Martin Mull, star of 'Roseanne' and 'Arrested Development', dies aged 80 after long illness

Obit Martin Mull
-Credit: (Image: Invision)

Television star Martin Mull, best known for his roles in hit comedy series' Arrested Development, Roseanne and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, has died after an unknown illness, his family said.

Mull, whose career spanned decades and encompassed hundreds of credits in television, film, comedy, and music, died on Thursday at the age of 80, his daughter said. It is understood he had been battling the illness for an extended period.

His daughter, TV producer and writer Maggie Mull, confirmed the news on Saturday, describing her father as someone she loved "tremendously".

"I am heartbroken to share that my father passed away at home on June 27th, after a valiant fight against a long illness," the former Family Guy producer posted on Instagram. "He was known for excelling at every creative discipline imaginable ... He would find that joke funny. He was never not funny."

She added that her father will be "deeply missed" by all, including "by many, many dogs".

Obit Martin Mull
-Credit:No credit

He landed the role of Colonel Mustard in the 1985 black-comedy movie Clue, inspired by the board game that shares the same name. 1990s television fans will recognise him from Roseanne, where he played the lead character's boss and best friend, Leon Carp.

He also appeared on the critically acclaimed Fox sitcom Arrested Development, playing private detective Gene Parmesan alongside Jessica Walter, Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, and Michael Cera. His expansive career saw him rack up swathes of guest credits on many well-known television programmes, including The Simpsons, Family Guy, Two and a Half Men, and more.

He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2016 for his four-episode appearance on HBO political satire Veep. Tributes have begun pouring in for the seasoned actor and entertainer, with Melissa Joan Hart leading the social media tributes.

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Hart, who played teen witch Sabrina Spellman in the late-1990s sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, shared a heartfelt tribute on social media. The now 48-year-old actor posted an Instagram tribute to her blundering high school principal, Willard Kraft, and the man who played him for 73 episodes.

"Rest in Peace, my friend. The incredible #MartinMull (Principal Kraft) has left us for his eternal rest," she wrote.

"I have such fond memories of working with him and being in awe of his huge body of work, which before #SabrinaTheTeemageWitch included #Roseanne and #MrMom as the projects I knew him from."

The former child star added that even after their time on Sabrina The Teenage Witch, the two actors kept running into each other on numerous TV sets throughout the years.

"He once told me that he takes every job he's offered just in case the train comes to an end, which in this business tends to halt quickly," she wrote. She sympathised with his family at losing a "wonderful man".

"He was an artist who liked to paint and build things with his hands, a musician, and a wonderful man who I am better for knowing. He will be missed, but this world has benefited from his being here," she wrote.

"My deepest sympathies to his family and friends."

Actor and Jennifer Tilly, who starred alongside Mull in the 1988 movie Rented Lips, also paid tribute to a man she remembered as "wonderful".

"So sad to hear of the passing of Martin Mull. I worked with him a long time ago on a film called Rented Lips that he wrote and also starred in," Tilly shared on X.

"He was such a witty, charismatic and kind person. As an actress just starting out, it really meant a lot to me to be able to work with such a wonderful actor."

Mull is survived by his daughter, Maggie, and wife, Wendy Haas.

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