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Martin Mull, ‘Clue’ and ‘Arrested Development’ comedic actor, dies at 80

Actor Martin Mull attends FOX Hosts "The Cool Kids" Outdoor Screening Event at Roxbury Park on Sept. 24, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California. Mull died Thursday, June 27, 2024, at the age of 80. (Earl Gibson III/Getty Images/TNS)

Martin Mull, the comedic actor, singer-songwriter and painter, best known for his roles in “Arrested Development,” “Clue” and “Roseanne,” died Thursday at the age of 80.

His death was announced in an Instagram post from his daughter Maggie Mull.

“I am heartbroken to share that my father passed away at home on June 27th, after a valiant fight against a long illness,” she wrote Friday.

“He was known for excelling at every creative discipline imaginable and also for doing Red Roof Inn commercials. He would find that joke funny. He was never not funny,” she added, saying he will be missed by “his wife and daughter, by his friends and coworkers, by fellow artists and comedians and musicians, and — the sign of a truly exceptional person — by many, many dogs. I loved him tremendously,” she concluded.

Mull first found success as a songwriter, writing “A Girl Named Johnny Cash” for Jane Morgan, which peaked at No. 61 on the country charts.

As a solo guitarist, he opened for headliners like Billy Joel, Randy Newman, Frank Zappa and Bruce Springsteen.

In 1976, his portrayal of Garth and Barth Gimble on “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” first brought him national recognition as an actor, and led to roles on spinoffs “Fernwood 2 Night” and “America 2 Night.”

Some of his more iconic roles came in the 1985 comedy “Clue,” as Colonel Mustard, and later in the comedy series “Arrested Development,” as detective Gene Parmesan.

A guest appearance on “Veep” in 2016 eventually earned Mull an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor.

He also voiced the famous Red Roof Inn commercials, saying, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”

Mull is survived by his third wife, Wendy Haas, whom he married in 1982, and their daughter Maggie, a TV writer-producer.


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