Marty Feldman – The Biography

(Titan Books, 2011)
ISBN 9780857683786

“If I’m remembered for anything, I hope it’s for that”. Marty Feldman
Mike Myers thinks he was “a genius”, while John Cleese regards him as “a true cultural icon”. He was an architect of British comedy, paving the way for Monty Python, and then became a major Hollywood star, forever remembered as Igor in Mel Brooks’ ‘Young Frankenstein’. A writer, director, performer and true pioneer of his art, he died aged only 48. His name was Marty Feldman, and here, at last, is the first ever biography. I interviewed Marty’s friends and family, including his sister Pamela, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, and drew from extensive, previously unpublished and often hilarious interviews with Marty himself. No one before or since has had a career quite like Marty’s. Beginning in the dying days of variety theatre, he went from the behind-the-scenes scriptwriting triumphs of ‘Round the Horne’ and ‘The Frost Report’ to onscreen stardom in ‘At Last the 1948 Show’ and his own hit series, ‘Marty’ and ‘The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine’. These led to transatlantic success, his work with Mel Brooks, and a five-picture deal to write and direct his own films. His comedy connections stretch from Max Miller to Richard Pryor and along the way he encountered everybody from Orson Welles to Kermit the Frog. This is the fascinating story of a key figure in the history of comedy, fully told for the first time.

“Igor in ‘Young Frankenstein’ was written for Marty. I was thinking of him all the time. No-one else could have played that part”

Gene Wilder

“When you’re a comedy writer you pray for Marty Feldman. He not only met your material, he lifted it. He gave it that magic touch”

Mel Brooks

“Marty had one of the sharpest comedy brains in anybody I have ever met. He was a lovely man as well. Almost unique”

Michael Palin

"Mel Brooks described him as "the most complicated human being I have ever met" and Ross's thorough biography brings you up close to the strangeness."

Martin Chilton, The Telegraph

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