Marty Ingels, an actor and talent agent known for his offbeat sense of humor, storytelling, and marriage to Shirley Jones, died Wednesday following a stroke at Tarzana Medical center
Marty Ingels, was an American actor, comedian, theatrical agent, and, by many, best known as co-star of the 1960s television series I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster, and as the voice of many cartoon characters and commercials.
Ingels was born Martin Ingerman in 1936 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, the son of Jacob and Minnie Ingerman.
Ingels’ acting career dates back to the early 1960s. In 1960, he appeared twice as himself in NBC’s short-lived crime drama, Dan Raven, starring Skip Homeier and set on the Sunset Strip of West Hollywood, California. He had his own short-lived ABC television series, I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster (1962–1963) with John Astin, which lasted one season of thirty-two episodes.
He guest starred on the CBS sitcoms, Pete and Gladys, The Ann Sothern Show, and Hennesey. He also appeared in one episode of ABC’s Bewitched. He appeared twice as Sol Pomeroy, a United States Army buddy of the character Rob Petrie, on CBS’s The Dick Van Dyke Show. In 1978, Mr. Ingels guest starred in Season Two, Episode One of The Love Boat.
His voice-overs and commercials include those for Paul Masson wines, with his uniquely raspy voice. He played AutoCat in the Autocat and Motormouse cartoons featured first on The Cattanooga Cats and then in a series of their own, and was Beegle Beagle in The Great Grape Ape Show. He appeared in Pac-Man (1982) as the title character. As recently as 2010, Ingels was cast in an episode of CBS’s CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
He also acted in films, including Armored Command (1961), The Horizontal Lieutenant (1962), Wild and Wonderful (1964), The Busy Body (1967), A Guide for the Married Man (1967), For Singles Only (1968), The Picasso Summer (1969), If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969), Linda Lovelace for President (1975), and Instant Karma (1990).
Ingels was been married since 1977 to the actress and singer Shirley Jones. In 1990 they published an autobiography based on their quirky relationship and marriage, Shirley & Marty: An Unlikely Love Story
In recent decades, Ingels has worked primarily as an agent, specializing in representing actors in celebrity endorsement ads. A deal for his contract to read for voice of Pac-Man in the cartoon was to be granted a Pac-Man arcade cabinet, which was delivered by truck to his home.
In 1993, Ingels sued actress June Allyson for his agency commission. Allyson denied wrongdoing and countersued. Ingels pled no contest to making annoying phone calls to Allyson.
In 2003, he sued radio personality Tom Leykis and Westwood One, saying that comments made about him constituted age discrimination. In June 2005, Ingels’s lawsuit was dismissed and Ingels was ordered to pay Leykis’s $25,000 in legal fees.
Most recently, Ingels played the role of Murray, a sexually perverted and womanizing grandfather in the 2015 sex comedy, Promoted. Ingels died from a massive stroke at Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, California, on October 21, 2015, at the age of 79.