Barney Martin
Barney Martin
Veteran character actor Barney Martin appeared as "Santa" in the episode titled "Psycho Santa".
Vital information
Born: (1923-03-03)March 3, 1923
Birthplace: Queens, New York, U.S.
Died March 21, 2005(2005-03-21) (aged 82)
Deathplace: Studio City, California, U.S.
Years active: 1956–2000
Character information
Appeared on: The Wayans Bros.
Episodes appeared in: "Psycho Santa"
Character played: Santa Claus
Wayans Bros Long script logo-1062px

Barney Martin (March 3, 1923 – March 21, 2005) appeared as "Santa" in The Wayans Bros. episode titled "Psycho Santa". He is best known for playing Morty Seinfeld, father of Jerry, on the famous sitcom Seinfeld.

Early lifeEdit

Born in Queens, New York, Barney served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II and then was an NYPD officer for twenty years. He got his start as a comedian while still a police officer, giving humorous presentations to the deputy police commissioners.


Entering show business in the 1950s as a writer for Steve Allen, Barney was discovered by Mel Brooks in 1968, who cast him in The Producers. That year, he also played the role of Hank in "Charly". He went on to act in dozens of films, including the role of Liza Minnelli's unemployed father in Arthur (1981). On television, he appeared in two episodes of The Odd Couple. Once in a very early episode as an irrate fellow juror infuriated with Felix Ungar's pestiness, and four years later as a fellow subway train passenger. Shortly after Martin co starred with Tony Randall in 44 episodes of "The Tony Randall Show" , (far more appearances than he later made on Seinfeld). Throughout the run of this show he was second billing only to Randall himself. He also appeared in an episode of Full House as Ranger Roy. In 1979 he was cast as the title character in Norman Lear's final TV series concept, McGurk: A Dog's Life. Martin was cast to play a character similar to Lear's earlier creation, Archie Bunker, but played as a dog. Only the pilot was completed. In 1990, he co-starred with Valerie Bertinelli and Matthew Perry in the CBS sitcom Sydney.

In 1975, Martin originated the role of Amos Hart in Chicago. He appeared in many more musicals during his career, most notably South Pacific, The Fantasticks and How Now, Dow Jones. Much of Martin's work has been in television, where he has had a long career as a character actor. He played the "Cheese Man" in a "Golden Girls" episode. He is best known for playing Morty Seinfeld, father of Jerry, on Seinfeld.

Martin once commented that many Jewish Seinfeld fans told him how much his character reminded them of their father. Martin himself was of Irish Catholic extraction.[1]


On March 21, 2005, he died of lung cancer in Studio City, Los Angeles, California. He was 82 years old.


External linksEdit


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