Marvin Kaplan

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Marvin Kaplan
Marvin Kaplan in I Can Get It for You Wholesale.jpg
Kaplan in 1951
Marvin Wilbur Kaplan

(1927-01-24)January 24, 1927
DiedAugust 25, 2016(2016-08-25) (aged 89)
Alma mater Brooklyn College
  • Actor
  • playwright
  • screenwriter
Years active1949–2016
Rosa Felsenburg
(m. 1973;div. 1976)

Marvin Wilbur Kaplan (January 24, 1927 – August 25, 2016) was an American actor, playwright and screenwriter. Best known as Henry Beesmeyer in Alice (1978–1985).


Early years

Kaplan was born on January 24, 1927, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Dr. I.E. Kaplan and his wife. He attended Public School 16, and Junior High School 50 and graduated from Eastern District High School in 1943. [1] He graduated from Brooklyn College with a bachelor's degree in English in 1947 and later took classes in theater at the University of Southern California. [2]


Kaplan is probably best known for his recurring role on the sitcom Alice where he portrayed a phone lineman named Henry Beesmeyer who frequented Mel's diner. He was with the cast from 1977 until the series ended in 1985.[ citation needed ]

In addition, the actor was the voice of Choo-Choo on the cartoon series Top Cat (1961–62). [3] :1096 He played an electronics expert, Ensign Kwasniak, on McHale's Navy episode 104 (season 3 episode 32) "All Ahead, Empty". In 1969, he appeared as Stanley on Petticoat Junction in the episode: "The Other Woman".

In 1987, he reprised his role of Choo-Choo for Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats . At the same time, he actively returned to voice-over acting, playing roles in shows such as Garfield and Friends , Aaahh!!! Real Monsters , Johnny Bravo , and later, The Garfield Show in 2011. Kaplan was the commercial spokesperson for the American cologne Eau de Love. In addition to his role on Alice, he played Mr. Gordon on Becker alongside Ted Danson.[ citation needed ]

On cartoon series, Kaplan also provided the voices of Skids on CB Bears [3] and Marvin on The Chicago Teddy Bears . [3] :184 In other roles, he portrayed Mr. Milfloss in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis [3] :267 and Dwight McGonigle in On the Air . [3] :786


Kaplan had a regular role in the radio sitcom and later television version of Meet Millie as Alfred Prinzmetal, an aspiring poet-composer. [4] The program ran from 1951–54 on radio and continued on television from 1952–56.

He joined the California Artists Radio Theatre In January 1984 and performed leading roles in over twenty 90 minute productions. He created two musicals for the group and one."A Good House For A Killing" is a successful Musical Comedy. He appeared in CART's Alice in Wonderland as the White Rabbit,:And In Norman Corwin's Plot to Overthrow Christmas with CART, as Nero's messenger opposite David Warner. He Was in CART's Bradbury 75th Birthday Tribute. He played opposite Jo Ann Worley in three CART productions :Corwin's 100th Birthday, Chekhov's Humoresque and in The Man With Bogart's Face" he was the Cowardly Lion in Cart's Wizard of Oz opposite Norman Lloyd and Linda Henning. And was the Lead in"Clarence" opposite Samantha Eggar and Janet Waldo; and Dr. Einstein opposite David Warner in Cart's Arsenic and Old Lace..He served on the Board for California Artists Radio Theatre for 32 years. Marvin Kaplan appeared as Geppetto on Adventures in Odyssey's Club episode entitled The Tale of a Foolish Puppet Parts 1 & 2 recorded in 2014 and released in 2015. [5]


Kaplan's first film role was as a court reporter in Adam's Rib (1949). He had a small role in the 1963 film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) playing a gas station attendant alongside Arnold Stang, with whom he provided voices for the Top Cat cartoon series. He features in the supporting cast of the comedy The Great Race (1965). He also made a brief appearance as a carpet cleaner in the film Freaky Friday (1976).[ citation needed ]


Kaplan gained early stage experience at a Los Angeles theater, working as stage manager on a production of ''Rain''. [2] For many years, Kaplan was a member of Theatre West, the oldest continually-operating theatre company in Los Angeles. He performed in many plays there and elsewhere. He was also a playwright and screenwriter. [6]

Personal life

Kaplan in 2013 Marvin-Kaplan 2013-11-15.jpg
Kaplan in 2013

Kaplan was married to Rosa Felsenburg, a union that ended in divorce. [2]


Kaplan died of natural causes in his sleep on August 25, 2016. He was 89 years old. [2]




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  1. "New Brooklyn Comedy Find In 'Reformer and Redhead'". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle . April 2, 1950. p. 32. Retrieved March 24, 2018 via
  2. 1 2 3 4 Langer, Emily (August 28, 2016). "Marvin Kaplan, character actor who won laughs in 'Adam's Rib' and 'Alice', dies at 89". The Washington Post .
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Terrace, Vincent (January 10, 2014). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. p. 170. ISBN   978-0-7864-6477-7 . Retrieved 2021-10-11.
  4. Terrace, Vincent (September 22, 2015). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows . McFarland. p. 223. ISBN   978-0-7864-4513-4.
  5. "Pinocchio: The Tale of a Foolish Puppet, Part 1". 8 August 2020. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  6. Thomas, Nick (January 21, 2016). "Saluting Marvin Kaplan". The Spectrum . St. George, Utah.