Entertainment & Arts

Kenneth Mars, star of The Producers, dies aged 75

Kenneth Mars as he appeared in The Producers
Image caption Mars played Nazi enthusiast Franz Liebkind in 1968's The Producers

US actor Kenneth Mars, best known for his appearances in Mel Brooks's films The Producers and Young Frankenstein, has died of pancreatic cancer.

His family said the 75-year-old died at his California home on Saturday.

In anarchic comedy The Producers, Mars played a Nazi enthusiast whose play, Springtime for Hitler, is turned into a tasteless Broadway musical.

Brooks also cast Mars as an earnest police inspector with a malfunctioning artificial arm in Young Frankenstein.

Born in Chicago in 1935, Mars began his five-decade career on TV with roles in such shows as Get Smart and Car 54, Where are You?

After The Producers, his first film role, he went on to appear in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, What's Up, Doc? and Woody Allen's Radio Days.

In later years he worked mainly in TV, appearing in such series as LA Law, Diagnosis Murder and Malcolm in the Middle.

He also provided voices for cartoons and animated films, among them The Land Before Time and Disney's The Little Mermaid.

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