Actor. Born Martin Rosenblatt in Grodek, Poland, he grew up on New York City's Lower East Side. Before he was able to speak English, he spoke Yiddish, Polish, and Russian. He would later learn French, Spanish, and Italian. He was a violin virtuoso, and at age eight played solo with a junior symphony orchestra. He was educated in business and law, but chose instead to tred the boards. At seventeen, he was one half of a vaudeville comedy duo with Bernie West called ‘Ross & West.' His facility with languages and dialect then led to radio work, and at one he was a regular in eight separate series on different networks. Eventually, he landed his own program, ‘The Ross Martin Show.' He made his television bow in 1950, playing roles in both ‘Your Treasury Men in Action' and ‘Lights Out.' In 1955 he made his feature film debut in ‘Conquest of Space.' He was cast in Blake Edwards' melodrama farce ‘The Great Race' in 1965 just before he was picked up by CBS who cast him in his signature role, Secret Service agent Artemus Gordon in ‘The Wild, Wild West.' Martin suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 1968, something that has been blamed for his failure to land a starring role in any series thereafter. He did, however, appear as a guest star in more than one hundred television episodes and returned for two ‘Wild, Wild West' reunion films in 1979 and 1980. In 1981, Martin collapsed while playing tennis, succumbing to a massive heart attack.
Bio by: Iola