Comedian Dana Carvey has named Ross Martin (particularly his performance as Artemus Gordon) as a major influence on his career.
During the filming of The Wild Wild West episode "The Night of the Juggernaut," Ross Martin broke his leg. For the show, he was only filmed from the waist up to hide the injury.
Ross Martin was an accomplished musician, showing virtuoso talent with the violin as early as age eight. He would continue to play and perform throughout his life.
As a child, Ross Martin spoke Yiddish, Polish, and Russian before he learned English. Martin later added French, Spanish, and Italian to his universe of languages.
From 1937 to 1941, Ross Martin and Bernard West performed as a vaudeville comedy duo called "Ross & West."
As a publicity stunt for the film Experiment in Terror, Columbia chose to withheld the identity of Ross Martin (who played the film's mysterious villain) from the press until the film opened. It helped generate interest in the film, but hurt the unknown Martin.
After The Wild Wild West ended, Ross Martin did not star in another TV series, as network executives were reluctant to cast an actor with a heart condition in a lead role. He did, however, do regular guest work on several popular shows.
At the time of his death, Ross Martin and Robert Conrad were preparing a new Wild Wild West TV series. However, plans for the new show were dropped after Martin passed away.
Ross Martin was nominated for an Emmy in 1969 as Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series for his role on The Wild Wild West.
At one point, Ross Martin was Peter Falk's acting instructor. The two got to work together professionally when Martin guest starred as a murderer on Columbo.
Ross Martin: (describing his ad-libs on the set of "The Wild Wild West") I've been allowed to add a bit of dialogue to the characters now and then, just to help the illusion. When I portrayed a German count, there was a scene where a tough dived at me from the stairway. I side-stepped him and ad-libbed, "Have a nice trip." I was allowed to keep it in. Later, one man grabbed me from behind and another came at me from the front. I added, "That's no way to treat an old man." That was left in too.
Ross Martin: (when asked if he did his own stunts on "The Wild Wild West") I do my own acting.
Ross Martin: (describing the challenges with appearing in costume) I went home one afternoon to pick up a script without bothering to change, and a half an hour later the Beverly Hills Police were at my door because a neighbor had reported a suspicious stranger lurking around Ross Martin's house. I had to peel off my beard to prove who I was.