Portrait of a comedy genius | Picture of Marty Feldman unveiled in his old drinking haunt

Portrait of a comedy genius

Picture of Marty Feldman unveiled in his old drinking haunt

This portrait of Marty Feldman is being unveiled today – on what would have been his 90th birthday – in one of his regular haunts.

The canvas is to take pride of place in the Uxbridge Arms pub in Notting Hill, West London, where he used to regularly lunch in his early writing career.

It has been painted by Dave Miles, who donated the work to celebrate Feldman’s achievements as a comedian and writer.

He told Chortle: ‘I paint portraits of people special in their field, who are no longer with us and have an anniversary  or birthday coming up. I then contact places pertaining to the subject  to consider if they would like a donated canvas.

‘It is to remember dear Marty. It's so sad he does't get mentioned any more. He made such a huge contribution to comedy in his writing, acting and directing, and hopefully seeing Marty's portrait will make people smile and remember his comedy genius. I have tried to capture Marty's comedic personality and sense of fun.’

The pub, on Uxbridge Street, has another claim to comedy fame as it is where Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais first met, before going on to write classic such as The Likely Lads, Porridge and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. 

Feldman – best known for playing Igor in Mel Brooks’ 1974 comedy Young Frankenstein–  suffered from thyroid disease and developed Graves' ophthalmopathy, causing his eyes to bulge, giving him his trademark look.

He initially gained prominence as a writer with Barry Took on the ITV sitcom Bootsie and Snudge and the BBC radio comedy programme Round the Horne. 

He became known as a performer on At Last the 1948 Show – co-writing the Four Yorkshiremen sketch which later became a hit for Monty Python – as well as his own sketch series. He made his directorial debut in The Last Remake of Beau Geste in 1977.

He died in 1982 of a heart attack while filming Yellowbeard in Mexico City, at the age of 48

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Published: 8 Jul 2024

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