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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Marty Feldman

Art by Jim McDermott
Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein

Death of Marty Feldman

Feldman died from a heart attack in a hotel room in Mexico City on 2 December 1982, during the making of the film Yellowbeard. Cartoonist Sergio Aragonés was filming nearby, and dressed for his role as an armed policeman. Aragonés abruptly encountered Feldman while introducing himself, frightening Feldman, and possibly inducing his heart attack. Aragonés has recounted the story with the punchline "I killed Marty Feldman". The story was converted into a strip in Aragonés's issue of DC Comics' Solo.
On the DVD commentary of Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks cites additional factors that may have contributed to Feldman's death:

He smoked sometimes six packs of cigarettes daily, drank copious amounts of coffee, and ate a diet rich in eggs and dairy products. Michael Mileham, who made the behind-the-scenes movie Group Madness about the making of Yellowbeard, said he and Feldman swam to an island where a local was selling lobster and coconuts. Mileham and Feldman used the same knife on their lobsters. Mileham said he got shellfish poisoning the next day, and theorised that since Feldman used the same knife he also could have been poisoned.

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