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Martin Mull, the witty comedian and actor known for his roles in ‘Fernwood Tonight’ and ‘Roseanne,’ passes away at the age of 80

Martin Mull (Via Dean Clark/Shutterstock)

Martin Mull, a comedic and acting talent who gained popularity in the 1970s and later became a beloved guest star on sitcoms like “Roseanne” and “Arrested Development,” passed away at the age of 80, according to his daughter.

Maggie Mull, a television writer and comic artist, announced that her father died at home on Thursday after battling a long illness courageously.

Mull, who was also known as a guitarist and painter, rose to national prominence with a recurring role on the satirical soap opera “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” created by Norman Lear, and later starred in its spinoff, “Fernwood Tonight.”

“He was known for excelling in every creative endeavor he pursued, including appearing in Red Roof Inn commercials,” Maggie Mull shared in an Instagram post. “He would find that joke funny. He was always full of humor. My dad will be deeply missed by his wife and daughter, by his friends and colleagues, by fellow artists, comedians, musicians, and—indicative of a truly remarkable person—by many, many dogs.”

Martin Mull and Wendy Haas (Via Dean Clark/Shutterstock)

Recognized for his distinctive blonde hair and neatly groomed mustache, Mull was born in Chicago, grew up in Ohio and Connecticut, and studied art in Rhode Island and Rome.

His initial entry into the entertainment industry was as a songwriter, notably penning the semi-hit “A Girl Named Johnny Cash” for singer Jane Morgan in 1970.

Mull combined music and comedy in performances at trendy Hollywood clubs during the 1970s.

“In 1976, I was a guitarist and stand-up comedian performing at the Roxy on the Sunset Strip when Norman Lear walked in and heard me,” Mull recounted in an interview with The Associated Press in 1980. “He cast me as the wife beater on ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.’ Four months later, I had my own show.”

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