Ross Martin

Ross Martin

61 (passed away Jul. 3rd, 1981)
Mar. 22nd, 1920
Born in
Grodek, Poland
5' 11"

Ross Martin's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
The Wild Wild West TV Show
The Wild Wild West
Celebrity Bowling TV Show
Celebrity Bowling
Sealab 2020 TV Show
Sealab 2020
Mr. Lucky TV Show
Mr. Lucky
The Robonic Stooges TV Show
The Robonic Stooges
The Skatebirds TV Show
The Skatebirds
Blansky's Beauties TV Show
Blansky's Beauties
The Law and Mr. Jones TV Show
The Law and Mr. Jones
Concerning Miss Marlowe TV Show
Concerning Miss Marlowe
Tenafly TV Show
The American Girls TV Show
The American Girls
The Big Story TV Show
The Big Story
Your First Impression TV Show
Your First Impression

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Born in Grodek, Poland, Ross Martin grew up on New York City's Lower East Side. He spoke Yiddish, Polish, and Russian before even learning English and later added French, Spanish, and Italian to his amazing repertoire.

Despite academic training (and receiving honors in) business, instruction, and law, M. Martin chose a career of acting. His first film was the George Pal production Conquest of Space (1955). Soon after, he caught the eye of Blake Edwards who cast him in a number of widely varied roles, culminating with a fantastic part in The Great Race (1965).

Ross somehow managed a series in between, the short-lived "Mr. Lucky" (1959). With the release of The Great Race (1965), CBS cast him in what was to become his most famous part, Secret Service agent Artemus Gordon in "The Wild Wild West" (1965), opposite Robert Conrad (I). Perhaps the show's cancellation in 1969 was for the best - he suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 1968.

Afraid to take the risk of having a lead actor with a heart condition, the networks snubbed him with regards to a lead role, yet he appeared as a guest star in an amazing number of programs, not all dramatic masterpieces. Yet Ross loved to act, and took every role which came his way. Ross Martin (I) collapsed while playing tennis, the heart condition finally taking its toll on July 3rd, 1981.

  • Best remembered by the public for his starring role as Artemus Gordon in The Wild Wild West (1964).
  • One half of a vaudeville comedy duo from 1937-41 called "Ross & West." His partner was 'Bernard West' (qv).
  • At the time of his death in 1981, Martin and Robert Conrad were in the planning stages of another "Wild, Wild West" TV series.
  • He is interred in Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
  • His wife Olavee Grinrod, died February 3, 2002.
  • In _"Columbo" (1971) {Suitable for Framing (#1.4)}_ (qv), many a viewer notes the marvelous interplay between Martin and 'Peter Falk (I)' (qv). This is to be expected; Martin was Falk's acting instructor in years past. The two also worked together in _The Great Race (1965)_ (qv).
  • His natural ability for dialects led him to radio while in his 20s, performing on three daytime radio serials at once, including the part of a 62-year-old Viennese gent. At one time, the prolific actor was a regular in eight separate major series on all the different networks. He ended up with his own radio program, "The Ross Martin Show.".
  • With a penchant for playing villains, he received a Golden Globe nomination for his terrifying role in _Experiment in Terror (1962)_ (qv). As a promotion and publicity stunt for the film, Columbia chose to withheld the identity of Martin from the press until the film opened. It helped bring interest to the film, but in the long run, hurt the unknown Martin.

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