Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Joe Mantell

In 1955, Joe Mantell was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the big screen adaptation of Marty. A long and productive acting career followed, but not the recognition. This is really a shame, for had he been given the chance, one can only imagine how he would have handled the larger roles that should have come his way.

Joe Mantell is truly one of the most unappreciated actors that ever worked. Just watch the The Twilight Zone episode A Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room, in which he plays not only himself but his mirrored reflection as well, and I dare you to disagree with me.

Although he did have some smaller roles in major movies like Chinatown and The Birds, he spent most of his forty-decade career as a television guest star giving memorable performances in a variety of shows that ranged from Kraft Theater to Alfred Hitchcock Presents and from The Untouchables to Combat.

I'm sure that fame is the last thing that most working actors want, but Joe Mantell was certainly gifted enough to have had it, making him today's pick for Not Very Famous...but should be.


  1. I know Joe's work, Mike and I agree with your assessment. But he worked quite frequently and maybe that was enough. I think a lot of these actors might have welcomed the steady paychecks that a variety of roles brought them.

  2. I agree, Yvette. I think most actors lucky enough to get work are happy with whatever role they get. I just think that in the case of really good actors like Joe Mantell, a little fame might have gotten him a few much deserved bigger parts.