Marty Ingels, the outrageous actor and comedian best known for his starring role on the ’60s TV show I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster, has passed away. He was 79 years old.
His wife, actress Shirley Jones, announced in a statement that his passing was the result of a stroke.
According to The Washington Post, the couple went through a “painful yearlong separation”, though they later reconciled during a session with their therapist where Ingles showed up with a large hat, playing a trombone.
Ingels — who was not only an actor and comedian, but a theatrical agent — was born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City back in the 1930s, ’36 to be exact.
He played comic roles in several films during the 1960s, including The Horizontal Lieutenant, Wild and Wonderful, A Guide for the Married Man, and If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium. He played guest roles in shows such as The Addams Family, The Phyllis Diller Show, and later on Murder, She Wrote and CSI.
Ingles also worked as a voice actor for cartoons and commercials.
The New York Times reports that in a statement, his wife said that Ingels “often drove me crazy, but there’s not a day I won’t miss him and love him to my core.”
Ingels once sued actress June Allyson for his agency commission. Ingels alleged that he was owed a commission by Allyson after placing her in a commercial for the adult diaper, Depends. Allyson, who denied any wrongdoing, filed countersuit against the actor, claiming that he had made annoying phone calls to her — a claim to which he pleaded no contest. He was ordered to perform 120 hours of community service for his “harassment”, a duty which he fulfilled by entertaining senior citizens at a nursing home.
In retrospect, the comedic nature of the incident fit the comedic theme that was prevalent all his life.
Following his 1993 legal battle with Allyson, he sued radio personality Tom Leykis and Westwood One over comments made about him, comments which he claimed to constitute age discrimination. The lawsuit was filed in 2003 and by June of 2005, it had been dismissed and he was subsequently ordered to pay Leykis’s legal fees, which amounted to $25,000.
Though not every memorable incident in his life has been a happy one, Ingels will be remembered for his contributions as an entertainer, and as a man whose life was characterized largely by humor.