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Martin Mull: Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Roseanne star dies aged 80

Martin Mull, who starred in hit television shows including Roseanne, Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Arrested Development, has died aged 80.

Mull’s daughter, TV writer and comic artist Maggie Mull, said he died at home on Thursday following a “valiant fight against a long illness”.

The US actor, who was first known for his role in 1970s satirical soap Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and its spinoff Fernwood Tonight, was “never not funny”, Ms Mull said.

“He was known for excelling at every creative discipline imaginable and also for doing Red Roof Inn commercials,” Ms Mull wrote on Instagram.

“He would find that joke funny. He was never not funny.

“My dad will be deeply missed by his wife and daughter, by his friends and co-workers, by fellow artists and comedians and musicians, and – the sign of a truly exceptional person – by many, many dogs.”

Mull was born in Chicago, raised in Ohio and Connecticut and studied art in Rhode Island and Rome, and was known for his blonde hair and well-trimmed moustache.

In the 1990s, he became famous for his recurring role in several seasons of popular sitcom Roseanne, in which he played the title character’s boss Leon Carp.

Image:
Mull (third from left) with other cast members from Sabrina The Teenage Witch. Pic: Rex/Viacom/Everett/Shutterstock

To millennials, he may be even better known as the headteacher in Sabrina The Teenage Witch, playing the overbearing Principal Kraft.

Melissa Joan Hart, who starred as Sabrina, paid tribute to a “wonderful man” on Instagram, writing: “Rest in Peace my friend. The incredible Martin Mull (Principal Kraft) has left us for his eternal rest.

“I have such fond memories of working with him and being in awe of his huge body of work which before Sabrina the Teenage Witch included Roseanne and Mr Mom as the projects I knew him from.”

He would later appear on Arrested Development as private eye Gene Parmesan, and was nominated for his first Emmy in 2016 for a guest run on Veep.

“What I did on Veep I’m very proud of, but I’d like to think it’s probably more collective, at my age it’s more collective,” Mull said after his nomination.

“It might go all the way back to Fernwood.”

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Martin Mull (centre) pictured in 1979. Pic: Ralph Dominguez/MediaPunch /IPX via AP
Image:
Mull (centre) pictured in 1979. Pic: Ralph Dominguez/MediaPunch /IPX via AP

Other comedians and actors were often Mull’s biggest fans.

“Martin was the greatest,” Bridesmaids director Paul Feig said on X.

“So funny, so talented, such a nice guy. Was lucky enough to act with him on The Jackie Thomas Show and treasured every moment being with a legend.

“Fernwood Tonight was so influential in my life.”

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Mull is survived by his daughter Maggie and musician Wendy Haas, his wife since 1982.

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