Charles Grodin, an actor known for “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Beethoven,” dies of cancer at the age of 86

A drooling and eccentric actor and screenwriter who scored as a newlywed caddy in “The Heartbreak Kid” and later played a variety of roles, from Robert De Niro’s counterpart in the comic thriller “Midnight Run” to the evil father of the “Beethoven” comedy. Charles Grodin of the house died. He was 86 years old.

Grodin died of myeloma in Wilton, Connecticut on Tuesday, his son Nicholas Grodin said.

Known for his dead-pan style and everyday looks, Grodin also appeared in “Dave,” “The Woman in Red,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” and “Come from Heaven.” On Broadway, he co-starred with Ellen Burstyn in the long-standing 1970s comedy “Same Time, Next Year,” and found many other outlets for his talent.

In the 1990s he established himself as a liberal commentator on radio and television. He also wrote theatrical and television screenplays, won an Emmy for his work at the 1997 Paul Simon Special, and wrote several books that humorously recounted his ups and downs in show business.

The actor said, “Don’t think too much about what works as well as you can, and you’re ready when you get the chance. I did, so it’s easy to suffer from the frustration of everyone. They didn’t. They gave me more time. “He spelled out that advice in his first book,” It would be very nice if you weren’t here, “published in 1989. It was.

Grodin became a star in the 1970s, but may have broken through many years ago. I auditioned for the title role of Mike Nichols’ “Alumni” announced in 1967. But the classic part went to Dustin Hoffman instead. ..

Grodin played a small role in “Rosemary’s Baby” and was part of Nichols’ adaptation of “Catch 22” before it was widely featured in the 1972 Elaine May comedy “The Heartbreak Kid.”

He starred as a Jewish newlywed abandoning his comical neurotic bride in pursuit of the beautiful and wealthy blonde played by Cybill Shepherd. The movie was a huge hit and Grodin received high praise. “After watching the movie, many will approach me with the idea of ​​hitting me with my nose,” he commented.

In the next few years, Grodin performed in a gorgeous 1976 movie remake of “King Kong” as a greedy showman bringing a big ape to New York. (At the climax, the World Trade Center replaced the Empire State Building.) He was Warren Beatty’s evil lawyer in “Heaven Can Wait” and a friend of Gene Wilder in “The Woman in Red” (“Woman in Red”. He wasn’t very successful, but appeared in an adventure comedy in May 1987 (“Ishtar”, the infamous flop).

In the 1988 Midnight Run, Grodin was a bail-boosting accountant, robbing millions of mobs, and Deniro was a bounty hunter trying to take him cross-country to Los Angeles. They are being chased by police, another bounty hunter, a mob, and Grodin is afraid to fly, forcing him to go by car, bus, or even a boxcar.

“Beethoven” was successful in the livestock comedy genre in 1992. Asked why he played such a role, he said he was happy to get the job done by The Associated Press.

“I’m not in great demand,” Grodin replied. “I don’t have this great pile of offers. I’m glad they wanted me.”

In his movie gig, Grodin became a familiar face on late-night television, completing a character that confronts Johnny Carson and others with fake aggression, crouching and laughing at the audience.

“It’s all a joke. It’s just a matter of choice. It was the choice to do it,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1995.

His biggest stage success was “Same Time, Next Year,” which opened on Broadway in 1975 and lasted nearly three years. He and Burstyn, each married happily, met once a year at the same hotel for extramarital negotiations. Beyond humor, the play was praised for its skillful tracking of changes in their lives and societies from the 1950s to the 1970s. Critic Clive Barnes called Grodin’s character “a monument to men’s anxiety, luxuriously incompetent.”

After “My Own Summer Story” in 1994, Grodin mainly gave up acting. From 1995 to 1998 he hosted a talk show on the CNBC Cable Network. He moved to MSNBC and then to CBS’s “60 Minutes II”.

In his 2002 book, “I Like More When You’re Funny,” he said that too many TV programmers believe that “if you only hear from lifelong journalists” will be most useful to your viewers. .. He argued that “people in non-journalistic professions other than Washington” also deserve a soap box.

He returned to the big screen in 2006 with “The Ex” as his father-in-law who knew everything about Zach Braff. Recent credits include the movies “Incomplete Murder” and “Comedian” and the television series “Louis”.

Grodin was born in Pittsburgh in 1935 as Charles Grodinski. Charles is the son of a dry matter wholesaler who died when he was 18 years old. He played basketball and later described himself as “a rough kid, always kicked out of class.”

He studied at the University of Miami and the Pittsburgh Playhouse, worked in the summer theater, then struggled in New York, and worked night shifts as a taxi driver, postal worker, and security guard while studying acting during the day.

In 1962, Grodin made his Broadway debut and was well-received in the three-character play “Chinchin,” starring Anthony Quinn. He continued “the absence of the cello” in 1964.

He co-authored and directed the 1966 short-lived Off-Broadway show called “Hooray! It’s a Glorious Day … and all that.” That same year, he made his film debut on a low-budget flop called “Sex and College Girl.”

In 1969, Grodin showed his early interest in politics by helping write and direct the television special “Songs of America,” starring Simon and Garfunkel, which incorporated civil rights and anti-war messages. However, the former sponsor withdrew, and Simon later called the lesser-known effort a “tragedy.”

Simon disguised show business in 1977 and returned with a special featuring Grodin as the show’s clumsy producer. Grodin and his co-author won an Emmy Award.

Grodin and his first wife, Julia Ferguson, had a daughter comedian, Marion Grodin. The marriage ended with a divorce. He and his second wife, Elissa Durwood, had a son, Nicholas.

Copyright © 2021 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

Charles Grodin, an actor known for “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Beethoven,” dies of cancer at the age of 86

Source link Charles Grodin, an actor known for “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Beethoven,” dies of cancer at the age of 86

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