Young Frankenstein's Igor, And More: The Marty Feldman Story

By | July 4, 2019

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Feldman as Igor in Young Frankenstein. Source: (imdb)

With his bulging eyes, Marty Feldman was one of the most distinctive faces in entertainment, with an unforgettable appearance as Igor in Mel Brooks' 1974 comedy Young Frankenstein. During the '70s, Feldman was a rising star, having succeeded in British TV alongside members of Monty Python and broken into movies with The Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975) and another Mel Brooks film, Silent Movie (1976). Unfortunately, Feldman died before he reached 50, just as he was trying to establish himself as a director. 

While we might remember Marty Feldman as that guy with the bugged-out eyes, he was actually one of the leading comedy writers in Britain in the '60s -- before his eyes began to change. His eyes protruded as a result of Graves Ophthalmopathy and a botched operation, and his nose was slightly crooked. However, his lasting impact was his writing and his gift for comedy.

The Early Days And A Stint As A Criminal

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Left: Feldman in Young Frankenstein. Right: Feldman in The Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother. Source: (IMDB)

Feldman was born in London on July 8, 1934, to Jewish immigrants from Kiev. He did not excel in school, except in English. He wrote poetry from a young age. He wrote one poem that was so good that he was accused of plagiarism. Then, when asked to write an essay about what he did on a half-day vacation, he fabricated the story; when he got in trouble for making the story up, he explained that what he actually did was boring. He was repeatedly kicked out of schools because of his rebellious nature and left school at the age of 15 to travel. He found his way to Paris, where he did what he could to survive, sometimes engaging in dubious and often criminal acts. At one point he even worked with a traveling nude revue show called Saucy Girls.