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Kiel Urban Mueller (July 26, 1944 – December 28, 1990), known professionally as Kiel Martin, was an American actor best known for his role as Detective John "J.D." La Rue on the 1980s television drama Hill Street Blues.[2]

Kiel Martin
Born Kiel Urban Mueller
(1944-07-26)July 26, 1944
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died December 28, 1990(1990-12-28) (aged 46)
Rancho Mirage, California, U.S.
Cause of death lung cancer
Occupation Actor
Years active 1956-1990
Spouse(s) Claudia Martin (1969–1971) (1 child)
Christina Montoya (1978-1980) (divorced)
Joanne La Pomaroa (1982-1984) (divorced)[1]
Children Jesse Martin


Early yearsEdit

Martin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in Miami.[3] 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. When he was 18, he dubbed voices for "Mexican fairy-tale movies."[4]

Personal lifeEdit

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 to 1971.[5] His second marriage was to Christina Montoya and lasted from 1977 to 1980. His third marriage was to Joanne La Pomaroa and lasted from 1982 to 1984. Like his character on Hill Street Blues, Martin battled alcoholism and was able to manage it.


Martin's debut as a professional actor came in repertory theatre in Florida. 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.[3]

Martin starred with James Mitchum in Moonrunners, the movie that was the basis for the television series The Dukes of Hazzard.

In addition to Hill Street Blues, Martin also 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[6] until its revamping as Boys Will Be Boys resulted in his character being dropped. He also was a regular on The Edge of Night.[3]


Martin died of lung cancer at age 46 at his home in Rancho Mirage, California.[3] He was survived by his mother and his daughter.[7]

  • Murder, She Wrote, episode "If The Shoe Fits" (1990)
  • Perry Mason, episode "The Case of the Poisoned Pen" (1990)
  • Miami Vice episode 5/20 (1989)
  • Lluvia de otoño (1988)
  • If It's Tuesday, It Still Must Be Belgium (1987)
  • Convicted: A Mother's Story (1987)
  • Child Bride of Short Creek (1981)
  • Moonrunners (1975)
  • The Log of the Black Pearl (1975)
  • Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973)
  • Trick Baby (1972)
  • Kung Fu, episode "The Stone" (1973)
  • The Catcher (1972)
  • The Panic in Needle Park (1971)
  • The Undefeated (1969)
  • Dragnet, episode "The Little Victim" (1968)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Obituary Variety, January 7, 1991.
  3. ^ a b c d "Actor Kiel Martin Dies at 46". The Washington Post. January 2, 1991. Archived from the original on 30 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  4. ^ Kelley, Bill (October 31, 1987). "`Second Chance` For Kiel Martin". Sun Sentinel. Archived from the original on 30 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  5. ^ Lisanti, Tom (2003). Drive-in Dream Girls: A Galaxy of B-Movie Starlets of the Sixties. McFarland. p. 285. ISBN 9780786471652. Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  6. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 939. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. 
  7. ^ "Kiel Martin, 46, Actor Who Played Sleazy Cop on `Hill Street Blues'". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. January 2, 1991. Archived from the original on 30 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017. 

External linksEdit