Actor Kiel Martin, best known for his portrayal of seedy Detective Johnny (J.D.) LaRue on the long-running, Emmy-winning television series “Hill Street Blues,” has died at his Rancho Mirage home after a lengthy illness, it was learned Monday.
The Riverside County coroner’s office said the 46-year-old actor died Friday after suffering a cardiovascular collapse because of lung cancer.
Martin, who was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., and grew up in Hialeah, Fla., studied drama in high school and at Trinity University in Texas and the University of Miami. He then moved to New York City, where he worked as a guitar player, stand-up comic and dockworker.
After signing with Universal Studios, Martin appeared in several feature movies, including “The Panic in Needle Park” and “Moon Runners.” He also performed as a regular on television’s “The Edge of Night” and acted in numerous TV series and movies.
Martin’s television credits include “The Virginian,” “Delvecchio,” “Harry O,” “The Bold Ones,” “Ironside,” “Kung Fu,” “The Blue Knight,” “Matt Houston,” “Perry Mason,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Father Dowling” and “L.A. Law.”
He leaves his mother, Eileen A. Mueller of Miami, Fla., and daughter, Jesse Martin of Corvalis, Ore. At Martin’s request, there will be no funeral services.