Biography

Born in Grodek, Poland, the erudite actor received an M.A. in psychometrics and a law degree before he turned to performing as half of a comedy team known as Ross & West. On film, he was notable and frightening in Experiment in Terror (1962). Following an undistinguished but busy TV career in the '50s, Martin became one of television's most brilliant chararacter actors. As a regular on the charades-like game shows The Ad-Libbers (1951), Pantomime Quiz (1950-1963), and Stump the Stars (1962-63), he had the chance to show off his lightning mind and acting facility. After playing a supporting role on The Sheriff of Cochise (1956-1960), he costarred as Andamo on Mr. Lucky (1959-60). Martin finally found his niche as TV's "man of a thousand faces" -- Secret Service agent Artemus Gordon -- on the humorous cult spy spoof/western/science fiction series The Wild, Wild West (1965-1969) with Robert Conrad as James West. The show gave him an opportunity to display his acting virtuosity, as he used multiple disguises and accents in almost every episode. Sidelined by a major heart attack near the end of the series and replaced by look-alike Charles Aidman, Martin did mostly guest shots and cartoon voiceovers thereafter. His directing credits include Here's Lucy (1968-74). ~ Rovi