Actor Television actor

Marvin Kaplan

Quick Facts

IntroAmerican actor
Was Actor
Television actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage, Radio
Birth 24 January 1927, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Death 25 August 2016, Burbank, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A.
(aged 89 years)
Star signAquarius


Marvin Wilbur Kaplan (January 24, 1927 – August 25, 2016) was an American actor.

Life and career

Marvin Kaplan was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1927. He 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. His first film role was as a court reporter in Adam’s Rib (1949).

Kaplan had a regular role in the radio sitcom and later television version of Meet Millie as Alfred Prinzmetal, an aspiring poet-composer. The program ran from 1951-54 on radio and continued on television from 1952-56. In addition, the actor was the voice of Choo-Choo on the 1960s cartoon series Top Cat and had a small role in the 1963 film It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World playing a gas station attendant. He co-starred in the 1965 comedy The Great Race. In 1969, he appeared as Stanley on Petticoat Junction in the episode: “The Other Woman”. He also made a brief appearance as a carpet cleaner in the 1976 film Freaky Friday. 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.

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 most recently, 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.

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 an accomplished playwright and screenwriter.

Kaplan died of natural causes in his sleep on August 25, 2016, aged 89.

Selected filmography

  • Adam’s Rib (1949) as Court Stenographer (uncredited)
  • Francis (1950) as First Medical Corps lieutenant (uncredited)
  • Key to the City (1950) as Francis – Newspaper Photographer (uncredited)
  • The Reformer and the Redhead (1950) as Leon
  • I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1951) as Arnold Fisher
  • The Fat Man (1951) as Pinkie (uncredited)
  • Criminal Lawyer (1951) as Sam Kutler
  • Behave Yourself! (1951) as Max the Umbrella
  • Angels in the Outfield (1951) as Timothy Durney
  • The Fabulous Senorita (1952) as Clifford Van Kunkle
  • Wake Me When It’s Over (1960) as Hap Cosgrove
  • The Nutty Professor (1963) as English Student
  • A New Kind of Love (1963) as Harry
  • It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) as Irwin, service station co-owner
  • The Great Race (1965) as Frisbee
  • The Severed Arm (1973) as Mad Man Herman
  • Snakes (1974) as Brother Joy
  • Freaky Friday (1976) as Carpet Cleaner
  • Midnight Madness (1980) as Bonaventure Desk Clerk
  • Saturday Supercade (1984) as Shellshock ‘Shelly’ Turtle (voice)
  • Hollywood Vice Squad (1986) as Man with doll
  • Top Cat and the Beverly Hills Cats (1988) as Choo-Choo (voice)
  • Wild at Heart (1990) as Uncle Pooch
  • Delirious (1991) as Typewriter Repairman
  • Witchboard 2: The Devil’s Doorway (1993) as Morris
  • Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love (1994) as Mr. Dawson
  • Dark and Stormy Night (2009) as Gunny
  • Lookin’ Up (2016) as Vic Greeley (final film role)


  • The Detectives – episode – Hit and Miss – Irwin (1961)
  • Top Cat – 30 episodes – Choo-Choo (1961-1962)
  • Gomer Pyle, USMC – episode – The Carriage Waits – Mr. Kendall (1968)
  • Mod Squad – episode – Flight Five Doesn’t Answer & In This Corner – Sol Alpert – Sol Albert (1969)
  • I Dream of Jeannie – episode – One of Our Hotels Is Growing – Perkins (1970)
  • Wait Till Your Father Gets Home – episode – Love Story – Norman (1972)
  • CB Bears – Skids (1977)
  • Charlie’s Angels – episode – Circus of Terror – Zobar (1977)
  • MacGyver – episode – A Prisoner of Conscience – The Chess Master (1986)
  • Smurfquest – additional Voices (1986)
  • Wake, Rattle & Roll – Segment – Fender Bender 500 – Choo Choo (1990)
  • Garfield and Friends – episode – Moo Cow Mutt/Big Bad Buddy Bird/Angel Puss – Angel Puss (1991)
  • The Cartoon Cartoon Show – episode – O. Ratz: Rat in a Hot Tin Can – Dave D. Fly (1995)
  • Johnny Bravo – episode – Going Batty/Berry the Butler/Red Faced in the White House – Woody (1997)
  • Becker — Mr. Gordon (4 episodes) (1998–2004)
  • Cool Cats in Interview Alley – Video short – Himself (2004)