Charles Grodin, a versatile comedic actor best known for roles in films like “Midnight Run” and “The Heartbreak Kid,” died Tuesday at his Connecticut home after a battle with cancer, according to his son.
So said to hear. One of the funniest people I ever met: Charles Grodin, Star of ‘Beethoven’ and ‘Heartbreak Kid,’ Dies at 86 – https://t.co/OwDYFLIgae
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) May 18, 2021
When he died, he was 86 years old. Nicholas Grodin, Grodin’s son, reported his father’s death in an email to CNN.
Charles’s prominent roles in various films
Before being cast in director Mike Nichols’ “Catch-22” in 1970 (after auditioning unsuccessfully for “The Graduate”), Grodin had a variety of stage credits and then landed his big break in “Heartbreak Kid,” in which he played a newlywed who falls in love with another woman, played by Cybill Shepherd, while on his honeymoon.
Grodin continued to work steadily after that, co-starring in “Heaven Can Wait” with Warren Beatty and playing an on-the-go accountant with Robert De Niro in “Midnight Run.” In a statement released by his publicist, De Niro said, “Chuck was as good a person as he was an actor.” “Working on ‘Midnight Run’ was a fantastic experience, and Chuck made it even better. He will be greatly missed. I am heartbroken to learn of his death.”
Such notable roles include “Dave,” in which he played the set-upon father to a scene-stealing Saint Bernard, and the “Beethoven” movies, in which he played the set-upon father to a scene-stealing Saint Bernard. Through scores of appearances on Johnny Carson and David Letterman, the actor became a favourite guest on late-night talk shows, where he projected a haughty demeanour.
Grodin later tried hosting a talk show on CNBC and also became an author, publishing several books, the first of which was “It Would Be So Nice If You Weren’t Here: My journey through show business” in 1989.
Grodin clarified that after seeing Diana Ross on “The Tonight Show,” he developed his aggressive talk-show persona. He then began to refine his act, and the hosts, especially Letterman, were delighted to join in. Grodin co-starred in the Broadway play “Same Day, Next Year” with Ellen Burstyn, about a couple that has an annual affair. He also directed and wrote scripts, and in 1977, he received an Emmy for his work on a Paul Simon TV special as one of the writers.
Charles Grodin’s education and career
Charles Grodin, who was born in Pittsburgh, studied acting at the University of Miami before moving to New York to train with Lee Strasberg, the legendary acting coach. “Hollywood is an industry, much as GM is an industry,” Grodin once said in an interview. And if you’ve been doing it as long as I have, you know what I’m talking about.”
Grodin’s diverse career included writing a column for the New York Daily News and delivering commentaries for “60 Minutes II,” a news magazine.
Albert Brooks tweeted, “A great comedy star.” “I had the pleasure of working with him on my first feature film, ‘True Life,’ and he was incredible. Grodin is survived by his daughter Marion, his son Nicholas, and his wife, author Elissa Durwood Grodin.