Monday, May 24, 2021

The Late Great Charles Grodin

Charles Grodin, who starred in such movies as Catch-22 (1970) and The Heartbreak Kid (1972), died on May 18 2021 at the age of 86. The cause was bone marrow cancer.

Charles Grodin was born on April 21 1935 in Pittsburgh. He graduated from Peabody High School as valedictorian. He attended the University of Miami, but left to pursue his career in acting. He studied acting at the HB Studio under Uta Hagen and later studied under Lee Strasberg as well.

Charles Grodin made his big screen debut in an uncredited role as a drummer boy in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in 1954. He made his television debut in an episode of Decision in 1958. That same year he appeared in an episode of Armstrong Circle Theatre.

Mr. Grodin made his debut on Broadway in 1962 in Tchin-Tchin. In the Sixties he appeared in the Broadway productions Absence of a Cello and Love and Other Strangers. On television he was a regular on the soap opera The Young Marrieds in 1965. He guest starred on Play of the Week, The Defenders, My Mother the Car, The Trials of O'Brien, The Felony Squad, Shane, Iron Horse, The F.B.I., Captain Nice, The Guns of Will Sonnett, N.Y.P.D., The Big Valley, and Judd for the Defense. He appeared in the movies Sex and the Single Girl (1964), Rosemary's Baby (1968), and Catch-22 (1970).

In the Seventies Charles Grodin appeared in the movies The Heartbreak Kid (1972), 11 Harrowhouse (1974), King Kong (1976), Thieves (1977), Heaven Can Wait (1978), Real Life (1979), Sunburn (1979), It's My Turn (1980), and Seems Like Old Times (1980). On television he appeared in the TV movies The Meanest Man in the West, Just You and Me, and The Grass is Always Greener in the Septic Tank. He was the voice of Joseph in the TV movie It Happened One Christmas, an unauthorized remake of It Happened One Night. He appeared on Broadway in Thieves and Same Time, Next Year.

In the Eighties he appeared in the movies The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981), The Great Muppet Caper (1981), The Lonely Guy (1984), The Woman in Red (1984), Movers & Shakers (1985), Last Resort (1986), Ishtar (1987), The Couch Trip (1988), You Can't Hurry Love (1988), Midnight Run (1988), Taking Care of Business (1990). On television he appeared in the mini-series Fresno. He appeared in the TV movie Charley's Aunt. He guest starred on the shows Great Performances, American Playhouse, and The Magical World of Disney.

In the Nineties Charles Grodin had his own talk show on CNBC and MSNBC. He appeared in the movies Beethoven (1992), Dave (1993), So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993), Heart and Souls (1993), Clifford (1994), and It Runs in the Family (1994). In the Naughts he appeared in the movie Fast Track (2006). In the Teens he was a regular on the show Louie. He appeared in the mini-series Madoff. He guest starred on the TV shows Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Michael J. Fox Show, and The New Yorker Presents. He appeared in the movies The Humbling (2014), While You're Young (2014), The Comedian (2016), and The Private Life of a Modern Woman (2017).

Charles Grodin was a remarkable actor who played a number of notable roles. He was the lead in The Heartbreak Kid, laying the shallow sporting goods salesman who falls in love with another woman while on his honeymoon. In Real Life he played veterinarian Warren Yeager, the head of the Yeager family who finds themselves the subject of a documentary. In Midnight Run he played an accountant arrested for embezzling money from his mobster boss and hence on the run from the law. Charles Grodin had a particular gift for comedy, with perfect delivery and perfect timing. Few actors were as talented as he was.

No comments: