VALE: KENNETH MARS (1935 – 2011) – Kenneth Mars, 75, a veteran actor whose most memorable performances were his two collaborations with director Mel Brooks in The Producers and Young Frankenstein, died of pancreatic cancer on Saturday 12 February at his home in Granada Hills. Mars was born April 4, 1935, in Chicago. A fine arts graduate of Northwestern University, he began acting in the early 1960s. During a career that spanned five decades, Mars appeared in more than 35 films, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Desperate Characters (1971), What’s Up, Doc? (1972), and Radio Days (1987). He also had roles in scores of television shows, including Love, American Style, Fernwood Tonight, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, McMillan & Wife and most recently a recurring role Malcolm in the Middle. In The Producers (1968), he played Franz Liebkind, a somewhat demented Nazi whose play, “Springtime for Hitler,” attracts a couple of scheming Broadway producers played by Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel. One of his most quoted lines was, “Not many people know it, but the Fuhrer was a terrific dancer!” In Young Frankenstein, Mars again displayed a flair for Germanic characters in the role of Inspector Kemp, a monocled police chief with a hilariously malfunctioning prosthetic arm. In his later years, he was a sought-after voice actor in children’s cartoons and animated features, including The Land Before Time series and The Little Mermaid.
One of my all-time favorite characters – Kenneth Mars is Inspector Kemp in Young Frankenstein –