'Marty' actor Joe Mantell dies at 94

Oscar nominee delivered famous lines in 'Chinatown'

Oscar-nominated actor Joe Mantell, who co-starred in "Marty" and delivered one of the most famous lines in "Chinatown," died Sept. 29 at the Providence Tarzana Medical Center in Los Angeles following a lone illness. He was 94.

Mantell was a character actor with more than 70 film and TV credits who received an Oscar nom for his performance as Angie, the best friend of Ernest Borgnine in "Marty" (1955). His oft-repeated line to his sad-sack friend -- "Well, what do you feel like doin' tonight?" -- was one of the most memorable lines in the film, which won the Academy Award for best picture.

Mantell had originated the role opposite Rod Steiger in the live television version that aired on "The Philco Television Playhouse" in 1953.

Mantell again became a part of movie lore in "Chinatown" (1974) in which he played the partner of Jack Nicholson's detective character, J.J. Gittes. Mantell spoke the film's famous last line: "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

Mantell and Nicholson became close during the making of the film and reunited 16 years later for its 1990 sequel, "The Two Jakes."

After appearing on stage in New York and studying at the Actors Lab in Hollywood, he made his big-screen debut as a newsboy in "The Undercover Man" (1949). Other notable credits include "The Birds" (1963) and two episodes -- "Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room" and "Steel" -- of TV's "The Twilight Zone."

Mantell, who had lived in Encino since 1961, is survived by his wife Mary, daughters Jeannie and Cathy, son Robert, daughter-in-law Glei and two grandchildren. A private funeral service was planned for Sunday.
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