayed Gene Parmesan, an incompetent private investigator, on “Arrested Development.”

Mull was a regular on Seth MacFarlane’s “Dads” from 2013-2014, playing the father of Giovanni Ribisi’s character. In 2008, he appeared on “Law & Order: SVU” as Dr. Gideon Hutton, convicted for willful negligence in AIDS-related deaths.

Mull’s career began with his role as Barth Gimble on the satirical TV series “Fernwood 2 Night” and “America Tonight” in the late 1970s, alongside Fred Willard. He and Willard later collaborated on the 1985 HBO mockumentary “The History of White People in America.” Mull played Leon Carp, Roseanne’s gay boss, on “Roseanne” from 1991-1997 and reunited with Willard for a groundbreaking gay wedding episode.

On “The Ellen Show” (2001-2002), Mull was a series regular as Ed Munn. He also appeared on “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” as Principal Willard Kraft from 1997-2000. From 1998-2004, he was a staple on “Hollywood Squares,” often occupying the center square.

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About Martin Mull

Born in Chicago, Martin Eugene Mull was raised in North Ridgeville, Ohio, and New Canaan, Connecticut. He studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, earning both a Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts.

Mull began his career as a songwriter, penning Jane Morgan’s 1970 country single “A Girl Named Johnny Cash,” and soon after launched his own recording career. His debut album in 1972 featured prominent musicians like Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Levon Helm. Throughout the 1970s, Mull was known for his musical comedy, opening for artists like Randy Newman and Frank Zappa.

Mull’s film career included roles in “Serial” (1980), “My Bodyguard” (1980), and “Mr. Mom” (1983). He co-created and starred in the short-lived sitcom “Domestic Life” in 1984 and played Colonel Mustard in the 1985 film “Clue.”

Martin Mull continued to work in television and film, appearing in “His & Hers” (1990), “The Jackie Thomas Show” (1992), and voicing characters in “Family Dog” (1993). He had supporting roles in “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993) and guest appearances on “The Larry Sanders Show.”

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In addition to his entertainment career, Mull was a dedicated painter, with his artwork displayed in various exhibitions. One of his paintings, After Dinner Drinks (2008), owned by Steve Martin, was featured on the cover of Martin and Edie Brickell’s album “Love Has Come for You.”

Martin Mull is survived by his wife, Wendy Haas, whom he married in 1982, and his daughter, Maggie.

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