Martin Gabel

Active - 1947 - 1980  |   Born - Jun 19, 1912   |   Died - May 22, 1986   |   Genres - Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Crime, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

When he was an English student at Lehigh University, Martin Gabel decided to switch gears and become an actor, studying to that end at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1933, he made his first Broadway appearance in Man Bites a Horse; his roles increased in size and stature in such subsequent New York productions as Dead End. Gabel joined Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre, appearing in Danton's Death, Julius Caesar and other ground-breaking productions; he also worked steadily on Welles' radio series, the Mercury Theatre on the Air. As the 1930s came to a close, Gabel joined several fellow actors in helping to raise money for the 1939 stage production of Life with Father, which would become the longest-running comedy in theatrical history. Collectors of old-time radio broadcasts know Gabel best as the fervent narrator of Norman Corwin's VJ Day drama, On a Note of Triumph. Gabel made his entree into films as the director of The Lost Moment (1947); as a movie actor, he was often cast in blunt, villainous roles, as in 1952's Deadline USA. His stage work in the 1950s and 1960s included a Tony-winning assignment in Big Fish Little Fish, and the role of Moriarty in the short-lived Sherlock Holmes musical Baker Street. Martin Gabel was the husband of actress/TV personality Arlene Francis, and the brother of actors Olive Deering and Alfred Ryder.

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