David Groh, perhaps best known for playing Joe Gerard on the sitcom Rhoda, passed on Tuesday at the age of 68 from kidney cancer.
David Groh was born in Brooklyn on May 21, 1939. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School and graduated Brown University with a degree in English literature. He served in the United States Army for a time. Groh acted with the American Shakespeare Theatre and studied acting in London under a Fullbright scholarship.
Groh made his screen debut in the Italian thriller Colpo rovente in 1969. He made his television debut on the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, appearing as a ghost in two episodes. Groh would appear in the movies Irish Whisky Rebellion and The Ringer in 1972, but the majority of his career would be spent on television. He was a regular on the soap opera Love is a Many Splendored Thing from 1972 to 1973. In 1974 he was cast in the role for which he was perhaps most famous, Joe Gerard on Rhoda. Rhoda was a spinoff from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in which Mary's best friend Mary moved back to New York City. In the seventh episode of the series, Rhoda married Joe. The episode received immense publicity and drew incredible ratings. Groh would remain with the show until 1977, when Joe was written out as having divorced Rhoda.
For the next many years Groh would guest star on such TV shows as Police Story, Love Boat, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. He also appeared in the telefilms Victory at Entebbe, Murder at the Mardi Gras, and The Dream Merchants. In the Eighties Groh was a regular on General Hospital as D. L. Brock from 1983 to 1985. He would later make guest appearances on L. A. Law, Sisters, The X-Files, and Walker Texas Ranger. He was a regular on the series Black Scorpion. He had a small, recurring role on Law and Order as Dr. Jacob Lowenstein.
Although much of his career was spent in television, Groh also appeared in feature films. He appeared in the films Two-Minute Warning (1976), A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich (1978), The Return of Superfly (1990), Get Shorty (1995), and Blowback (2000).
Groh also had a career on stage. He appeared off Broadway in the play Be Happy for Me in 1985 and Road Show in 1987. He appeared on Broadway in the plays Chapter Two in 1978 and Twilight of the Golds in 1993.
David Groh was not simply a talented actor, but he was a dedicated one as well. A perfect example of this is the fact that he left the popular role of Brock on General Hospital to act in the off Broadway play Be Happy for Me, even though his cost of living in New York City was actually more than what he was being paid for the play. Not many actors would have probably done so, but for David Groh, his craft was more important than the bottom line.
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