Kenneth Mars: American actor (born: 1935 - died: 2011) | Biography, Filmography, Discography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Kenneth Mars
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actor
Was Actor Voice actor Film actor Television actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 4 April 1935, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 12 February 2011, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, USA (aged 75 years)
Star sign Aries
Northwestern University
Bowen High School
The details (from wikipedia)


Kenneth Mars (April 4, 1935 – February 12, 2011) was an American actor, voice actor and comedian, who specialized in comedic roles. He appeared in two Mel Brooks films: as the deranged Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind in The Producers (1967) and Police Inspector Hans Wilhelm Friedrich Kemp in Young Frankenstein (1974). He also appeared in Peter Bogdanovich's What's Up Doc? (1972), and Woody Allen's Radio Days (1987), and Shadows and Fog (1990).

Mars appeared in two seasons of Malcolm in the Middle as Otto Mannkusser, Francis's well-meaning but dimwitted boss and a German immigrant who owns a dude ranch. He voiced King Triton, Ariel's father, in the 1989 Disney animated film The Little Mermaid and its sequel, the television series and the Kingdom Hearts series. He also did several other animated voice-over film roles such as Littlefoot's grandfather in the Land Before Time series (up to 2008) and that of Professor Screweyes in We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993), and King Colbert (Prince Cornelius's father) in Thumbelina (1994).

Early life

Mars was born in Chicago. His father, Bernard "Sonny" Mars, was a radio and television personality. Kenneth studied fine arts and acting at Northwestern University.


After graduation from college Mars began acting in the early 1960s, then did small roles in theatre followed by TV and film.


Mars made his acting debut in 1962 as a book publisher on Car 54, Where Are You?. He later appeared on such television series as Gunsmoke, Get Smart, McMillan & Wife, Columbo, and The Bob Crane Show. He also appeared in dramatic roles, such as Will Turner, a former FBI agent, in Warren Beatty's The Parallax View.

Mars played Harry Zarakartos on the Richard Benjamin-Paula Prentiss 1967 CBS-TV sitcom He & She. He was featured in a number of small roles in broadcasts such as the Misfits of Science pilot episode and the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Shadowplay". He was cast opposite Bette Davis in Hello Mother, Goodbye!, a 1973 television pilot aired by NBC but never picked up as a series. From 1970-74 Mars guest starred in five episodes of Love, American Style, playing various characters.

In 1977, Mars became a series regular on both the Sha Na Na variety series and on Norman Lear's talk show parody Fernwood 2-Night in the memorable recurring role of eccentric William W.D. 'Bud' Prize, from Fernwood's Chamber of Commerce. He continued the role on America 2-Night in 1978. In 2001, Mars portrayed a comedic famous but washed-up photographer on Just Shoot Me. Before his death, his final television roles were Otto, the German dude ranch owner on Fox Broadcasting Company's Malcolm in the Middle, an appearance on Disney Channel's Hannah Montana, and a reprise of his role as Grandpa Longneck in The Land Before Time television series.

Stage and film roles

In 1969, Mars portrayed a marshal trying to raise a posse to pursue Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, only to have his address to the townsfolk hijacked by a friendly bicycle salesman. Mars frequently played characters with exaggerated accents. He portrayed German characters in The Producers (1967) and Young Frankenstein (1974), and played a Croatian musicologist, Hugh Simon, in What's Up, Doc? (1972). His first broadly accented character was that of Sir Evelyn Oakleigh in the 1962 Off-Broadway revival of the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes. He also appeared in the 1962 Broadway play, The Affair.

Comedy albums

In 1975, ABC/Dunhill released a comedy LP produced by Earl Doud, Henry the First, featuring Mars in a number of comedy bits as Henry Kissinger, including a cover version of the Bachman–Turner Overdrive song, "Takin' Care of Business".

Voice acting roles

Mars cultivated a lengthy voice acting career, launching it by voicing several characters on Uncle Croc's Block. He voiced the roles of Ariel's father King Triton in The Little Mermaid and in the video games Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II.

He voiced Littlefoot's Grandpa Longneck in the Land Before Time series of films and the spin-off television series, and the villainous Professor Screweyes in We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story. He played some minor roles on the popular radio show, Adventures in Odyssey. He played Sweet William in Fievel's American Tails, which took place after An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. He voiced characters on many animated television series, such as The Smurfs, The Biskitts, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, TaleSpin, and Animaniacs, as well as video games, such as Fallout and Kingdom Hearts.

Cancer diagnosis and retirement from acting

In 2006, Mars was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which had already spread beyond his pancreas. His cancer made him so ill that he could not reprise his role as King Triton for The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, so Jim Cummings took over the role. As well as not being able to voice Triton, he could not voice Grandpa Longneck in The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends (Grandpa does appear in the film, but has no lines) & couldn't return to reprise his role as Otto in season 6 of Malcolm in the Middle.

Personal life and death

In 1977 Mars married Barbara Newborn. They had two daughters, Susannah and Rebecca. The marriage lasted until his death in 2011. He died from pancreatic cancer on February 12, 2011 at the age of 75.


