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Kiel Martin (July 26, 1944 - December 28, 1990) was an American actor best known for his role as Detective John "J.D." La Rue on the 1980s television drama Hill Street Blues.


Martin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in Miami. A 1962 graduate of Hialeah High School, he was a drama student at Miami-Dade Junior College and acted in productions at the University of Miami.

Martin's debut as a professional actor came in repertory theatre in Florida. When he was 18, he dubbed voices for K. Gordon Murray Productions films.[1] In the 1960s, he moved to New York and worked as a musician, a dockworker, and a stand-up comedian. After signing a contract with Universal Studios in 1967, he broke 15 bones in a motorcycle accident, requiring two years' recuperation.

Martin appeared in Moonrunners, which was the basis for the television series The Dukes of Hazzard.

In addition to Hill Street Blues, Martin made guest appearances on various television shows between the late 1960s through the 1980s, including The Love Boat, The Virginian, Father Dowling Mysteries, and Murder, She Wrote. He starred in the short-lived 1987 Fox sitcom Second Chance until its revamping as Boys Will Be Boys resulted in his character being dropped. He also was a regular on The Edge of Night.

He was married three times; each one ending in divorce. His first marriage was to Claudia Martin (1944–2001), who was actor/crooner Dean Martin's daughter. They had one child, a daughter named Jesse. They were married from 1969-71.

His second marriage was to Christina Montoya and lasted from 1977-80. His third marriage was to Joanne La Pomaroa and lasted from 1982-84.

Martin died of lung cancer at age 46 at his home in Rancho Mirage, California.


Live-Action Dubbing



  1. Kelley, Bill (October 31, 1987). 'SECOND CHANCE' FOR KIEL MARTIN. Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 12 November 2018

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