FELDMAN, MARTIN ("Marty" ; 1934–1982), British comedian and scriptwriter. Born in London to Orthodox Jewish parents, Marty Feldman left school at 15 and, in 1957, joined the bbc as a staff writer, continuing for ten years as a television and radio comedy scriptwriter for such shows as bbc radio's Round the Horne. From 1967 he was chiefly an actor, his trade-mark bulging eyes and gangling frame being instantly recognizable. He became internationally famous in the five years after he moved to Hollywood in 1974, co-starring with Gene *Wilder in such cult comedies as Young Frankenstein (1974), in which he played "Igor," and Silent Movie (1976). Like many clowns, in private life Feldman was a sad, unhappy man. His bulging eyes were caused by a chronic thyroid deficiency, and his manic-depressive personality led to dependence on drugs and alcohol. He died of a heart attack at the age of 48.
[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]