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November 24, 2019

Ross Martin Who Played Artemus Gordon in 'Wild Wild West' Passed Away at 61 - Here's a Look at His Final Years

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Ross Martin, who was best known for portraying Artemus Gordon on the CBS Western series "The Wild Wild West," died in 1981 at 61 years old.

Martin showed up in excess of 200 movies, stage, and TV productions, as reported by The New York Times.

"I learned a lot about people in different walks of life -- a kind of kaleidoscope of humanity, which I couldn't organize and make sense of."

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In July 1981, he suffered a deadly heart attack after a game of tennis at San Vincente Tennis Ranch, San Diego County Club of Ramona, California, according to UPI.

The legendary actor was immediately taken to the Pomerado Hospital in Poway, California. However, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Ramona firefighter Art Bale, who attempted to spare his life, said that the actor felt sick, so he walked off the court.

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Sadly, he collapsed just before he went into the clubhouse. Bale said that a few spectators had just begun CPR on Martin when they arrived. 

Martin's wife, Olavee, was also there. They took over and proceeded with CPR on the way to the hospital, but they couldn't get any vital signs.

Although Martin had a medical history of recent heart trouble, he appeared in superb physical condition.

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Martin was survived by his wife, daughters Phyllis Rlsenblatt and Rebecca Schacht, and son Dr. George Martin. He is interred in Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.

According to the Washington Post, the actor was born Martin Rosenblatt in Poland. When he was six months old, he moved with his family to New York's lower East Side and lived in a tenement district.

He graduated cum laude from the City College of New York. For his law degree, he studied at the National University School of Law, now part of George Washington University, in Washington.

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Before entering the show business, Martin worked as a law clerk, a buyer, a teacher, and a testing psychologist.

He once said about his experience, "I learned a lot about people in different walks of life -- a kind of kaleidoscope of humanity, which I couldn't organize and make sense of. And all that time, burning to act professionally, it was just stored away." 

He added that his different experiences helped him play the role of Gordon, a government agent, from 1965-69.

Martin's other notable projects were "Stump the Stars," "Mr. Lucky," "Guys and Dolls," "Hazel Flagg," "Experiment in Terror," "The Great Race," "Fantasy Island," "Love Boat," and "Charlie's Angels."

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