He created the role of Oscar in Sweet Charity in 1966, opposite Gwen Verdon, garnering a Tony nomination, and played the role again in the 1969 film opposite Shirley MacLaine. He was reportedly cast in Stephen Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in 1962, but his role was cut before the show opened. He later starred in the original Broadway production of Sondheim's Follies opposite Alexis Smith in 1971 as Benjamin Stone, introducing the ballad "The Road You Didn't Take". His association with Sondheim has continued, appearing in A Little Night Music as Frederick at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, in 1991. The reviewer for the Orange County Register (California) wrote that the actor was "aggressively deadpan as her rediscovered old flame ..." He appeared in the Broadway revival of Into the Woods in 2002, in the dual role of the Narrator/Mysterious Man. Other Broadway roles include the Narrator in Happy New Year, Ben in A Little Family Business (adapted by Jay Presson Allen, 1982), Donner in Tom Stoppard's Artist Descending a Staircase, Cap'n Andy in Kern and Hammerstein's Show Boat (1994), and Uncle Willie in Cole Porter's High Society (1998).
He also had a role, as the American Revolutionary naval hero John Paul Jones, in the unsuccessful Loesser/Spewack musical, Pleasures and Palaces, which closed in Detroit. McMartin was a leading member of the New Phoenix Repertory Company during their three Broadway seasons in the early 1970s, appearing onstage in, among other productions, Eugene O'Neill's The Great God Brown (opposite Katherine Helmond), Molière's Dom Juan, and Luigi Pirandello's The Rules of the Game. He played "Anton Schell" opposite Chita Rivera in Kander and Ebb's musical The Visit (based on the play by Friedrich Dürrenmatt) at the Goodman Theatre. He created the roles of "J.V. 'Major' Bouvier" and Norman Vincent Peale in Grey Gardens, opposite Mary Louise Wilson and Christine Ebersole. He played Thomas Jefferson in the original cast of John Guare's A Free Man of Color at Lincoln Center (2010–2011), and next played "Elisha Whitney" in the 2011 Broadway revival of Anything Goes, opposite Jessica Walter. On television, he appeared in the first two seasons of Beauty and the Beast (1987) as Charles Chandler, father of Catherine (Linda Hamilton).
He also appeared in The Golden Girls (Season 2) as Frank Leahy who, unbeknownst to Dorothy (Bea Arthur) who is romantically attracted to him, is a priest. He appeared on Cheers (Season 7) in "The Visiting Lecher". He appeared as radio personality Fletcher Grey on Frasier (Season 1). He also appeared in four episodes of Murder, She Wrote.
He also appeared as Shirley Jones' love interest in The Partridge Family episode titled "When Mother Gets Married". He died of cancer in Manhattan on July 6, 2016 at the age of 86. He is survived by his two daughters from his marriage, and his long-time partner, actress Charlotte Moore, the artistic director of the Irish Repertory Theatre. Broadway credits The Conquering Hero — Forrest Noble — 1961 Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole — 1961 Children From Their Games — Sidney Balzer — 1963 A Rainy Day in Newark — Edward L. Voorhees — 1963 Sweet Charity — Oscar — 1966 Follies — Benjamin Stone — 1971/72 The Great God Brown — Dion Anthony — 1972/73 Don Juan — Sganarelle — 1972/73 Sondheim: A Musical Tribute Special benefit concert — 1973 The Visit — Anton Schill — 1973/74 Chemin de Fer — Fedot — 1973/74 Love for Love — Foresight — 1974 The Rules of the Game — Leone Gala — 1974 Happy New Year — Narrator — 1980 Solomon's Child — Allan — 1982 A Little Family Business — Ben — 1982 Artist Descending a Staircase — Donner — 1989 Show Boat — Cap'n Andy — 1994/97 High Society — Uncle Willie — 1998 Into the Woods — Mysterious Man/Narrator — 2002 Passion — Special benefit concert — Doctor Tambourri — 2004 Grey Gardens — J.V. "Major" Bouvier/Norman Vincent Peale -2006 Is He Dead? (2007) Sondheim: The Birthday Concert — "The Road You Didn't Take" — 2010 A Free Man of Color — Thomas Jefferson — 2010 Anything Goes — Elisha Whitney — 2011 All the Way — Richard Russell, Jr.
— 2013 Off-Broadway credits Little Mary Sunshine — Cpl."Billy" Jester — 1959 Too Much Johnson — Mr. Billings — 1964 The Misanthrope — Alceste — 1977 Julius Caesar — Julius Caesar — 1988 Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story — Parole Board (voiceover) — 2005 Grey Gardens — Major Bouvier/Norman Vincent Peale — 2006 Indian Blood — 2006 Regional theatre credits A Little Night Music — Frederick Egerman — Berkshire Theatre Festival, Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles The Visit — Goodman Theatre, Chicago, 2002 Selected filmography A Thousand Clowns — 1965 What's So Bad About Feeling Good? — 1968 Sweet Charity — 1969 Ritual of Evil — 1970 All the President's Men — 1976 Thieves — 1977 Brubaker — 1980 Blow Out — 1981 Pennies From Heaven — 1981 Dream Lover — 1986 Legal Eagles — 1986 Native Son — 1986 Who's That Girl — 1987 A Shock to the System — 1990 Separate but Equal — 1991 Citizen Cohn — 1992 Frasier — 1994 Three Businessmen — 1998 The Dish — 2000 Kinsey — 2004 No Reservations — 2007 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt — 2014 Awards and nominations 1960 Theatre World Award for Little Mary Sunshine 1966 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Sweet Charity (nominee) 1973 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Play Don Juan (nominee) 1973 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Performance The Great God Brown (winner) 1973 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Performance Don Juan (winner) 1995 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Show Boat (nominee) 1998 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical High Society (nominee) 1998 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical High Society (nominee) 2002 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Into the Woods (nominee) 2006 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Grey Gardens (nominee) 2009 Inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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