  • Act One (1963) as Robert E. Sherwood
  • The Ghost & Mrs. Muir (1968-1970, TV series) as Joshua T. Albertson / Ellsworth Gordon (2 episodes)
  • He & She (1967–1968, TV series) as Harry Zarakartos
  • The Producers (1967) as Franz Liebkind
  • The April Fools (1969) as Les Hopkins
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) as Marshal
  • Viva Max! (1969) as Dr. Sam Gillison
  • Desperate Characters (1971) as Otto Bentwood
  • What's Up, Doc? (1972) as Hugh Simon
  • Guess Who's Sleeping in My Bed? (1973, TV series) as Mitchell Bernard
  • The Parallax View (1974) as Former FBI Agent Will
  • Young Frankenstein (1974) as Police Inspector Hans Wilhelm Friedrich Kemp
  • The New Original Wonder Woman (pilot) (1975, TV series) as Colonel Oberst Von Blasko (1 episode)
  • Night Moves (1975) as Nick
  • It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman (1975, TV series) as Max Mencken
  • Fernwood 2 Night (1977, TV series) as William W.D. "Bud" Prize (8 episodes)
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep (1977, TV series) as Harold French
  • America 2-Night (1978, TV series) as William W.D. "Bud" Prize
  • Goin' Coconuts (1978) as Kruse
  • Heaven Only Knows (1979, TV series)
  • The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979) as Marshal Woolly Bill Hitchcock
  • Carol Burnett & Company (1979, TV series)
  • Hart to Hart (1980, TV series)
  • Full Moon High (1981) as Coach Cleveland / Principal Cleveland
  • Yellowbeard (1983) as Mr. Crisp / Verdugo
  • The Biskitts (1983) as King Max
  • The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries (1983) as Orson Kane
  • Prince Jack (1984) as Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Protocol (1984) as Lou
  • Fletch (1985) as Stanton Boyd
  • Beer (1985) as Adolphe Norbecker
  • Misfits of Science (TV) (1985) as Sen. Donner
  • The Adventures of the American Rabbit (1986) as Walt / Vultor the Buzzard (voice)
  • Radio Days (1987) as Rabbi Baumel
  • A Pup Named Scooby-Doo (1988–1991, TV series) as Dogcatcher Ghost (voice)
  • For Keeps? (1988) as Mr. Bobrucz
  • Illegally Yours (1988) as Hal B. Keeler
  • Rented Lips (1988) as Rev. Farrell
  • The Smurfs (1989, TV series, voice)
  • Get Smart, Again! (1989, TV series) as Cmdr. Drury
  • Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989) as The Mayor / The Mastermind
  • The Little Mermaid (1989) as King Triton (voice)
  • Tiny Toon Adventures (1990, TV series) as Flavio (voice) (episode: "Hollywood Plucky")
  • Tale Spin (1990-1994, TV series) as Heimlich Menudo / Prof. Buzz (voice)
  • Timeless Tales from Hallmark (1991)
  • Darkwing Duck (1991, TV series) as Tuskernini (voice)
  • Shadows and Fog (1991) as Armstead the Magician
  • A Different World (1992) as Homeless Man
  • Fievel's American Tails (1992, TV series) as Sweet William
  • The Little Mermaid (1992-1994, TV series) as King Triton (voice)
  • We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993) as Professor Screweyes (voice)
  • Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron (1993) as Dr. Wally Gilbert Kenrousch (voice)
  • Bonkers (1993, TV series) as Gloomy (voice)
  • Animaniacs (1993, TV series) as Ludwig van Beethoven (voice)
  • Batman: The Animated Series (1994, TV series) as Richard (voice)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1994) as Colyus
  • Thumbelina (1994) as King Colbert (voice)
  • The Land Before Time series (II-XIII) (1994-2008) as Grandpa (voice)
  • Rough Magic (1995) as Magician
  • Freakazoid! (1995, TV series) as Dr. Gunter Hunter Hanker (voice)
  • Batman: The Animated Series (1995, TV series) as M2 (voice)
  • Citizen Ruth (1996) as Dr. Charles Rollins
  • Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1996) as Grant Gendell (season 4, episode 8: "Bob and Carol and Lois and Clark")
  • The Drew Carey Show (1997, TV series) as Mr. Tinsley
  • Fallout (1997, Video Game) as Vault 13 Overseer (voice)
  • Godzilla: The Series (1998, TV series) as Dr. Alexander Preloran (voice)
  • The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000) as King Triton (voice)
  • Becker (2001, TV series) as Melvin
  • Just Shoot Me (2001, TV series) as Horace
  • Malcolm in the Middle (2002-2004, TV series) as Otto Mannkusser
  • Kingdom Hearts (2002) as King Triton (voice)
  • Teddy Bears' Picnic (2002) as Gene Molinari
  • Kingdom Hearts II (2006, Video Game) as King Triton (voice)
  • Hannah Montana (2007, TV series) as Gunther the Innkeeper
  • The Land Before Time (2007–08, TV series) as Grandpa Longneck (voice, final appearance)


The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 09 Feb 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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