Charles Grodin, actor, comedian, author, and television talk show host, has passed away.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he went to the University of Miami but left without graduating, so he could pursue acting. His first role was in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, uncredited as a Drummer Boy, at the age of 19. He appeared in many TV serials like Shane, The Virginian, N.Y.P.D., frequently as a guest star.
His first big movie was as Dr. Hill in Rosemary’s Baby. He then went on to have bigger roles in movies like The Heartbreak Kid,King Kong (1976), Catch 22, Heaven Can Wait,The Woman in Red,The Great Muppet Caper, to name just a few.
He then landed a role alongside Robert De Niro in Midnight Run, where he played a Mafia accountant who jumped bail, pursued by a bounty hunter played by De Niro. After that he was never out of work, appearing in movies like Beethoven, Dave and So I Married an Axe Murderer.
He was also very well known for TV shows. On one episode of Saturday Night Live, where the entire episode revolved around his forgetting that the show was live, and he proceeded to wreck sketches because of his failure to prepare accordingly. It seems everyone that worked with him, had good things to say about him and he seemed like a genuinely nice guy.
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
He had his own talk show on CNBC, The Charles Grodin Show, between 1995 and 1998. In 2000 he became a political commentator for 60 Minutes.
He was married for 38 years to Elissa Durwood Grodin and had a son and daughter, from a previous marriage.
To finish with a quote from Charles:
“I’m not that easy to insult, believe me, but cracks about people on movies who are there to pick up paychecks or actors who look like they phoned it in get me. People who write this stuff obviously have never been on the set of a movie from beginning to end. Just showing up somewhere every day for twelve to sixteen hours for three or four months should be enough to disqualify movie people from those cracks. The only thing about a movie that can be phoned in is a review.”
RIP Charles, thoughts are with the family and friends.